I suppose I sound like an old man in saying that I miss the game I grew up with as a boy. Where I once loved the game of baseball unconditionally, I have now developed a love/hate relationship with it. I realize I haven’t been as active on this blog as I’d first intended, but […]
I must have been about nine-years old when my dad took me on a very special car ride. It proved to be a ride that introduced me to a new passion; one that made everything else in my young life seems irrelevant. More importantly it was “one on one” time with my father, the important type […]
On April 18, 1947, the Pittsburgh Pirates had their home opener with the Cincinnati Reds at Forbes Field. That morning, Elmer Hurte and his oldest son Bobby packed sack of chip-chopped ham sandwiches and a jug of iced tea. With lunch in hand they rushed out the door to catch the streetcar from the North […]
As my mom says, “Bobby would always confess when he did something wrong, just not immediately after he did it.” Well, I am at it again. I have a confession. Of course it is for something from over four decades ago. But before I actually confess, let me provide some background to support my little […]
The surface rituals of spring training are well known to fans, but camp presents unique challenges to players whether they’re established starters, prospects or trying to make sure they hold onto their big league jobs. Baseball instructor Jack Perconte, who now coaches players privately in Illinois, was in spring training most years in the ’80s, […]
Although I had a few more major league at-bats than “Moonlight Graham” did, I know just how he felt in the movie Field of Dreams – maybe I could have kept playing, but I may have missed my life’s passion, and missed making a difference for some kid. I guess I am one of the […]
I often get the comment from people, “I bet you wished you played now with the money players make these days.” It makes me dream, of course, but I really wonder if I would have even gotten a chance to play professional baseball in today”s game. I have attended quite a few minor league baseball […]
Wondering what you would do in this situation? Within a couple of hours I had two calls from friends. “Jack I have a ticket for you for the Monday White Sox/Indians opener,” and “Jack, I have a ticket for you for the Monday night final four basketball game.” No brainer for me – baseball any […]
One never knows when a ballplayer, young or old, will say something that makes your head spin, creates a comment that you don”t forget and teaches a valuable life lesson for the future. My second book was written because I believe sports provide many opportunities for parents to teach life lessons to their kids. Sometimes, […]
I usually get these questions from my students “Who did you play for?” or “What position did you play?” Adults usually follow up with “Who was the best pitcher you ever faced?” and “Who was the best player you ever played with or against?” I assume all former major league players get the same questions. […]
“Jack, you are like a son to me, but we have to send you down.” If I heard those words from manager Tommy Lasorda once, it seemed like I heard them a thousand times. I wanted to respond with, “Could you consider me a distant cousin or something instead, and keep me on the team?” […]
Curt Flood took a stance to help players and teammates and made his mark on baseball history. Some guys make their mark with great statistics, whereas others are remembered for other things. Players often take stances day in and day out for their teammates that are not as momentous or reported, but they are never […]
Now that I have your attention and before you think of me as a liar, let me explain.
Sure, playing in the big leagues is everything it is cracked up to be. Along with unbelievable salaries, players are given everything – free equipment, more than adequate per-day meal money, great clubhouse spreads after the game and the obvious adulation. The hotels are five star hotels with first class treatment. Major league players cruise […]
You may recall my last post when I wrote about how I ended up attending Murray State University, tried out and made the baseball team. While there, I was part of a most remarkable experience. It all began with one of my teammate’s box score: 3 At Bats 0 Hits 0 Runs 0 RBI and […]
As many of you probably heard, J.D. Salinger, the author of the “Catcher in the Rye” died a few days ago. That was my favorite book, especially the part where he wrote about the person who could really whistle. He writes about how every person has at least one thing that they do very well […]
Of course, we all know of great rivalries in sports. Yankees vs. Red Sox, Michigan vs. Ohio State, and Celtics vs. Lakers all come to mind when I think about great rivalries. I had the opportunity to be part of one of those in my playing days and it all came to a violent, crazy […]
Last post I mentioned that I hoped that the good memories of my professional playing career never end so I could keep writing about the happy times. Then of course, I couldn’t think of another good memory that I haven’t already written about. I hope that is only a case of temporary amnesia. Below is […]
This is one of my most often used comments when talking with my baseball students, “Remember the good at-bats and forget the bad ones, or this game will drive you crazy.”
Baseball fans see teams competing against each other and batters battling against pitchers. What they have no way of knowing about is the personal battles that often develop between two players, or even sometimes between a player and the opposing manager.
As baseball people know, April fools day lands near the end of spring training each year. The end of spring training is a very nervous time for most players. Obviously, this is when major league teams have to cut down to the twenty five man roster for the beginning of the regular season. Players, who […]
So many of my crazy, memorable baseball experiences happened when I played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is kind of ironic because I was only with the big league Dodger team for a short while. I guess it makes sense though, because after all, it is Hollywood. The following story is quite famous, told […]
Of course, Thanksgiving is the time of year when one looks back, thinks of and thanks the people who they are most grateful for. In my professional career, there is one person that fits that bill every Thanksgiving.
Whenever I have a baseball coach’s clinic, I begin with a trivia question, “Who caught the last ball that Carl Yastrzemski ever hit in a major league game?” Not one person has ever answered correctly; until I gave them the hint, “The answer is so obvious, like it is right in front of you.” Every […]
Things were looking up for me and the 1982 Cleveland Indians, literally.
It is always sad to see the season end. I love watching the playoffs/World Series and wish they continued all winter. I would not mind if they shortened the regular season and had an extended playoff system, either. Otherwise, here are some random thoughts about this year’s World Series.
You may recall my previous post about being drafted and the joy my family and I felt when I was chosen in the 16th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. To celebrate Dodger Blue, I went out and spent my whole bonus on a shiny, metallic Green Buick Century?
I am not usually a bandwagon jumper, but it has been very difficult to watch the game I love during these baseball playoffs.
Don’t worry baseball fans, a college degree is not necessary for this article.
by Joe Baseball – Note to readers, I am writing this article under an alias to protect the innocent.
One of the signs that you are getting old is that most of the ballparks that you played in are no longer in existence.
I have had this debate with friends before. It all started with a question from a friend about how important mental toughness is in an athlete and if it could be taught. I set out to find what I thought was the key to mental toughness for athletes. Before coming to my conclusion I would […]
To be part of something that is considered truly great is a special feeling.
Many sports enthusiasts complain that baseball is boring and too slow. I certainly do not agree with them nor do I argue or try to convince them otherwise. I am thinking to myself though, “If only they knew what good baseball people know, they would not think it boring or slow.” There are so many […]
Not as thrilling as a hit in the big leagues but having a book published is exciting.