Last month, I had the chance to talk to Nationals reliever Drew Storen at the Bethesda Big Train Holiday Auction. I have actually met him before, but this was the first chance I got to interview him. Drew was very friendly and answered a lot of my questions. He also signed autographs and talked with other fans. We talked about his expectations for the 2014 season, a little bit about Batman, and then I showed him something he had never seen before—an error in his 2013 Topps baseball card. Enjoy this Matt’s Bats Chat with Drew Storen!
Drew Storen: We have high expectations. It’s a matter of building and getting better every year. We learned a lot in the last two years and we will build off of that and hopefully get ourselves another Division title.
MB: Are you looking forward to Matt Williams as the manager?
DS: Yeah, no doubt. I’ve heard great things about him, great baseball guy. You know, I think our coaching staff sticking around too is also going to be a big help.
MB: How do you feel about the addition of Instant Replay next year?
DS: I think it’s going to be interesting to see because it’s something that baseball hasn’t done a whole lot of. As long as they can keep the pace of the game up and still get the calls right I think everyone will be happy.
MB: What are you doing during the winter months and how are you getting ready for 2014?
DS: I’m kind of relaxing there at first for a couple of weeks and golfing a lot. Then I’m going to work in some workouts and start getting prepped up until February rolls around.
MB: Coming in to a game in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning is stressful. Who do you hate pitching to?
DS: I don’t like any hitters. I would say everybody, how about that?
MB: I know you are a Batman fan, right?
DS: Oh, yeah!
MB: How did you feel about the day Batkid had around San Francisco?
DS: I am very jealous of the BatKid. I would definitely enjoy doing that one day.
MB: Tell me about your “Batmobile.”
DS: My Batmobile is my everyday effort to try and do that. It’s a lot of fun. I’m driving it a little bit more in the offseason.
[Click below to hear audio]
MB: Ok, I have something to show you. I don’t know if you’ve seen it before, but I have your baseball card from 2013 Nationals but there’s a little error on the card.
MS: It says the sentence “He tuned up with a save in Game 1 of the NLDS and a win in Game 3.” But the Nationals lost Game 3 8-0.
DS: Oh, I got the win in Game 4. Man, I did not know that! See you’re teaching me things. I’ve never seen that before. Did they mess up anything else?
[Remember, Game 4 was the epic game that Jayson Werth walked off in the bottom of the 9th on the 13th pitch of the at-bat versus Lance Lynn. Game 3 was the day game-- the first post-season home game in Washington in 79 years. The Nats were shut out 8-0, but were closest to a run on an Ian Desmond double.]
MB: No, that’s the only thing they messed up.
DS: I think you need to call them, right?
I spoke a little more with Drew, but that’s all of the interview I recorded for you. I also got to sit with him for a while and talk informally. Near the end of the event, I asked if he would follow me on Twitter, and…
I really enjoyed getting to meet Drew Storen, one of the Nationals’ most valuable bullpen arms and maybe one of the best back-end of the bullpen guys in all of Major League Baseball.
Thanks for reading. Even though I have been so lucky to meet a bunch of Nationals players and talk with them a few questions, this is the first long interview I’ve done with a Nationals player. (I have also interviewed other sports stars like players from the Redskins and even Justin Verlander). I’d love to do more interviews. My wish list from the Nats is Ian Desmond, Denard Span (both of who, I know, read this blog!) Bryce Harper, Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, and Stephen Strasburg. If you know of any baseball players, journalists, authors or other people who have interesting stories I could talk to, contact me through this link. Thanks!
Are you wondering what to get your baseball-mad son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, cousin, nephew, or niece (is that everyone?) for the holidays? Well, here are a few suggestions. I’m sharing some of my favorite baseball-related toys, books and other things. You’ll get a taste of what kids my age are into!
TOYS & GAMES
This is a very simple imagination game, but my brother and I spend hours playing it. All Baseball Guys is is a set of plastic baseball player action figures, a cloth field, and a scoreboard. You can imagine any game scenario you want and move the players around the field. The set comes with blue and red teams and I like to pretend the red team is the Nats. This game is good for kids aged 6 and older because the action figures might be too little for younger kids. But little kids might like it because there are no rules. It’s like those little green Army men, but they’re baseball players.
Strat-O-Matic is a game that’s been around forever! It is a board game where you simulate baseball games by rolling dice and referring to cards with players’ actual stats. It is as close to real-life accurate simulation as anything. You use player cards that represent actual player stats from different teams – you can even play teams from past years (I’m waiting to get the team pack from the 1953 Dodgers!). This game is good for older kids (ages 8 and up) – it has very small pieces and you also have to know and understand baseball strategy. Adults who play Fantasy Sports would really like this game too! You can play Basic, Advanced, or Super Advanced, where you can factor in weather conditions, home field advantage, etc. It is a classic!
This is my favorite baseball game app for iPhone and iPad! You pick a team (I always play as the Nats) and you get to manage the team like real GM. You also get to play games where you hit, pitch, and change your players. You get rewarded with virtual player cards along the way. The best news: it’s FREE!
I really like to read, especially sports fiction. Here is a list of my favorite kids’ book authors.
Matt Christopher is a sports writer who writes realistic fiction on all sports, including baseball. He also does player biographies. My favorite Matt Christopher book is Stealing Home, which is about a kid who plays baseball who’s family hosts a foreign exchange student from Nicaragua. It’s a really funny book.
Dan Gutman writes lots of different kids books. He writes the Baseball Card Adventures series, where a a 13-year old boy is able to travel through time by touching baseball cards from different eras. My favorite Dan Gutman book is Babe and Me. In that book, the main character travels through time to Chicago 1932 to see if Babe Ruth really called that famous shot.
David A. Kelly is a baseball fiction writer who writes the Ballpark Mysteries series, a series about 2 kids about my age who try to stop thieves from taking items at baseball stadiums. My favorite David A Kelly book is the most recent one, The San Francisco Splash .
Washington Post writer Fred Bowen writes books about all sports, but his baseball books are really good. I like them because after he tells his story, there’s a chapter about something in real life that inspired the book. For example, in Perfect Game , there’s a chapter on Special Olympics Unified Sports (SOUS), a program for kids who want to do sports, but have intellectual disabilities. In the fiction part, the main character goes to a SOUS team and ends up helping a guy named Kevin.
Former Orioles Gold Glover, Silver Slugger, All-Star and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. is now an author, writing awesome books for kids. They are cool because the plot of every book is about life, but it has a twist because it is baseball related. My favorite Cal Ripken book is Wild Pitch. It is an inspiring story about a boy who meets another boy with only one arm and they become best friends.
Jon Hart writes about his crazy sports-related adventures in Man Versus Ball. I’m not going to say too much about this book now because I will have a lot more to say about it later. But if you like to read about crazy stunts and just plain weird sports things that this guy has done, you will like this book.
Fatheads are awesome wall decals of sports stars. They’re cool because you can decorate your room with pictures of your favorite players. I love them and have a whole bunch of Nats players in my room. They are also removable. Check out this one of Jayson Werth, but they come in all your favorite Nationals players (or other teams too).
The Nationals Archive Shirt Shop: If you are a Nats fan and have ever been on the internet, you know that the Archivists at the Nationals Archive make the best jokes. They also have a t-shirt shop online with cool Nats-related logos. Even some of the players have been spotted wearing them. Some of my favorites are Run Until They Tag You (#RUTTY) (Bryce Harper), #SPANNING (Denard Span), and Steak, Taters, America (Ian Desmond).
You can get almost anything major league baseball related at MLB.com Shop. I recommend jerseys, hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts and other things for kids.
I hope you enjoy the items I recommend to you. If you buy any of them, let me know how they like it! I put in links to where you can buy these items on Amazon.com or other websites– some things like Nats Archive you have to buy from them, but the toys and books you can buy lots of places. I hope you have a happy holiday and new year. May 2014 be a World Series winning year!
The Nationals announce they have acquired starting pitcher Doug Fister from Detroit in exchange for utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi, pitcher Ian Krol, and minor league pitching prospect Robbie Ray. Some may think the 3-for-1 trade is lopsided in Detroit’s favor, but I don’t think that is true. Yes, Lombo can virtually play anywhere, Krol was pretty good last year as a call-up, and Ray was phenomenal in Single-A Potomac. But Fister is better than all 3 put together and fills a hole with the 4th pitcher in the rotation. The Nationals now have the best pitching rotation in the major leagues.
The Nats were looking to fill out their starting rotation. Dan Haren’s contract expired after the 2013 season, and due to his struggles nobody really thought he would come back. Haren just signed with the Dodgers, and it looked like some combo of Detwiler, Jordan and Roark would be the back end of the Nats starting 5. Now, we have Stras, Gio, J-Zimm, Fister, and a fifth (probably Detwiler or Roark).
Fister went 14-9 in 2013 with the Tigers. Doug has years of experience; he signed with Detroit from the Mariners in 2011. He’s also played in the postseason. He gets a lot of ground ball outs.
I have to say, the only way the Tigers could have made the deal better for the Nat would’ve been to throw in a Ramon Santiago (as a utility infielder) or Hernan Perez (back-up catcher) to fill the Nats’ other holes.
I may be most sad to see Lombo go. The good news for him is that he is moving from one contending team to another. He was from the DC area and probably loved playing for his home team.
Also, most people may not have heard of Robbie Ray. He’s now the third best prospect for the Tigers. I actually voted for Robbie Ray in third place as the Minor League top performer of 2013 in the DC-IBWA ballot.
I was expecting the Nats to try to get David Price or a Max Scherzer this offseason, but Fister will bring quality innings to the staff. Doug, good luck to your stint with the Nats. I hope to see you pitch, and I think you’ll help us get THAT TROPHY HERE TO DC!!!!!
Happy Thanksgiving! As Turkey Day is here, let’s look back at the Top 10 Turkeys of the 2013 MLB Season– the goofy plays, the dumb things, and foolish mistakes. These guys are all professionals, and everyone makes mistakes, so I am not meaning to insult anyone. But sometimes you just kind of look like a turkey!
10: The Butt Slide (Jonathan Villar)
When Astros rookie Jonathan Villar came sliding into 2nd base, he came up with a face-full of Brandon Phillips’ butt. Watch where you’re going, you turkey!
9: Intentional Plunking (Atlanta Braves)
The rivalry between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves heated up this season. In Atlanta, they think Bryce Harper is arrogant, so a few times this year they intentionally plunked him. That’s not right. Especially after Harper’s friend, 13-year old cancer patient Gavin Rupp, passed. The next homer Bryce hit was for him, and his trot around the bases was like 3 seconds slower. And that caused Julio Teheran to hit Bryce in his next at bat. The intentional plunking continued on the next road trip to Atlanta. Eventually Stephen Strasburg hit Justin Upton and threw behind Andrelton Simmons, which caused him to get ejected. It all goes around like a web. Intentionally hitting batters is unacceptable, and the Braves showed fans just how much it made them look like turkeys.
8: The Pitching Change (Mike Scioscia)
Astros skipper Bo Porter put in reliever Wesley Wright, but before Wesley threw a pitch, Porter came sprinting out of the dugout, wanting to send Wright back to the bullpen and bring in Hector Ambriz. Angels manager Scioscia knew that MLB rule 3.05(b) says you can’t do that. But believe it or not, the umps voted against Anaheim and let Ambriz pitch. The umps are the turkeys in this one.
7: The First Pitch (Carly Rae Jepsen)
Canadian pop music sensation Carly Rae Jepsen threw a bouncer for her ceremonial first pitch that only went about 6 feet. EPIC FAIL! Call me turkey.
6: The 1-hitter (Yu Darvish, Yusmeiro Petit, and Michael Wacha)
9th inning, 2 outs, no one on, BAM! Marwin Gonzalez, Eric Chavez, and Ryan Zimmerman broke up no-hitters. It is a big no-no to give up a no-no with 2 outs in the ninth. Petit actually had 2 STRIKES when Chavez got his hit. You can’t really blame the the pitchers, but they probably felt like a turkey when they come so close to a historic game but lost it with 2 outs in the 9th.
5: The Foul-Ball Bat Flip (Choi Jun-Seok)
On Sep. 23, Korean player Choi Jun-Seok of the Doosan Bears thought he got all of a pitch, so he flipped his bat and raised his arms in triumph and admired his…foul ball. I’m sorry that in the video, the only word you’ll understand is “foul.” How do you say “turkey” in Korean?
4: The Brawl (Carlos Quentin)
Early this season, Carlos Quentin got plunked in the arm facing Zack Greinke. Normally, you take your free base and get it over with. But Quentin charged the mound, breaking Zack Greinke’s collarbone. Quentin was fined and suspended, but Greinke’s departure to the DL led the high-hoped Dodgers downhill for most of the early season. Quentin acted like a big turkey.
3: The Hidden Ball Trick (Matt Carpenter)
Down the stretch, the Colorado Rockies were playing the St. Louis Cardinals. Roy Oswalt threw over to Todd Helton to keep Matt Carpenter close. Helton faked the throw back to the pitcher and tagged Carpenter out when he stepped off the bag. You fell for the old hidden ball trick, you turkey!
2: Stealing First When You’re Already on Second (Jean Segura)
The Brewers short stop Jean Segura found himself in a weird situation. He took first, stole second base, and attempted to steal 3rd. But the trail runner, Ryan Braun, moved up to second when Segura tried to retreat. Sharing second base with Braun, the umps called the trail runner out, and Segura and ran back to first. So Segura, who was already on second, basically stole first. And on the next pitch, he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning. Now that was some turkey baserunning!
AND THE NUMBER ONE TURKEY OF THE 2013 MLB SEASON
1: Policing the Unwritten Rules (Brian McCann)
Braves catcher Brian McCann made himself the official policeman for baseball’s unwritten rules. He ended up looking like the biggest turkey of 2013. He did not let Carlos Gomez and Jose Fernandez step on home plate because they turned and watched the ball go for a few seconds (it was Jose Fernandez’s first major league dinger!). Every time it happened, a brawl was started. Thankfully, McCann was traded away to the Yankees. Something tells me that he’ll fit in very well with a lot of Yankee fans Enjoy harassing players of the AL now, you turkey!
Thanks for reading. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
Leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter if there are other turkey plays from the 2013 season that I missed.
On Sunday, November 17, I attended the Big Train Holiday Auction in Bethesda, Maryland. The Big Train is a collegiate summer baseball team that is part of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. The team is named after Washington Senators pitcher Walter “The Big Train” Johnson, who lived Bethesda after he played for the Senators. They play at Shirley Povich Field in Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda, which is named after the famous Washington Post sportswriter.
The auction was at the DoubleTree Hotel, and many baseball fans from all over the DC area were there. There were also two very special guests: Nationals pitcher Drew Storen and Bethesda native Tim Kurkjian from ESPN. Both Drew and Tim spent the whole night talking with guests and signing autographs.
This was Drew Storen’s first time attending a Big Train event, but he is already a fan. He said, “it’s a great organization. Anytime you can come out and help build some local fields and support youth baseball in the area. It’s a great event, its my first time and already having a lot of fun.”
Tim Kurkjian is a long-time supporter of the Big Train. “I went to Walter Johnson High School. I played all of my baseball games growing up at Cabin John Regional Park, where the Big Train is located. Shirley Povich was a friend of mine, and as a sportswriter I used to read him growing up. All of this suggests that I should follow the Big Train because this is where I grew up and it’s very close to me.”
I was able to talk to Drew and Tim, and I will feature our full interviews in future Matt’s Bats Chats during the offseason.
There was a lot of food and music and games. Tim Kurkjian answered baseball questions from the audience. The highlight was the auction. My family bid on a lot of items, but the only things we won included a set of media guides Nats 2005 and 2012 seasons, the Pirates 2008 season, and the Phillies 2009 season. It’s a little weird but I love the media guides and read them and memorize all the facts. We also won some restaurant gift certificates. The bigger winners included Ryan Sullivan of NatsGM and Red Porch Report, who won an autographed Bryce Harper jersey.
My friend Lisa, who is @In2Nats on Twitter, got a whole bunch of items, including a jersey signed by Drew Storen. Actually, she got a Youth XL (Hey, that fits me!) replica jersey, but Drew Storen promised to send her a game-used one. Another lady I know, Mary, won an Wilson Ramos autographed bat.
Big Train’s general manager, Adam Dantus, was very happy with the event. “The event is going great. We have a great turnout,” he said. “Drew Storen is awesome. He’s interacting with the fans. We’re raising a lot of money for building or rebuilding youth ball fields.”
For more information about the Bethesda Big Train, including the summer baseball league, their special events, summer camps and celebrity camps, go to www.bigtrain.org.
On Wednesday, November 6, I attended the first annual Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. I was invited as a guest of Rear Admiral Michael Jabaley. This year’s recipients were Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees; Justin Verlander, AL MVP, All-Star and Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Detroit Tigers; and Chief Petty Officer Garth Sinclair of the U.S. Navy. It was so exciting to be there.
The Act of Valor Award honors Bob Feller, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Cleveland Indians from 1936 to 1956. Feller threw no-hitters in 3 different years, and 12 one-hitters throughout his career. “Rapid Robert” Feller was also called “The Heater from Van Meter” after his hometown of Van Meter, Iowa because he threw some of the fastest fastballs in baseball history. In a game against the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium, military equipment tracked his pitch at 107.6 miles per hour. He pitched 3,287 innings, threw 44 shutouts, and rang up 2,581 strike outs in his career.
But Feller wasn’t only a baseball player. He was also a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. He interrupted his baseball career to serve as a gun captain on the U.S.S. Alabama during World War II. Feller was the first American professional athlete to enlist in the military after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He enrolled just 2 days after the attack. His service inspired other pro baseball players like Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Hank Greenberg to serve their country.
The Act of Valor Award is given out to three people who share the characteristics of Bob Feller: an active MLB player, a member of the Navy, and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Award winners are selected because they are dedicated to serving our country and share the values and integrity of Bob Feller. The award was created by Peter Fertig, author of the children’s book “The Deal Is On Strike Three” about what happened after the Mighty Casey struck out. Feller wrote the introduction to the book, and Fertig wanted to do a favor back to honor his career and service.
Fertig was present for the award ceremony along with other VIP guests such as Mrs. Anne Feller, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, retired four star admiral Hank Chiles, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens, who is the most senior enlisted member of the Navy.
The funny thing is, although the award is honoring Tigers and Yankees players, all of the presenters seemed to be fans of other teams! There were lots of Indians fans in the house, like Mr. Feller’s wife, two sons and grandson, Sen. Brown, and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Indians, Bob DiBiasio. Admiral Jabaley is a Nationals fan, which is obvious by his Twitter name @NavyNatsFan. And Secretary Mabus is a Red Sox fan, even though he is from Mississippi (his favorite player is Big Papi David Ortiz!). There were also Phillies and Padres fans in the house.
Yogi Berra is one of the greatest catchers in the history of baseball. He is a 15-time All Star, winner of 10 World Series championships, and a three-time league MVP. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Berra saw combat during the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII. He attended boot camp in Maryland. He received his award on October 19 at the Yogi Berra Museum in Little Falls, NJ at the campus of Montclair University because was unable to travel to Washington to receive his award. David Kaplan, executive director of the Yogi Berra Museum, received the award on his behalf.
Justin Verlander is in his seventh season as a Major Leaguer and has already won the AL Rookie of the Year, MVP, Cy Young award, and is a four-time All-Star. He has pitched two no-hitters and has made two World Series appearances with the Detroit Tigers. Verlander received the award because he started Verlander’s Victory for Veterans, which hosts wounded warriors and their families to a luxury suite at Comerica Park in Detroit. He has also donated $1 million of his own money to the Wins for Warriors initiative, which is devoted to supporting the mental health of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in Detroit and his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
He was humbled and surprised when he was notified that he was receiving the award. “I don’t do what I do for the veterans to get recognition, but when they contacted me and notified me that I was the recipient of the inaugural Bob Feller Act of Valor Award it was a pretty humbling experience and I’m glad to be able to be a part of it,” Verlander told me. Justin Verlander is passionate about veterans because they made it possible for him to play America’s sport. When accepting his award, he said he met Bob Feller a few years ago and thought it is “such an honor to have my name linked with his.”
Chief Petty Officer Garth Sinclair has been in the US Navy since 1986. He is married with three kids. He is currently serving his country as a diving instructor in San Diego, where he is a big San Diego Padres fan. Chief Sinclair has spent 21 years coaching kids’ sports teams and has devoted thousands of hours to community service. He is currently getting a degree at George Washington University, where he has a perfect 4.0 GPA. Chief Sinclair told me that he felt “very honored and humbled to be considered among the greats that received the award and also with Bob Feller who the award is based on.” When he was nominated last spring for the award, he said, he had no idea how big a deal it would be. He also thanked his shipmates for their support.
Other award nominees included Nick Swisher of the Cleveland Indians, Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, Justin Morneau, formerly of the Minnesota Twins but now playing for the Pirates, and Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler.
Admiral Jabaley led the award ceremony. I learned from Secretary Mabus that Admiral Jabaley is one of the heroes of the Navy Yard shooting in DC this year. I asked Admiral Jabaley what life lessons the game of baseball can teach:
Baseball teaches the life lessons of perseverance and hard work; they can improve your ability, and it will make a difference in your life if you see that by working really hard at something, you can succeed. The other thing that baseball teaches you is that it’s OK to fail at times. Even the best hitters only get a hit 3 out of every 10 times they go to bat. And so they fail 7 out of every 10 times. But sometimes they fail in a very good way, whether it’s a sacrifice fly, a sacrifice bunt, advancing a runner from second to third with a groundout to the right side of the field – those at-bats are still recorded as an out, but they help your team. So baseball teaches you that hard work can make you succeed, but also, that no one ever succeeds 100% of the time.
You could tell there were a lot of people at the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award ceremony on Wednesday night who were thinking about the values of hard work and sacrifice. As Mr. Feller’s wife said, “Bob would be so proud to be here today.”
It was so fun being at the Act of Valor Award ceremony to get to meet meet national leaders and heroes, a famous fireballer, and even some of the people who I talk to on Twitter but have never met. Thank you to Bob Feller and all members of the military for their service to America. Thanks to Justin Verlander for his charities that recognize and help veterans. I appreciate that I was able to interview him and get an autograph. I’m also lucky that Secretary Mabus gave me a challenge coin. I am glad I got to meet Chief Sinclair and was happy that all of his family could surprise him by being at the awards event. I was so happy to be invited to this great event, and I hope to get a chance to attend next year.
As today is Veterans Day 2013, I dedicate this post to the service men and women who risked their lives and made personal sacrifices. Thank you for your generosity to the country. Learn more about the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award at http://www.actofvaloraward.org/
As many of you know, my grandpa died of lung cancer in 2008. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking my readers to volunteer to walk in the Breathe Deep DC event by LUNGevity, or to donate money or spread awareness about lung cancer. I was blown away about how much money I raised from friends, family and people who read my blog– over $11,000!
The event took place on Sunday, November 3, 2013. The people from Breathe Deep people thanked me in a big way.
The night before the event, I wrote these paragraphs that I’d like to share it with you guys:
A few years ago, when I was only 4, my grandfather was going through a case of lung cancer. I was 4, you know, making a mess at dinner by throwing spaghetti or watching annoying cartoons over and over again. I never realized my grandfather, who was only 58 years old, was very, very ill. I didn’t understand what happened when he died. It was the first big loss of my life.
He was a doctor who always cared about others and treated them to get better when they were sick. My younger brother was with him for about a year, but my sister never met G-Pa. Today, I am a 4th grade student and a sportswriter, but my G-Pa will never know that. My brother is a big kid now and the best shortstop on the diamond, but he’ll never know that either. My sister is the most beautiful girl and named after him, but he’ll never know that, too. But I know, from the heavens above me, he’s smiling on us, and knowing that I’ll always remember him.
His patients, his colleagues, his friends and his family will always remember him. And he knows I will too. That’s why I raised over $11,000.00 this year from friends, family, and people who read my blog and Twitter to help LUNGevity take a huge lunge over lung cancer.
It was a beautiful day to walk around the National Mall. Here are some photos!
The highlight of the day is when Doug Kammerer from NBC4 called me on stage in front of 1,500 people and presented me with a bat signed by Jayson Werth that was donated by the Nationals.
Thanks to the people who came out and joined “Team Matt’s Bats”– Caroline, Susan, Gail, Lauren, Adam, Amy, Lisa, Michele, Tracy, Tolu, Dylan, Andy, and Holden.
Finally, does this one look familiar to anyone?
Thank you to everyone who supported me in my fundraising. I appreciate the wonderful people who gave money or came out to walk.
The Red Sox celebrated their 2013 World Series victory on Saturday with parade through Boston. Two MattsBats.com readers shared some of their amazing photos. Thank you to Ben Thomas (@bdthomas) and Hillary Berman (@hillaryberman) for taking these pics. Check them out and feel like you’re watching the parade!
I think I labeled all these bearded Red Sox players correctly, but it’s really hard to figure out who they all are. If I got one wrong, leave a comment.
To give you a sense of how historic that would be:
- The starting pitcher for the Red Sox in Games 1 and 4 of the 1918 World Series was….BABE RUTH!
- The team the Red Sox was playing in the 1918 World Series was the Chicago Cubs. The CUBS! It was a match-up of two of the most “cursed” teams in baseball. The Sox beat the Cubs in six games.
- After they traded away Babe Ruth, the Red Sox wouldn’t win another championship for 86 years!
- That’s not as bad as the Cubs, who haven’t won a Series since 1908! Over 100 years!
- The next World Series played in 1919 would go down in history as the famous “Black Sox” “fix” game by the White Sox.
- When the Sox won in Fenway Park, which is now the oldest ballpark in baseball, it was only 6 years old!
- And if you think Fenway Park was the new ballpark, Wrigley Field was only 4 years old! And it wasn’t even called Wrigley Field. It was called Weeghman Park. And the Cubs only moved in 2 years earlier.
I am hoping for a historic win for Boston!
Game 3 of the 2013 World Series. Tie game with runners on second and third, one out. St. Louis, in the bottom of the 9th, is hoping for a win. Jon Jay is at the plate and here’s Uehara on the hill.
Jay cracks it up the middle to Pedroia, who’s playing in. Pedroia fires home to nab Molina at the plate. He’s out! Two outs.
Oh, but wait! Saltalamacchia fires down the line to Middlebrooks at third to gun down Craig who is trying to advance to third. The throw… IS OFF-TARGET and gets past the outstretched glove of Will Middlebrooks! But left fielder Daniel Nava is backing up the throw. Craig stumbles over Middlebrooks and runs towards the plate as fast as he can on his injured foot. Nava fires it home, in plenty of time, and Salty puts the tag on Craig. The home plate umpire Dana DeMuth raises his arms and wipes them from side to side signaling Craig is safe.
Third base umpire Jim Joyce called “Interference” on Middlebrooks after he dove for the offline throw, and Craig was automatically awarded home when he tripped over Middlebrooks’ body!
The Cardinals win Game 3 of the World Series by a score of 5-4 in a walk-off interference call on what should’ve been a game-saving 4-2-5-7-2 double play.
That was a crazy play! Two plays at the plate and two runners clearly out by a mile, but the St. Louis Cardinals walk off the field in a victory.
Is anyone really surprised by this? Is anyone really surprised that the St. Louis Cardinals somehow won the game on this bizarre kind of play? This happens all the time to the Cardinals! They win games based on the craziest flukes.
THE RALLY SQUIRREL
In the 2011 NLDS, Skip Schumaker had a 1-1 count against Roy Oswalt when a squirrel ran across the plate. The squirrel showed good luck to the Cards, as they won the World Series.
DAVID FREESE HOMER IN GAME 6 OF THE 2011 WS, 2 OUTS, 2 STRIKES
The Cardinals were tied with the Rangers 9-9, and out of nowhere Third Baseman David Freese hit a homer that cleared 400 feet in center. It went to a game 7, and the Cardinals won that game too thanks to Freese.
GAME 5 OF THE 2012 NLDS
I can’t… really!
THE INFIELD FLY RULE
The baseball gods struck again on a well-into-the-outfield popup, that Left Field umpire Sam Hollbrook called an out on supposedly the “outfield fly rule.”
THE OBSTRUCTION CALL
The Cardinals struck again against the Red Sox when Will Middlebrooks was called for obstruction.
I’m not saying that it was a good call or a bad call, and I’m not saying the Cardinals stink. The umpires used their best judgment to try to get it right. And the Cardinals are a good team. They won their Division this year against really competitive teams, the Pirates and the Reds. They beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. They’re playing tough against the Red Sox in this World Series. They have good talent on their team.
It’s just that they are always so stinking lucky.
It must be great to be a Cardinals fan. Somehow– somehow!– your team wins on incredible, unbelievable, this-just-doesn’t-happen kind of fluke plays. It happens over and over again. Which is why it is probably fun to be a Cardinals fan.
But if you’re not a Cardinals fan (and I’m not), then these unbelievable wins are just devastatingly frustrating. It’s annoying to see this team always win based on crazy good luck.
It looks like this October, a few days before Halloween, the Cardinals have made another deal with the devil.