Episode 150 — Eric Vickrey: ‘80s Cardinals, ’46 Spokane Indians, & ’11 Game Six Heroics

Eric Vickrey is a Cardinals fan living in Seattle who has also developed a soft spot for the Mariners. He fell in love with the game thanks to growing up in the St. Louis area and developing a penchant for collecting baseball cards as a kid. Eric is also the author of two baseball books, including his latest about post World War II baseball and the tragic 1946 Spokane Indians bus crash.

Eric chats with Anna about how the pandemic provided an opportunity to channel passion into publishing, the fateful ’46 crash, and about witnessing the Cards game six heroics in 2011.

Find Eric Online:
Website: ericvickrey.com
Buy the Book: Amazon | Rowman & Littlefield

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This podcast is part of the Curved Brim Media Network:
Website: curvedbrimmedia.com

Read the full transcript

[00:00:00] Eric: game six of the World Series that year, I was at Bush Stadium and, for all intents and purposes, it felt like the game was over, you know, the Rangers had the lead in the ninth inning and David Freese, of course, hit the, uh, The triple to, uh, tie the game.

[00:00:14] Eric: it was just unbelievable to be in the ballpark that day. And you know, I think most of us, uh, assume the game was was over in like the seventh eighth inning when the Rangers had a fairly commanding lead and, and they left the ballpark early that day. And I also vividly remember a Rangers fan in front of me with his cell phone out, with two outs and two strikes on David Freeze ready to record that, that last, that last out.


[00:00:41] Anna: What’s up Bucketheads? Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode number 150 of the baseball bucket list podcast. I’m your host Anna DiTommaso. And each week on the show, I speak with a different baseball fan about their favorite memories what’s left on their baseball bucket list and what the game of baseball means to them. This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Eric Vickery from Seattle Washington. Eric grew up in the St. Louis area and found the game early in life. Thanks to games at Busch Stadium and baseball cards. But after relocating to the Pacific Northwest, he’s found himself developing an ever-growing soft spot for the Mariners. Eric is also the author of two baseball books. One about the 82 Cardinals and his latest about the tragic 1946 Spokane Indians bus crash, titled “Season of Shattered Dreams”. We discussed how Eric came to love the game of baseball and shifted that passion into writing. Why he was gripped by the story of the 46 Spokane Indians. and his memories of attending game six of the 2011 world series And witnessing the David frees, heroics firsthand. I really enjoyed this interview and learned a lot from Eric. 

[00:01:45] Anna: So I want to jump right into it. Now without further ado, Sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball banter with Eric Vickery.

[00:01:53] Anna: Eric, thank you so much for joining us today on the Baseball Bucket List. How are things in Seattle?

[00:01:58] Eric: Great. It’s a, uh, sunny spring day and uh Things are going well. Thank you.

[00:02:04] Anna: Always nice when the sun is shining, especially, uh, up in Seattle, I know, so, uh,

[00:02:09] Eric: Definitely doesn’t happen, especially this time of year, but, uh,

[00:02:12] Eric: things are going well. little victories. Nice. The first question I always get started with is how is it that you became a fan of the game of baseball?

[00:02:21] Eric: Yeah, I really became a fan from a pretty young age. I remember pretty vividly in 1986, going to my first Major League game. I grew up in Alton, Illinois, which is near St. Louis, and attended my first game on August 10th of that year. Bob Forsh pitched that day and hit a Grand Slam. So, uh, pretty vivid memories of that day.

[00:02:46] Eric: And that was around the same time that I started collecting baseball cards. So, uh, it was a big, uh, collector throughout the late eighties. Uh, so that’s kind of the roots of my baseball fandom.

[00:02:57] Anna: So you started kind of close to St. Louis. I would assume that you were a cards fan at one time, but now you’re of course up in the Seattle area. Do you have allegiance to a specific team or are you kind of all over the place?

[00:03:10] Eric: Yeah, I’m still very much a Cardinal fan, uh, and I’ve adopted the Mariners as well. , Thankfully they’re in, you know, separate leagues and, uh, being on the West Coast, they’re often not playing at the same time. So, uh, I have the MLB. TV package and still follow both teams pretty closely. Although, now that they’re, the teams are playing each other, uh, every year, uh, I’m a little torn, certainly when the Cardinals and Mariners, uh, play each other.

[00:03:36] Anna: Yeah, I can imagine that would be, that would be tough because you know, you have the one team that you kind of grew up, you’ve spent your entire life with, and then you’ve got the team that’s in your backyard. And so when you’re at games in person, I’m sure they’re, they’re Mariners games for the most part.

[00:03:50] Anna: But, I’m curious to know. When the Cards come through town, it’s either gonna be this year or next. I’m not sure. I haven’t checked the schedule, but you know Who do you think you might find yourself leaning towards?

[00:04:02] Eric: Yeah, well, this actually happened last year, and I actually found myself just sort of naturally rooting for the Mariners. Um, I think part of it is, you know, I was in the home ballpark, and of course most people are pulling for the Mariners. And I also very much have a soft spot for, the Mariners franchise just because, you know, they’ve never won.

[00:04:21] Eric: And I would, I’d just love to see them at least get to a World Series and kind of get that monkey off their back.

[00:04:27] Anna: That’s always a fun question for me because I think it’s so relatable now you know, I think people get up and they move and they spend different times in different places across the country and With the ability to kind of follow teams from afar It’s easier now, it’s uh, it’s becoming more and more difficult to kind of stick with a team or adopt a home team or things like that, so always a fun question.

[00:04:52] Eric: Who’s your favorite team?

[00:04:54] Anna: I’m a Rays fan, first and foremost, and uh, that’s a convoluted story in and of itself, but uh, Yeah, the Rays are my number one team. Of course, now I live in the Arlington area. I’m, I’m just west of Arlington, so Kind of the same story to me, for me, if it’s, uh, you know, a game that I’m at, it’s gonna have to be a Rangers game for the most part, and so, um, And of course they, they do play each other a little more often because they’re at least in the same league, different divisions, which helps.

[00:05:23] Anna: But, you know, obviously last year, uh, in the post season, they, they duked it out in the first round. Well, Texas duked it out and the Rays just kind of rolled over, but, uh,

[00:05:33] Eric: Yeah,

[00:05:34] Anna: yeah, it’s interesting. Yeah. The dynamics there, but, so. You mentioned that you got started with, with baseball cards in the 80s, and I can always tell, you know, when I asked that first question there, there are two types of responses.

[00:05:47] Anna: There’s one that’s like a very broad, Like, oh yeah, I was a fan of the game as a kid because my dad, or my grandma, or whatever. And then there’s the answer that you give where it’s like, the first time I walked into a ballpark, it was this date. This was exactly what happened. And, uh, I’m not surprised to hear you’re kind of a card guy because of, you know, just the stats aspect of it.

[00:06:07] Anna: But, do you think that’s kind of what, what pulled you into the history of the game?

[00:06:13] Eric: I think so. Yeah, just holding the cards, seeing the pictures on the front and the stats on the back. And I very much appreciated statistics, I think, from an early age and kind of studied the backs of the baseball cards and also learned geography that way, too. I think that’s a good, good way as a kid to kind of learn where all these cities are.

[00:06:36] Eric: Yeah, that was kind of my intro. And of course I love, I love playing the game too. I grew up playing, uh, little league and, uh, so when I wasn’t, uh, watching the game, I was playing it. So yeah, baseball’s always been a huge part of my life.

[00:06:49] Anna: Yeah. Are you big into ballpark travel? Like outside of, um, obviously Bush and, um, what are they calling it now? It’s, uh, is it, it’s T Mobile now right there up

[00:07:00] Eric: T Mobile. 

[00:07:01] Anna: yeah, in Seattle.

[00:07:03] Eric: Yeah, uh, definitely. I’ve, I’ve been to about half of the ballparks so far and also try to make it to a minor league ballparks too. Those are a lot of fun. Uh, yeah, whenever my wife and I travel, it’s usually the first thing I do. Uh, we’re going to San Diego, for instance, later this summer.

[00:07:19] Eric: And first thing I did was check to see if the Padres are in town, see if we can knock that one off the list. So that’s, that’s always a big part of our travel plans.

[00:07:27] Anna: as it should be, I say. Um, so up there in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve got quite a few. Minor League and, you know, Collegiate Summer League teams, and you mentioned that you’re a fan of the minor leagues, too. So, the games that you do get to on a regular basis, are they primarily Mariners games, or are you kind of, you know, checking out the independent and minor league landscape?

[00:07:54] Eric: Yeah, we live just a couple miles from T Mobile Park and we are season ticket members. So, uh, we, we definitely go to more, Mariners games and major league games than, than the minors. But, uh, I actually live very close to Everett and Tacoma where two of the, um, Mariners farm teams are located, but actually haven’t been to either.

[00:08:13] Eric: Those ballparks, believe it or not, but, um, I have plans to go to, uh, Everett. I’m actually doing a book signing at a game up there this summer and, uh, have been to the Spokane Indians, uh, stadium, couple of times now. Um, but yeah, there’s a lot of, uh, opportunities out here to see minor league teams and you mentioned like the West coast league, which are the summer collegiate teams.

[00:08:35] Eric: So looking forward to checking some of those off the list this summer.

[00:08:39] Anna: Yeah, those are fun. Last summer, I did a ballpark tour in the Pacific Northwest. It ended in Alaska for the Midnight Sun game with, uh, It was the Japan ball Pacific Northwest tour and, um, Yeah, we hit a bunch of the ones you just mentioned. Tacoma, uh, we did the Walla Walla, Washington Sweets in, uh, the West Coast League there.

[00:09:00] Anna: And then, uh, Spokane and, Tri Cities. So, and then of course the, the Mariners game. So a little bit of everything. And I mean, you don’t necessarily think of Washington as being like a baseball haven, but it kind of really is.

[00:09:12] Eric: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. You know, growing up in, growing up in St. Louis, uh, you know, people eat, drink, and sleep. Cardinals baseball year round there. Uh, here the Mariners are certainly popular, um, more so in the summer. You don’t hear a lot of mariners talk, uh, in the winter, for example. Everything’s, uh, Seahawks out here in the, in the wintertime, but there’s certainly, um, appreciation for baseball and, uh, a lot of opportunities to, to see games out here.

[00:09:38] Anna: Yeah, definitely. So you mentioned, briefly that you were gonna. Be doing a book signing up in Everett. Um, you’re of course the author of two books. The first about the 82 Cardinals and then, one more recently about the, tragic bus crash of the Spokane Indians in the forties. And, I gotta ask how you got started with writing in the vein of baseball.

[00:10:05] Eric: Yeah. Um, I certainly was. More just a fan more than anything else for most of my life, but. It was actually at the start of the pandemic, uh, is when I started writing, uh, I was looking for something to do and we were all stuck inside and the baseball season was on pause. So I started writing, um, baseball biographies for the Society for American Baseball Research, uh, and kind of really enjoyed the process.

[00:10:29] Eric: I, kind of enjoyed the nostalgia of looking back at guys I grew up watching and I wrote bios on Willie McGee and Tom Herr and a few others. And, uh, soon I’d written thousands of words and that kind of evolved into writing a book on the 82 Cardinals, uh, which was a lot of fun. And then I learned about this other story, uh, the Spokane Indians and their, their bus accident, and, uh, kind of went down a rabbit hole of, uh, researching that as well.

[00:10:57] Eric: And that turned into my second book.

[00:10:59] Anna: Tell us a little bit about the 82 Cardinals. Why fixate on, on that year and on, on that group of guys?

[00:11:05] Eric: Yeah, the 80s Cardinals played a very entertaining style of baseball. It was built on speed and defense, which you don’t see nearly as much of that these days. So that’s kind of how I fell in love with baseball, watching Whitey Herzogs, running Redbirds, guys like Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, stealing two, even 300 bases.

[00:11:31] Eric: Uh, a year and playing this elite defense. so just the way the game has changed. It was, it was fun for me to go back and, and kind of compare and contrast how the game is today versus then. And, and, uh, look back at how unique the, uh, those Cardinals teams were and compared to these teams.

[00:11:52] Anna: What’s the biggest difference you think between, I mean, 40 plus years ago now, I mean, it’s, it’s crazy to think that, but yeah, it’s, uh, it’s been that long since the 80s, and, you know, what, what comes to mind is kind of the biggest difference between the way the game is played today versus then.

[00:12:09] Eric: I think the first thing that comes to mind is the, uh, the pitchers, uh, today, you know, it’s routinely, you know, everyone throws mid nineties to low one hundreds. And back then that was, you might have one or two guys on a staff throwing that hard. And so I think there were a lot more balls in play. Uh, and so it was more important to have a, a good defense.

[00:12:31] Eric: And also the ballparks were built differently back then. the original Bush Stadium, uh, it was 414 feet to center field and 383 to the gap. So even if you wanted to hit home runs out, it was a tall task in that ballpark. So, those are kind of the couple of things that stand out to me and is in terms of how much the game has changed

[00:12:50] Anna: I definitely think you know, there’s a there’s a lot more like swing and miss in today’s game and a lot of longer at bats and things of that nature So that’s one of the things I appreciate about the minor leagues is it seems to be that there’s there’s more contact and more Actual plays happening on the field.

[00:13:07] Anna: So it’s uh, maybe yeah, maybe a little nod back towards the the past there, but It’s, it’s really interesting to see how the game has progressed and changed and how different the players are even, you know, today.

[00:13:21] Eric: Definitely. Yeah. Even just how they’re built physically. I think you look at, you look back at videos from the eighties and the guys look, look pretty scrawny compared to how, uh, muscular and, you know, I think there’s a lot more focus on, uh, weight training and stuff these days.

[00:13:35] Anna: Yeah, definitely. I’ve told this story before, but the thing that struck me most about the documentary Facing Nolan, who, you know, Nolan Ryan, of course, one of the the best pitchers of all time. When he got hurt, he finally, for the first time, it seemed like, based on his interview, actually started weight training and was cracking jokes about how weight training, you know, he was going to be Mr.

[00:14:00] Anna: Olympia and Mr. Universe or whatever. And it was just like, wow, you know, like now you’ve got probably like sixth graders who are hitting the gym, uh, getting ready for the game. And here’s Nolan Ryan saying like, man, can you believe they’ve got me lifting weights?

[00:14:15] Eric: Yeah. I think in a lot of ways it was frowned upon back then. People thought that if you became too muscular, it would have a negative impact on, on your ability to play. So yeah, definitely different, um, train of thought back

[00:14:26] Anna: Yeah, for sure. For sure. so this horrific bus crash that happened in 1946, I heard this story for the first time last summer. Obviously when I was up in the Pacific Northwest, it just kind of came to conversation organically.

[00:14:42] Anna: But I imagine there are a lot of listeners who have not heard the story of how this. just real tragedy happened to the, the Spokane Indians And, um, can you give listeners a brief overview as to kind of, you know, what happened, that night,

[00:15:02] Eric: Yeah, so this was, June 24th of 1946, uh, Spokane Indians were, um, a Class B team in the Western International League, they were a group of, uh, a lot of World War II veterans. And a lot of really talented up and coming prospects. players who belonged to the San Diego Padres, Oakland Oaks, and New York Yankees.

[00:15:24] Eric: So some pretty talented, uh, farmhands from those teams. And the Spokane Indians were on their way to Bremerton, uh, to play the Blue Jackets and were driving across the state. And, uh, back then it was just a two lane road that connected Spokane to Seattle. And just over Snoqualmie Pass, which is about 50 miles east of Seattle, uh, the bus started to descend.

[00:15:49] Eric: And, uh, an oncoming vehicle across the center line and the bus, uh, driver kind of swerved and, um, broke through the, uh, the guard rail and the bus tumbled down a 300 foot ravine and the accident killed nine players. Uh, six others were injured and the, uh, the bus driver, um, also survived. Um, so it was a horrific crash and, you know, had, had devastating consequences for everyone involved.

[00:16:20] Eric: Uh, at the time,

[00:16:22] Anna: what made you kind of decide that you wanted to write a book about this topic? I mean, it’s, It’s one of those things that just kind of grips you when you hear about it for the first time because you think about a group of guys who survived wars, survived, you know, massive just challenges and everything and, uh, It just, it just kind of gets you to hear stories like that.

[00:16:45] Anna: But what about it gripped you to the point where you wanted to do more research and put together a book about it?

[00:16:51] Eric: you know, I, I had not heard of this accident myself until just a few years ago. And I consider myself a pretty avid baseball history nerd. Uh, I’ve done a lot of, uh, reading various books and studying the game, um, all my life. And to just hear of this accident just recently, yeah, really, uh, intrigued me.

[00:17:11] Eric: And I, I started as, as we all do, and we’re curious about something. I went to Google and just kind of started doing internet search. And Um, the more I dug into the story, I found there were so many fascinating layers to the story. Um, the individual, stories of the players involved, has far reaching, uh, impact.

[00:17:31] Eric: Um, for instance, Ben Garrity, one of the players who survived the crash, later had a long managerial career and managed Hank Aaron in the minor leagues. And Hank Aaron later called him the greatest manager he ever played for. and there were, uh, up and coming prospects like Vic Pachetti and Bob Patterson, who were some of the best young prospects on the West Coast who, uh, unfortunately perished in the accident and their stories have been lost over time.

[00:17:56] Eric: So for me, it was important to Uh, kind of bring their stories to light, kind of honor their memory and, and let their stories be known.

[00:18:05] Anna: Is there a particular individual that kind of stands out or maybe the story is, you know, I don’t want to say more important. That’s definitely not the right choice of words, but you know, just, more striking maybe is, is what I’m looking for.

[00:18:21] Eric: Sure. Yeah. I, Vic Pichetti, I think probably comes to mind, first and foremost. And I actually focused, um, a whole chapter in the book just about his pretty fascinating life. Vic was 18 years old. He was the youngest player on the team. He was born and raised in San Francisco to Italian immigrants and fell in love with the game.

[00:18:42] Eric: Just is like I did at a pretty early age. Uh, he grew up, uh, playing first base, uh, he was left handed and, at age 16 was chosen to participate in a All American game sponsored by Esquire Magazine at the Polo Grounds in New York. And there he was coached by Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell. Uh, he met, uh, Babe Ruth on that trip, he received a contract offer from Branch Rickey of the Dodgers.

[00:19:10] Eric: So even by that time, he was widely regarded as probably the best, um, teenage prospect on the West Coast and, um, was certain to have a future, uh, major league career. So his, um, story really stood out to me because I think his, uh, story has been lost over time. So being able to bring that to light, uh, with the help of, his family who invited me to their home, one of Vic’s nieces, invited me over and shared the family scrapbook, which contains Uh, letters and photos and mementos, so I was able to use those in the book and bring Vic’s story to life.

[00:19:45] Anna: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s great. Did you have a chance to meet with other families of, of guys that were involved in this?

[00:19:54] Eric: I did. Yeah. Um, Jack Lorkey, who’s another key figure in the book. I was able to, um, get in touch with, um, several of his family members, including, uh, his son and daughter. Um, I met with his daughter, who actually lives in Spokane, and she shared some, uh, great memories of her father and, and how the, bus accident affected his life.

[00:20:18] Anna: For listeners who don’t know, Jack Lorky was basically removed from the bus about 45 minutes before it crashed an hour before it crashed and Had earned the nickname lucky lorky well before that just for similar instances throughout his life where he was Lucky, I mean for lack of better words a plane crash similar situation and His son is actually now the GM for the Alaska gold panners up in 

[00:20:48] Eric: That’s right. Yeah, 

[00:20:49] Anna: yeah, I That was one of the components of that story that I heard last summer that that really kind of stuck with me But I got to imagine for a guy like that and his family that that’s not necessarily the best way to be remembered or you know I’m sure that that impacted him and the family

[00:21:10] Eric: no doubt. And, you know, Jack was never comfortable with the nickname Lucky. I think it was kind of a constant reminder of those, those painful memories. And he very seldom talked about his time in the war and, and rarely brought up his, um, Time with the Spokane Indians. He was very reluctant to, uh, give interviews about the topic.

[00:21:32] Eric: Uh, he did so once or twice, uh, once with Sports Illustrated and another time with CNN. But for the most part, he was very, uh, kept those memories close to the best.

[00:21:41] Anna: I think that makes sense I mean It’s probably similar to to kind of what you said the book allows you to kind of tell the story about these guys who never got a chance to to share their story or even really complete their story before it started. So I’m, I would imagine that, you know, being a survivor of something like that would be pretty difficult to deal with.

[00:22:02] Anna: But, um, I think it’s incredible that you’ve put this book together to kind of honor these guys and share their story with the world because there’s not a lot about them out there, honestly.

[00:22:14] Eric: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. For me, that that’s the most important part of this project is just bringing to light a story that’s been forgotten. And these are all, um, for the most part, men who had served the country in the military during the war. Um, you know, they were just, um, just coming back to some sense of normalcy and hoping to make a living playing the game when this accident happened and they were robbed of that chance.

[00:22:39] Eric: So, this is my small part of just telling their stories.

[00:22:43] Anna: Any big takeaway from the book that, uh, you know, maybe brought to mind something you weren’t really expecting to find, or just kind of made you think a little more than you were anticipating kind of going into, to the project.

[00:22:57] Eric: Well, that’s a big question because I could give a number of different ways with that. Um, you know, I think for me being able to read the personal letters of Vic Pichetti and also another player, uh, Bob Patterson, that really took me back to, Kind of get into their, their minds. Um, they shared, uh, letters with their family about kind of what was going through their minds as they were up and coming minor league players, uh, the stress of, you know, wanting to succeed and, uh, make a good living, you know, Vic and Vic Pichetti’s case.

[00:23:32] Eric: His father had died, um, a year before, so he was the so, uh, money earner for his mom and two younger siblings. So, even more than just loving baseball, he, he needed to make a living and support his family. So, kind of looking back in those kinds of simpler times in, in America and, and reading about, um, what was going through these players minds, um, was something I didn’t, didn’t expect to find and, but that was very impactful for me.

[00:23:59] Anna: I can imagine. So can’t wait to pick up a copy and get into it because it’s a, it’s a fascinating story. As I mentioned, it is a tragic story and it’s one that, that’s incredibly sad, but, it’s still. Fascinating and important. So, I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

[00:24:18] Eric: Thank you. And I appreciate that. And, um, yeah, the book actually just came out, uh, this week looking forward to getting the word out about it and, uh, sharing this important story.

[00:24:27] Anna: Yeah, awesome What comes to mind if I ask you what your favorite baseball memory is?

[00:24:33] Eric: Well, since I’ve been, I, my fandom goes back 40 years, so I have a lot of memories. Um, I think the one that always stands out, above all is the 2011 World Series,

[00:24:44] Anna: Hmm.

[00:24:45] Eric: which, um, I know you’re in, you’re in Arlington, so that might be, uh, Uh, sour, uh, subject, but, um, game six of the World Series that year, I was at Bush Stadium and, for all intents and purposes, it felt like the game was over, you know, the Rangers had the lead in the ninth inning and David Freese, of course, hit the, uh, The triple to, uh, tie the game.

[00:25:07] Eric: it was just unbelievable to be in the ballpark that day. And that was my, my best, certainly best in person baseball memory for sure.

[00:25:15] Anna: I mean, that’s a that’s an incredible one and to actually be there in person is just taking it to another level It was I had just moved back to Texas at that point and, did not particularly care what happened one way or another. So being able to watch that, which is kind of like objective, third party, uh, not much emotion invested, it was very exciting for me too.

[00:25:38] Anna: And of course now I feel less bad for my friends who just won a World Series last year. So, uh, but 

[00:25:47] Eric: yeah, I was kind of happy to happy for the Rangers after seeing the disappointment that they went through in 2011 to finally, uh, bring home a trophy. That was, that was

[00:25:56] Eric: cool. 

[00:25:57] Anna: definitely. What was that like? I mean, I got to imagine there were people leaving, you know, people who walked out of the ballpark and then, you know, maybe that’s one of the big regrets of their life.

[00:26:08] Eric: No doubt. There was actually, um, a guy sitting next to me who had flown from San Francisco Just for that game. Um, you know, I think most of us, uh, assume the game was was over in like the seventh eighth inning when the Rangers had a fairly commanding lead and, um, and they left the ballpark early that day. And I also vividly remember a Rangers fan in front of me with his cell phone out, with two outs and two strikes on David Freeze ready to record that, that last, that last out.

[00:26:40] Eric: Um, so yeah, there was, it was a roller coaster of emotions that day. Yeah.

[00:26:44] Anna: Yeah, definitely, I can imagine. Rumor is that the only reason Nelson Cruz was even on the field was because Washington wanted him to be able to celebrate on the field with the team and boy if that’s true, um, I mean, One of the things you’ll look back on the rest of your life wondering, you know, what if I had just made a different decision?

[00:27:06] Eric: Yeah, I think that, uh, also, um, makes me think of the 86 World Series when, when Bill Buckner was on the field, I think, uh, usually Buckner was, was pulled for a defensive replacement, but, you know, that particular day he was, he was on the field and the rest of his 

[00:27:22] Eric: history? 

[00:27:22] Anna: exactly. Exactly. I mean, all right, so game six 2011 World Series That’s pretty high up there in terms of a baseball bucket list. I mean to to see the improbable comeback and then of course the next day was really not even a competition but Is there something still at the top of the baseball bucket list that you want to check off, you know, a place you want to see, uh, something you want to see or someone you want to meet?

[00:27:54] Eric: Yeah, I can think of a couple of things that come to mind for that question. Um, the first is to go to Japan and, um, See Japanese baseball, uh, in person. that’s a trip my wife and I want to do just to see the country. And also, uh, as I mentioned earlier, we usually plan our travel around baseball games.

[00:28:10] Eric: So we’re going to make sure we go when the baseball season’s going on, just to kind of take in that environment. Cause I understand it’s quite a bit different than, um, than American baseball. Um, another bucket list item I have is I’d love to attend a fantasy camp with either the Cardinals or Mariners.

[00:28:28] Eric: And, you know, I certainly miss playing the game and I think it’d be cool just to kind of, uh, brush off those cleats and, and play with some of those former players and hopefully not pull a hamstring in the process, but that’s also a high on my bucket list.

[00:28:44] Anna: Yeah, I, I just played for the first time in like 15 years earlier this week at Friendly Baseball here in Texas, which is basically just a Sandlot style, you know, pickup game and it was so much fun. I was so horrifically bad. But it was so much fun and, uh, I was right there with you. Like my priority was just like, let’s not hurt ourselves.

[00:29:06] Anna: Let’s just be able to get back in the car and not have to drive to the urgent care. Um, so I, it was so much fun. It was just like a blast from the past. Just took me right back to, you know, being a kid and having a good time. So, and then you and your wife, you should look into, I’m actually going to be in Japan next year.

[00:29:27] Anna: That same company that, that did the Pacific Northwest tour. JapanBall. Obviously the, the namesake there, the, um, Keystone tour is, is NPB baseball. So, um, you should look into that because it’s a, it’s a really good group of people to, to kind of explore with. So,

[00:29:46] Eric: Okay. Very cool. I’ll definitely look that up.

[00:29:48] Anna: Yeah, maybe it would sync up and we could be on the same trip, which would be

[00:29:51] Eric: Yeah, that’d be awesome.

[00:29:54] Anna: Eric, I’ve so enjoyed this. Thank you so much for your time. Before I let you go, where do we send people if they want to kind of keep up with you or find out more about both of your books?

[00:30:05] Eric: Sure. Uh, I do have a website. It’s basically just my name, uh, eric vickrey, uh, eric Vick rey. com And I have some information about my books. Um, I have a number of in person events i’ll be doing this summer the book is available anywhere. You can find books online Um also through my publisher roman. com, which is r o w m a n dot com.

[00:30:30] Anna: Awesome. Well, I can’t thank you enough for making the time. I really enjoyed this and look forward to seeing what you’re up to next.

[00:30:37] Eric: All right, and I really appreciate having me on Thanks a lot

[00:30:39] Anna: And that will wrap up this episode of the baseball bucket list podcast special, thanks to Eric Vickery for joining us today and sharing those stories and memories. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, if you think you might like to be a guest on the show, head to baseball bucket list.com/podcast and fill out an application and absolutely love to hear from you. While you’re there and make sure to spend some time on the site, sign up for a free membership, build your own baseball bucket list and track your ballpark visits. 

[00:31:04] Anna: If you find yourself enjoying the show each week, please take a moment to rate and review it in the podcast app of your choice. It does so many good things for the algorithm and helping us find new listeners. And I would really appreciate it. That’s it. for this week. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you next episode.

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