Running, Race Announcing, Travel, Sports
I’m a long-time baseball fan (all the way back to when I was 3 … there’s a story with that!), of course, but I primarily enjoy going to new ballparks, whenever possible.
I’m from Pennsylvania (born in Altoona, from Tyrone; both near Penn State), but have lived in Texas most my life. My Dad moved us to the Lone Star state in November 1976, just before turning 10. And with the exception for a short nine-month stint in 1979 and early 1980 to Arkansas and western Pennsylvania, have been in Texas ever since.
I live in the greater Houston area and primarily promote Texas private and parochial high school athletics. Texas is one of the few states that do not allow publics and privates to be in the same league. (Two large single-gender private schools – Dallas Jesuit and Houston Strake Jesuit – sued to get in the UIL, but they are required to compete at the highest levels.)
Great private and parochial alums have been Doug Drabek (Victoria St. Joseph) and currently Josh Bell (Dallas Jesuit) and Ke’Bryan Hayes (Tomball Concordia Lutheran).
I work to promote all Texas private and parochial high school athletics and have done so for most of the last 30 years, and currently do so through the Lone Star Christian Sports Network (@LSCSN on Twitter).
Our linktree is here.
Texas private and parochial high schools commonly welcome former major leaguers on to staffs as they do not require the teaching certification that Texas public schools do, so Craig Biggio was coach of Houston St. Thomas, Terry Puhl of Fort Bend Baptist Academy (before going on to UH-Victoria), Lance Berkman at Houston Second Baptist (with Andy Pettitte on the staff), Mark Petkovsek at Beaumont Kelly, Calvin Schiraldi currently at Austin St. Michael’s Catholic, and most recently, Jason Tyner at Beaumont Kelly (where they won the TAPPS 6A title this year).
Vernon Wells was also recently named the head football coach at Colleyville Covenant Christian.
I’ve been to 142 different ballparks, and in 2023, I’m working through all 16 Texas parks, even though I had been to 13 of them previously.
15 – MLB (9 former, 6 current)
My website above has all of the lists of the parks that I’ve seen and a ton of other things.
I have also enjoyed running races at baseball venues, such as Minute Maid Park, Progressive Field, the Dell Diamond, Kokernot Field (Alpine, TX), Flour Field (Greenville, SC) and the MILB field in Williamsport, PA. It is hard, though, to double up and run a race at a ballpark and see a game on the same weekend.
Am good friends with Shane Brown, the stadium voice of the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. He’s been their announcer since the Skeeters began. (He is a former high school and college girls/women’s basketball coach and we go back to the late 1990’s when he was the coach at Houston Westbury Christian School.)
I haven’t seen a no-hitter in person, but there was a famous one that my Dad and I missed – Nolan Ryan’s 5th one in Houston. We had the printed tickets and went to the former Houston Baseball Dinner to get Nolan to sign those tickets.
Also was fortunate enough to attend the induction ceremony at Cooperstown when Nolan Ryan was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Was at the 1986 All-Star Game in Houston, but was involved in something special involving the 1981 All-Star Game that never happened in Cleveland.
Have always been big on the statistics of the game (maybe an original Bill James disciple), but am not enamored at all by all of the advanced analytics today.
When Fantasy Baseball was known by its original name Rotisserie League Baseball (still have the original book), myself and two other gentlemen ran a RL on an old BBS – long before the Internet.
I love the game, but am not necessarily a fan of any given team. Grew up a Pirates fan, but have also embraced the Astros over the years.
Barely remembered Roberto Clemente, but Willie Stargell was more my guy. I remember where I was when I learned the he passed away (at work on Long Island, NY).
I have favorite memories with my Dad, my grandfather and my daughter. She has sang the National Anthem at an Altoona Curve game right after my grandfather passed away in 2014, and also God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch of a State College Spikes game.
As of June 18, 2023, I’ve listened to all of Anna’d podcasts minus one (episode 102).
|Best Baseball Memory
+ Getting Nolan Ryan to sign an actual game ticket from his 5th no-hitter, which we were unable to attend.
+ Winning a radio station contest in 1981 during the MLB strike to travel to Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to compete in a 16-person Coleco Head-to-Head Electronic Baseball contest that I won against the person that was later the best man in my wedding to win an airplane trip anywhere Eastern Airlines flew. (Which I used to see Alabama beat Penn State and was the game that Bear Bryant tied Amos Alonzo Stagg’s all-time win record.)
+ Seeing a game in the Comiskey Park, the Astrodome, Milwaukee County Stadium and Tiger Stadium in the last year they were in use. The latter three with my Dad.
+ Seeing my daughter sing the National Anthem at an Altoona Curve game and God Bless America at a State College Spikes game.
+ 16 new ballparks in 2014. 10 new ballparks in 2018. Any weekend I can see three new ballparks in one trip.