One of the draws of baseball teams in the Indy Leagues across the country is that you never know what you may see. For the York Revolution you will see the team’s play by play man Darrell Henry catching one of the team’s top pitchers, former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Corey Thurman. Check out the video story below from Jason Bristol and give him a follow @JasonBristol
The Calgary Vipers who are part of the Independent North American League, the same league the Yuma Scorpions which are managed by Jose Canseco plays in, apparently fell short at gate this season. As a result they have shut down shop but not before writing bad checks to players and even groups of students who worked their concession stands as a fundraiser. In the story link below players as well as one of the fundraising children talk about the bounced check mess and the future of the franchise.
UPDATED: Money troubles for the Calgary Vipers — EdmontonJournal.com
The independent Atlantic League team the Lancaster Barnstormers has made a production out of two brothers Blake and Gavin Glass who ask Barnstormers players probing questions such as Who Looks At Themselves In The Mirror The Most and What Is The Best Pickup Line To Use On A Girl. The videos are pretty funny and the players, which include former big leaguers T.J. Beam, Fernando Seguignol, Jonah Bayliss, and Butch Hobson, as well as many minor league veterans you might recognize, are all great sports and offer some pretty humorous responses to the questions.
In addition to being awesome kid reporters, Blake Glass and his brother are also apparently awesome kids. Our friend Jason Bristol sent us the link to THIS STORY he did on Blake, the older of the two boys. It turns out that Blake has a condition called Alopecia areata which causes him not to have hair on any part of his body. He turned his autograph collecting passion into a fundraiser, donating a nickle out of his allowance for every autograph to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation through his project Autographs 4 Alopecia. In the first video below you can watch the story on the project and below that you can view some of his and Gavin’s awesome work as the Barnstormers Kid Reporters. You can visit Blake’s website Autographs4Alopecia.com and Like Autographs 4 Alopecia On Facebook. The two brothers are also holding a Silent Auction at tonight’s Barnstormers Game to raise money for the foundation. If you use twitter or facebook, be sure to retweet or share this story via the buttons above and help spread the word about these young men and their Autographs 4 Alopecia cause.
UPDATE: The brothers raised $726 during their auction.
Jason Bristol’s story on the Autographs 4 Alopecia
WHO SPENDS THE MOST TIME LOOKING AT THEMSELVES IN THE MIRROR
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PICK UP LINE?
WHAT WAS YOUR BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER?
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CARTOON GROWING UP>
WHAT PREGAME RITUALS DO YOU HAVE?
There is an APB in Avon Ohio for the head of Stomper the Bear. The Lake Erie Crushers’ mascot had it’s head stolen a couple of weeks ago and caused the beloved mascot to be absent from the Crushers final two home stands and the Frontier League playoffs. NewsNet5.com picks up the story below:
UPDATED: Stomper the Bear’s head has been returned according to the Crushers Facebook Page
The end of what may be one of baseball’s most journeyman careers may be soon approaching as 37 year old Bill Pulsipher may be close to hanging up the cleats. Back in 1995, Pulsipher was one of the biggest prospects in baseball when he made his major league debut as a 21 year old. What has followed is an injury plagued 17 year career filled with ups and down that has seen Pulsipher suit up for 24 different major league, minor league, and independent league teams. Pulsipher currently is on the brink of finishing an injury plagued season with the Atlantic League’s Somerset Patriots. In the story link below, Pulsipher talks about facing another off season shoulder surgery, his desire to coach, and trying to come to terms with what may be the end of his playing career.
Big decision looms for Patriots’ Pulsipher — MyCentralJersey.com
Six months ago, the odds of Steve Delabar becoming a big league pitcher may have been longer than the odds of him winning the Power Ball jackpot. Delabar’s five year minor league career in the San Diego Padres organization never saw him make it beyond the Low-A Fort Wayne Wizards. He was exiled to the Independent Leagues in 2008. In 2009 while pitching for the Brockton Rox he blew out his arm. With his baseball career seemingly over he went back to his native Kentucky and got a job as a substitute teacher and high school baseball assistant coach. What happens from there is the stuff movies are made of as this must read piece by the Seattle Times writer Geoff Baker describes the whirlwind six months that took Delabar from Kentucky high school fields to a Major League Baseball diamond with the Seattle Mariners. It’s the most incredible story since Jim Morris. An absolute must read.
Mariner Steve Delabar goes from classroom to majors — SeattleTimes.com
UPDATE: Here is an audio interview conducted with Delabar from ESPN 710 in Seattle in which he offers further insight into his incredible journey.
Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre will receive the Somerset Patriots Outstanding Community Service Award on September 15th at the team’s final home game. Torre’s influence had a large role in shaping the Patriots franchise which is owned by his friend Steve Kalafer. In the story, Kalafer talks about his relationship with Torre, the direction he was given as a young owner, and honoring Torre for his work against domestic violence.
Torre to attend Pats’ regular-season finale — MyCentralJersey.com
New York Mets great Howard Johnson will come out of retirement at age 50 and play two games this weekend for the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League. Johnson will join his son Glen Johnson on the Boulders when they host the Newark Bears on Sunday and Monday. It will be Johnson’s first games in professional baseball since retiring from baseball as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1995. He had been on the Mets staff from 2007-2010 before being let go as the team’s hitting coach prior to the 2011 season. For more about Johnson’s return to baseball check out the story link below.
Former New York Mets World Series Champion, and son, to join Rockland — RocklandBoulders.com
The Atlantic League has arguably the highest quality of on field product of any independent league in the country with many former major leaguers suiting up across the league. Apparently that does not trickle down to the security staffs, especially in Long Island where this fan was able to hop onto the field during a recent Long Island Ducks game, slide into second, and then leave the field without any security in site. Finally towards the end of the clip you can see a couple of event staffers jogging into the right field corner where the fan left the field.
Back in the mid 1990’s Rick Forney was a promising young arm in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He burst onto the scene as a 19 year old going 7-0 with a 2.19ERA on a GCL Orioles. Two years later he went 14-8 with a 2.78ERA for the High-A Frederick Keys. However after two seasons with the Double-A Bowie Baysox that resulted in an ERA near five and a brief stop in Triple-A, Forney’s big league dreams fizzled at age 23. From there he pitched in various independent leagues for the next five seasons before retiring from baseball at age 28 while a member of the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Forney is now in his 6th season as the manager of the Goldeyes where he recently received the American Association Manager of the Year Award. The story below gives a brief look at Forney’s managerial career and the big crowds he is helping draw to Winnipeg.
Forney named top skipper — WinnipegFreePress.com