The Eagle, The Colonel and Venice High School Baseball…..

This story is simply too good not to tell and it is appropriate that it should be my first on field baseball story of the year.


The Insignia for a “Full Bird” US Army Colonel.

Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am affiliated with the Venice High School Baseball program. I am fortunate enough to announce their games and to still have enough left, in a soon to be sixty year old arm, to throw a little BP.

This story begins in 1967 when a gentleman by the name of Colonel Jack Dundas retired to the lovely Florida Gulf Coast city of Venice Florida. The Colonel saw combat in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. He earned seven, count em, seven Purple Hearts including three at the pivotal Battle of the Bulge, two in Korea and two in Vietnam.

As a Florida retiree, “Jack” became a great fan and supporter of Venice High School athletics. He grew a special affinity for the baseball team and was a regular not only at their games but practices, and I mean every practice. In the 12 years in which we shared the same affinity I can count on one hand the times he was absent from a practice.

In the Fall of 2011 we lost the Colonel and the Venice High Baseball team dedicated their 2012 season to him. It was a storybook year which ended with the Indians capturing their second State Championship in five years.

Venice High School, 2012 Florida 7A State Champions

Before the season began, the team honored the Colonel by marking his seat in the bleachers.

Jacks Plaque

Well on the day this plaque was installed, I received a call from friend and VHS’ Coach “K”. He said, “Ray I have a story to tell you”. He proceeded to tell me that as the installation of the plaque was coming to an end, a Bald Eagle showed up and circled the field, perched a bit on the left field light tower and after lingering for about 10 minutes or so moved on.

The Bald Eagle is a resident of Florida and it is always a treat to catch the elusive glimpse of this magnificent creature.

Last Monday, the Venice High School baseball team embarked on their State Championship defense as day one of tryouts for the 2013 squad took place. The new boys arrived at the field filled with all the tension and excitement of young men trying to take their game to the next level.  

The players stretched, threw and were ready to go. Head Coach Craig Faulkner made his way to the center of the diamond and called the players to the middle of the infield. I was standing behind the Coach when Coach “K” caught my attention, “Hey Ray” he said, “the Colonel just showed up”. My eyes scanned the sky as I watched the Florida Bald Eagle circling in the outfield. He soared and circled about a half-dozen times and then perched on the left field light tower. He sat and observed until Coach Faulkner finished his welcome and the players made their way to their positions. Satisfied that the kids were in good hands, he spread his wings, gave flight, circled a couple of times and was on his way.


Thanks for stopping by Colonel, it’s comforting to know you are always close by!

This past week, two young writers I know jumped into the cyber world of the blog. They are young, fresh and bring a perspective to all sports which I know any sports fan will enjoy. I invite you to check them out and pass on their links. Actually, I would like to have a buck for each sports “discussion” I have had with these young men.

Welcome aboard Marcus and “Boom”.

About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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2 Responses to The Eagle, The Colonel and Venice High School Baseball…..

  1. Tom Marino says:

    Absolutely great blog post Ray!!! Thank you so much for all of your posts.

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