For My Valentine…”And Think Not That You Can Guide the Course of Love, for Love, if it Finds You Worthy, Shall Guide Your Course.” Kahlil Gibran

I will never forget the first time I saw her, an image of resplendent beauty, life’s definition of perfection, a visage from far beyond the mortal realm. The crystalline glow which emanated from all that she was, touched me and I stood breathless in her presence, instantaneously made whole. My soul whispered, “Did my heart not love till now?”

Crystal Flower

I knew not what awaited me, I only knew that my life was never to be the same. I only knew that I wanted to be by her side, revel in her energy, bask in her glow.

It was a rocky start as we did not get to spend as much time together as I would have liked. Uncertainty defined us but the tug, the pull, the attraction was strong, palpable and undeniable.

Life intervened, testing, challenging. In separate ships we sailed, passing, watching, knowing and we found solace resting together in peaceful ports.

Ships in a Raging Storm

The wind of the seas tossed and turned, threatening, foreboding and at times seemed certain to send our ships to the bottom of the sea…

We endured.

There were times when the fires of hell, would burn so hot that to be consumed seemed  the only fate…

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We endured.

There was the anguish of a vast emptiness, brought on by the separation of cold and lonely winters…

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We endured.

The winds of change blew hard, menacing, shaping, changing…

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Carving within you a beauty deeper than was ever fathomable through, the fledgling eyes of yesterday. Your comeliness increased, strengthened, brightened through the passing years.

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Years have turned to decades and we know not what the future holds. For we have lived, and died and loved before and now we love again. I have loved you with every fiber of my being, complete, total and I have given myself to you unabashedly and without reservation.

Through the pains and joys and aches of bygone days, the cosmic tumblers have clicked and showed us what’s possible. Each step we have taken, you have affirmed, confirmed and reconfirmed what I knew on that radiant night so long ago…with you I am made whole.

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And you have loved me back.

So take my hand again and let us walk awhile, spring approaches and I long to once again walk with your hand in mine.  And when the time comes and we shuffle off this mortal coil it is the love that will remain.

Happy Valentine’s Day forever…

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And so it is on this day, Valentines Day, 2016.

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“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln

Today marks the 206th anniversary of the birth of the greatest president in American history. There is no better American story of strength and perseverance than that the 16th president. To honor him, I decided to share with you this story from Coach Faulkner’s book, 61 Motivational Stories, For Every Coach of Every Sport. It is a story that every young American should hear and there is no better venue, than sports, in which to tell it.

Enjoy.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN- OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, PERSEVERING!!!

“The path was worn and slippery. My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself, ‘It’s a slip not a fall’.” Abraham Lincoln

This is a practice story about the “long haul” and developing an attitude that an individual will carry through life long after their playing days are over.

Perhaps the most iconic figure in all American history, Abraham Lincoln, endured a wide range of personal and professional adversity before assuming the arduous and near impossible task of leading a country split asunder by Civil War.

There may be no greater example of persistence and resilience than the 16th President, for through it all he refused to give up, or give in, He never saw quitting as an option and he simply endured.

Born into poverty, he became acquainted with adversity at an early age and it would revisit him throughout his life. He endured personal tragedy, professional failures and political losses and rejections at virtually every turn. He survived difficulties that would have swallowed lesser men but his determination, integrity, and character would simply not allow him to quit. Today he is widely recognized as the greatest President in the history of the United States of America.

1816- At the age of seven, his father lost a land dispute and was forced out of his home in Kentucky. His anti-slavery father moved his family to Indiana, a free state.

1818- His mother died.

1831- Working hard as manager of a store, he lost his job when the store’s owner overextended himself and the store went out of business.

1832- Ran for the State Legislature and lost.

1833- Went into business with a partner and shortly after the business failed, his partner died. Lincoln assumed his partner’s debt which he repaid in full.

1834- He was elected to the State Legislature.

1835- The love of his life, Anne Rutledge passed away.

1836- One month following Anne’s death, he threw himself into his reelection campaign and won.

1837- Betrothed to Mary Owens, it comes to an end when she simply does not answer his letter.

1838- After reelection for the third time, he ran for Speaker of the House of the Illinois State Legislature and lost. In this same year he received his license to practice law from the Illinois State Supreme Court.

1839- He was elected a Presidential Elector for Illinois Whig Party and held the position for the Presidential elections of 1840, 44, 48, 52 and 56.

1842- He married Mary Todd.

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1843- Lost in his bid to become the Whig candidate for Congress.

1846- He is elected to Congress as a Whig.

1849- He sought the job of Land Officer in his home state and was rejected.

1850- The Lincoln’s second son, Eddie died at the age of four of consumption. (Tuberculosis)

Eddie Lincoln died aged 4, of tuberculosis

Eddie Lincoln died aged 4, of tuberculosis

1854- After receiving the most votes for the US Senate, but six votes shy of election, he withdrew from the race to insure that a pro-slavery democrat would not capture the seat.

1856- Unbeknownst to him, his name is placed in nomination for Vice-President of the new Republican Party. He does not win, receiving 110 of 363 votes.

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1858- Although winning the popular vote as a member of the anti-slavery Republican Party, the democrats win majority in the Illinois State Legislature and name Stephen Douglas to the US Senate.

1860- He was elected President of the United States.

1862- His third son Willie dies of “fever” devastating Lincoln and his wife Mary.

Abe Willie Lincoln

1862- A few short months after Willie’s death, he signs the Emancipation Proclamation elevating the Civil War to a higher plane as the freeing of the slaves now becomes an objective of the war.

1863- He delivers the Gettysburg Address considered by many the greatest speech in the history of the United States.

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A face in the crowd. The only photo of Lincoln taken related to the Gettysburg Address. It took two minutes and the photographer was expecting a speech of two hours.

1864- He appoints Ulysses S Grant commanding general of all Union forces and stays with him through vicious criticism that he is “a butcher.” Through it all Lincoln maintains simply, “he fights, he wins.”

1864-1865- In late 1864 and into 1865 he leads, what many considered a lost cause as he works to pass the 13th amendment outlawing slavery. He succeeds!

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1865- He is shot by an assassin five days after the surrender of Robert E Lee to Grant ending the war; and he dies the next day.

There may be no greater story of overcoming adversity and persevering to achieve unfathomable heights than that of Abraham Lincoln. We have had our ups and downs, we have had our failures…we have had our slips. But we cannot and will not fall! Not tonight men…Tonight we take our cue from the greatest president in history and we may slip but we will not fall, we get back up and take it!

Thanks to all who have supported our self publishing effort. We are 60% there. If you are a coach, know a coach or simply enjoy reading motivational stories, jump on board and receive a limited edition hard bound, autographed copy.

Hit play and after listening to Coach, click on the K in the upper left corner.

And so it is on this day, February 12, 2016, Abraham Lincoln’s 206th birthday.

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Hold the Rope…..

One of the great things about living in Florida is that as February begins, we are now entering our third week of baseball season. In one more week the real games will begin! Nothing much better than the fact that high school baseball in Florida is actually a “winter” sport. Well, technically they call it a spring sport but in reality two of the four months it is played take place while our northern friends are shivering and shoveling.

It is an exciting time for prep baseball and that includes the troops at Venice High. There are few things more gratifying than working with a group of young men who are dedicated, committed and passionate about their lives and baseball, the game they play, the greatest of games.

The past couple of weeks as the Indians are preparing for their 2016 season, we have been visited by a few alumni.

Nick Longhi, a 2013 graduate and a member of the ’12’ and ’13’ State Championship teams, is back, working out and lending a hand hitting fungoes and working in the outfield. This year he is slated to play at the Red Sox high ‘A’ affiliate in Salem Virginia.

Matt Tellor, a 2011 Venice graduate played at Southeast Missouri State and in 2014 was a 10th round pick of the Atlanta Braves. He played last year in Rome in the South Atlantic League. He’s been working out and with the young Indians at first base.

 

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Aaron Rhodes, another 2011 grad, went on to Florida, an SEC championship and a visit to the College World Series. Drafted by the Angels last June, he spent the summer in Utah with the Orem Owls. He has been at the field throwing and giving tips to members of the Indian mound crew.

It is gratifying to watch these young men, pursuing their dream, returning to their roots. They return to work, they return to stay sharp and they return to give back. It is serendipitous that this particular year we have these guys in our camp. For as I watched them this week I was struck by what it means to these guys to be part of the Venice Indian program. It is a powerful statement to today’s Indians to see the pride that these professional players carry in their Venice Indian heritage.

There is a common denominator to the tradition of “excellence on and off the field” that is Venice High School Baseball. That common denominator is this guy.

faulknerfrontCraig Faulkner begins his 18th year as Venice High head coach.

The serendipity lay in the fact that as Faulkner begins another year of team building, motivating and teaching, he does so having just penned a book, his first. It is a book that he actually began about 30 years ago when he played for one of college baseball’s greatest motivator, “Skip” Bertman.

As many of you are aware, this is a self publishing effort and as of this morning we are halfway to the goal. So this morning, is a peek at the book; a favorite story on building a team.

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HOLD THE ROPE-EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT

This is a story of team unity which can only come from trust and can be used at any time during the season or before.

This story can either be used just before the season starts or before a game where it becomes applicable; preferably early in the season. A rope should be used as a visual aid can be effective in the telling of this story and all it should be held in front of the group or dangled over a desk.

After presenting the rope you choose a player and ask this question; “If you were dangling off the end of a cliff and holding on to this rope, which player on this team would you choose to have holding the other end?” You add the caveat, “Remember you must choose someone who you know would not ever let you go; no matter how tired they got or how much pain they had to endure.”

It is most likely that they will choose the biggest and strongest kid on the team. They will also probably take some time looking about as they decide whom they would choose. It does not really matter who they choose because your response will always be the same. “Men when you do not hesitate in your response to that question and you can simply and unequivocally state;” It does not matter who holds the rope as long as it is one of my teammates, I don’t care who it is, I know none of them will let me fall.” It is then and only then that we will be where we need to be as a unit, as a team.

This is the kind of trust we must develop among us. It must be unwavering, it must be complete and it requires 100% commitment from each and every one of us. Trust is not something we can buy, it is not something we get from last year’s team; rather it’s something we earn, earning from each other day in and day out. Players earn it from coaches, coaches earn it from players and players earn it from each other. We will succeed only when each member of the team is trusted.

We earn it, one from each other, by putting the needs of the team ahead of all else. We earn it with an attitude that says simply, what can I do to make US BETTER? Gentlemen we are a family and from this day forward we will treat each other as such both on and off the field.

So thanks to all who have got behind this project and if you have not seen this yet, take two minutes to hear Coach Faulkner tell this story and if you are so motivated, click on the K in the upper left hand corner and climb on board.

And so it is on this day, February 3, 2016, the precipice of another year of BASEBALL, the GREATEST of GAMES.

 

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“Love Wins Mitch, Love Always Wins”….. Morrie Schwartz

I have never been one of the celebratory New Years Eve types; always looking at the start of a New Year as a time of reflection and introspection. Solemnity, more than revelry, has always seemed  far more appropriate for the occasion.

This year was particularly poignant, for the Christmas Season brought sorrow to the world of a loved one, as my daughter lost a dear friend. Amanda was 32, and a labor and delivery nurse at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. She was struck by car while running near her home; training for the Boston Marathon which she was running for a charity. An excruciating week ended, when life support was discontinued and, in the true spirit of a caregiver, three people received their miracle in organ donations from this bright light. She left an eight year old son and scores of people who love her. Her 32 years left an indelible mark upon the people she touched and her family and friends who loved and were loved by her.

Hanover nurse Amanda Turner Russell has died from injuries she suffered when she was struck by a car Dec. 23.

Amanda Turner Russell

Her passing is a cruel reminder of the fragility of life and the need to capture each moment. I found myself more grateful for my blessings and holding loved ones just a little closer.

As 2015 sank into the sea of yesterdays, the Red Sox lost two legends when Dave Henderson (Dec, 27th) and Frank Malzone (Dec. 29th) passed away. Henderson, 57, succumbed to a heart attack in Seattle nearly two months after receiving a kidney transplant; while Malzone, 85, died in his home in Needham Massachusetts. And with them, went a piece of my childhood, a piece of my youth.

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Dave Henderson was rarely, if ever, seen without a smile on his face.

Frank Malzone is the only Red Sox third baseman to win a Gold Glove.

These two men left their indelible marks upon the Red Sox and the city and did so in decidedly different ways. They came from different eras, one a highly touted first round pick, the other toiled for seven years in the minor leagues before making it to the show. One was a bolt of lightning, the other a steady, constant force.

Dave “Hendu” Henderson was the Seattle Mariners first round pick in 1977. He made his debut with the Mariners in 1981 and joined them to stay the following year. He toiled in Seattle until late in the 1986 season, August 19th to be exact. The Red Sox were in first place, 5 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East when they added “Hendu” as a fourth outfielder and to gain some right handed pop off the bench.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Dave Henderson, left, jokes with quarterback Doug Flutie prior to the start of Game Six of the American League Championship series against the California Angels in Boston, Oct. 14, 1986. The Chicago Bears have acquired the rights to Flutie from the Los Angeles Rams for an unannounced future draft choice, Bears' general manager Jerry Vainisi announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Peter Southwick)

Boston Red Sox outfielder Dave Henderson, left, jokes with quarterback Doug Flutie prior to the start of Game Six of the American League Championship series against the California Angels in Boston, Oct. 14, 1986. The Chicago Bears had just acquired the rights to Flutie from the Los Angeles Rams for an unannounced future draft choice. (AP Photo/Peter Southwick)

Dave Henderson came to bat 51 times for Boston during the 1986 season. He had but 10 hits for a .196 average. He hit a home run, drove in three and he struck out 15 times in those 51 at bats, nearly 30% of the time. All in all, rather non-descript.

The Red Sox prevailed in the AL East setting up the best of seven series against the Angels. California led the Series three games to one and were ahead in the fifth game 5-2 when the Red Sox came to bat in the top of the ninth. Bill Buckner led off with a single and Dave Stapleton ran for him. I was on the phone with my brother when Jim Rice was caught looking for the first out. We were lamenting yet another Red Sox post-season disappointment, when Don Baylor hit a two run homer, it was 5-4. There was a flicker of hope. We said goodbye. Evans popped out and Rich Gedman stepped in and was hit by a pitch. Police on horseback circled the outfield as the Angels and their fans prepared to celebrate their first ever trip to the World Series. Dave Henderson came to the plate.

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His dramatic home run put the Sox ahead 6-5 and the Angels tied the game in their half of the ninth. In the 11th inning the Red Sox scored on a sacrifice fly by, guess who? That’s right, Dave Henderson. The win sent the Series back to Fenway and the Red Sox won game six, 10-4 and game seven 8-1. It was on to the World Series.

Red Sox fans remember the horror of the “86” Series, however few will remember that “Hendu” hit .400 in that Series, hammering out 10 hits with two homers, five RBI and a team leading 1.208 OPS.

He played only 75 games with the Red Sox in 1987 and was traded to the Giants before the end of the season. In 2000 Dave Henderson’s bolt of lightning was immortalized when his home run was officially recognized as one of the franchises Memorable Moments in the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Frank Malzone was signed by the Red Sox in 1947, out of Samuel Gompers High School in the Bronx. He made $175 a month his first year and his minor league journey took him through: Milford Delaware, Oneonta NY, Scranton PA, Louisville KY and finally San Francisco before arriving in Boston to stay in 1956. His career, like so many of his era, was interrupted for two years of military service during the Korean War. Playing in Oneonta in 1949, he met his future wife Amy Gennerino.

“Malzie made his debut in 1955 playing six games. He arrived to stay in 1956 and in ’57’ he hit .292 with 15 homers and 103 RBI. He finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting and seventh in the vote for AL MVP.

My dad called him “Malzie” and he was a particular favorite in the Sinibaldi household. A son of an Italian immigrant, his dad came from Salerno Italy and worked for the water department in New York city. My dad had a particular affinity for his Italian brethren. That affinity trickled down to his son.

He became a star and was a bridge between the eras of Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. A teammate of both Hall of Famers, he played with Ted the last four years of his career and with Yaz the first five of his.

Eleven of his 12 years in the Big Leagues were played in Boston where he was a bona fide star on teams that never won more than 84 games and finished an average 24 games out of first place.

His accomplishments were many. He was a six time all star and the first ever recipient of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at third base. That first year the award was for both leagues and he followed it up with back to back AL Gold Gloves in 1958 and 59. He is the only Red Sox third baseman to win a Gold Glove and he is the Red Sox career leader for home runs and RBI by a third baseman.

Frank Malzone and Willie Mays during the 1960 All Star game at Yankee Stadium. Malzone said his greatest thrill in baseball was hitting a home run off Don Drysdale in the 1959 All Star game, a 5-3 AL win.

Returning back home to Boston following his last playing year with the Angels in 1966, he became a scout, friend and mentor to scores of players who followed him. His influence spanned more than six decades and the mark he left on so many extends far beyond the diamond and many talked about Frank Malzone, the man.

“When I first came to the big leagues in 1961, Frank was the guy who took me under his wing,” Carl Yastrzemski said. “I struggled when I first came up, and he took care of me and stayed with me. He was a real class guy, a very caring guy, and I owe him a lot. You aren’t going to find too many people like him.” Dwight Evans met him his rookie year in 1972. “He may not have been one of the coaches on the team, but he was a coach for me, instructing me on the finer parts of the game… In some ways, Frank was like a big brother. I loved him as a man and as a mentor. He will be sorely missed.” Mike Lowell played five years as the Red Sox third baseman and was the MVP of the ’07’ World Series. He offered, “Frank was always there to give me a smile and a great word of encouragement every time… He was always a symbol to me of what a professional and standup member of the organization should be.”

He was a charter member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame which opened in 1995. Inducted along side the likes of Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Yawkey and Cy Young. His legacy cemented in Red Sox lore.

Last Sunday was a 41 degree Florida morn. Regardless, I made my way to the links to hack it around with these guys.

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We have not played together since early November. I got to don one of Dad’s old sweaters and there were reflections of Red Sox days, past, present and future. As the chill of dawn melted into a perfect day I was reminded of the light in my world and all those who contribute to it.

So God speed to those who left us and from the little boy and the young man in me thanks to Malzie and Hendu. And from today’s man who stands on the precipice of his winter, God Bless, Amanda, and I will take some solace in knowing that Addy, Reagan and Quinn, three of my brightest lights, have the beacon of your spirit watching over them.

The year 2016 will find me continuing to chase the light, grateful evermore for all who have illuminated my way; even those who fear the wonder of their own inner glow and know not, how bright it burns.

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And thus it should be, for love wins…Love always wins.

And so it is as 2016’s first month draws to a close. The work of Bill Nowlin and Peter Abraham contributed to this story.

Thanks so much to all who have jumped on board, we are 30% towards our goal to self publish. If you are a coach, know a coach or simply want to read some inspiring motivational stories, check us out! We would love to have you with us.

 

 

 

 

 

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“Commitment is What Transforms a Promise into Reality” Abraham Lincoln

Last weekend I made my first post in quite a while. It had been since my trip to Cooperstown for a book signing at the Hall of Fame and the induction of the class of 2015; that included the incomparable Pedro. FullSizeRender (8)

Of course I had my thoughts, observations and opinions on a lot that went on in the baseball world. I had all kinds of ideas for posting, but the truth is, I was totally immersed here.

Real deal Baseball

Having joined forces with Venice High School head baseball coach Craig Faulkner and infield coach Joe Komaroski, we have written a book of motivational stories. This book had its beginnings back in the 1980s when Faulkner played at LSU for the legendary college coach Skip Bertman. Bertman, who wrote the book’s foreword, is recognized today as one of colleges all time greatest coaches. Faulkner remembers him as an outstanding motivator and mentor. It is Bertman’s coaching and motivating style that Faulkner has emulated and brought to his home town of Venice Florida. At the helm since 1999, he has guided his troops to seven trips to the state Final Four and four State Titles, three in the last four years. And beyond that, and far more important, his players have amassed over 20, 000 hours of community service. Each year brings a community commitment which includes time and energy focused on community service projects. Among them are Habitat for Humanity, Little League Challenger Baseball and visits to local nursing homes.

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Faulkner returned home to Venice FL following nearly a decade of pro ball in the organizations of the Orioles, Cardinals and Brewers. Since taking the helm in 1999 he has built one of the most successful prep baseball programs in the country.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.cgi?id=faulkn001cra

http://venicehighschoolbaseball.com/

He has been gathering and writing motivational stories since his college days.

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Coach K, bat in hand, is an innate motivating force unto himself.

Joe Komaroski graduated from Venice High School in the 1970s, where he played baseball. New Jersey born, he moved to Venice as a kid and he is entrenched in the community he loves. In fact, let there be no doubt, Venice green blood runs through his veins. A truly American story, Joe K is the embodiment of the American entrepreneurial spirit; having built two successful businesses in Venice. Today, when he’s not at the baseball field, he owns and operates an All State Insurance Agency. He is tenacious in finding ways to set, goals, motivate and teach his players the true meaning of Coach Faulkner’s motto of “Excellence on and off the Field.”

https://agents.allstate.com/joe-komaroski-insurance-agency-venice-fl.html

And then there’s me.

At Fenway

At Fenway Park in November 2013.

Just a guy who loves baseball and who got lucky to fall in with a coach and a group of men who share that love and combine it with a passion for teaching the life lessons that it (and all sports) offers young people.

http://www.amazon.com/Raymond-Sinibaldi/e/B007TTJMAY/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_2

The stories are told within the context of a baseball team and they are broken down into five categories: building, bonding and defining a team, the mind of the competitor, adversity that hits every player, the big game and finally working, preparing and making adjustments.

The passion we bring to this game is fueled by the simple fact that sports and competition are the single greatest metaphor for life. Again, these stories are told within the context of the game of baseball because that is what we do. However, each story could be applied to  any aspect of life. They could be used in the boardroom, on the pulpit, in the classroom and sitting around the dining room table.

The book is now complete and we are stepping into the foray of self publishing. So check us out here, click on the K in the left hand corner. We’d love to have you on board.

And so it is on this day, January 22, 2016, 14 days till Venice High Baseball opening day!

 

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“The Energy of the Mind is the Essence of Life”…Aristotle

Hello again, I’ve been away for a while, the whys of which I will clarify in a post this week, but first I must tell you a story. Surprised?

From time to time I have written here about the Venice High School Baseball program in Venice Florida. I am proud and privileged to say I am the voice of the Venice Indians, their designated historian and on occasion I get to knock some fungoes around and throw some BP.

The best part is I get to associate with a great group of young men who are committed, dedicated, hardworking, determined and focused. Their energy, retards that process we call aging.

Back in January of 2013 I wrote a story about one of our most loyal long time supporters, a man named Jack Dundas. A retired Army Colonel with seven, count em seven, Purple Hearts. He was wounded three times at the Battle of the Bulge, twice in Korea and twice in Vietnam. He passed away in November of 2011 and the 2012 team dedicated the season to him. That season ended in a State Championship.

https://fenwaypark100.org/2013/01/17/the-eagle-the-colonel-and-venice-high-school-baseball

Jacks Plaque

This plaque, which was placed in January of 2013 marks the Colonel’s seat at the ball park.

On the day this plaque was installed, a bald eagle visited the ball park, circled a bit, perched for about 10 minutes and went on his way. A week later, on the first day of tryouts for the ’13’ team, the eagle returned, and watching from the left field light bank, waited for Coach Faulkner to finish his talk with the boys and then moved on.

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The Colonel keeps his eye on troops at Venice High.

The first day of tryouts in 2014 brought yet another visit from the full bird, and 2015 did the same. It grew rather commonplace for the Colonel to make his appearance, ON THE FIRST DAY OF TRYOUTS, sit a while and then, satisfied that all was well, take flight. It kept us all shaking our heads and smiling.

The story took an interesting twist last Monday, January 11th and that twist began last March. As the Venice High team was making their march to what would become their third State Championship in four years; we lost another long time, loyal supporter.

Roy Stevens

Roy was 98 years young when he left us. He tallied the strikeouts for Venice High pitchers by hanging green K’s on the fence from his chair, on the home plate side of the Indian dugout. He too was a veteran of WW II and on the night before he passed, a wide smile came to his face when he was informed that the Indians had eeked out a 2-1 win.

Well last Monday I arrived at THE FIRST DAY of TRYOUTS and as I walked on the field Coach Faulkner came over to me…

Jack and Roy

The Venice High Baseball team has some very special eyes watching over them.

“Roy and Jack are both here.” He said and I didn’t quite understand. He threw his eyes skyward towards left field and there they were. They sat for about five minutes and then they were gone. Yet somehow I think we will see them again.

I’ll keep you posted.

And so it is on this FIRST DAY OF TRYOUTS.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kershaw, Tiant and One Other Guy……

Friday night Clayton Kershaw took to the hill in Pittsburgh sporting his 37 consecutive inning scoreless streak. In a pregame report on the MLB Network, it was stated that Kershaw had joined Luis Tiant as the only pitchers to have consecutive scoreless innings streaks of 35 innings or more in two separate seasons.

The drama lasted exactly one pitch…..As the Bucs right fielder Gregory Polanco took him deep.

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/141793316/clayton-kershaws-scoreless-streak-ends-on-hr

In 2014 Clayton Kershaw flipped 41.2 scoreless innings from June 13th through July 10th. His 2015 streak ended at 37 innings on Friday nights first pitch.

The 27 year old lefty’s streak began this year on July 3rd in the fourth inning against the Mets. It lasted 35 days through five starts, two of which were complete game shutouts; against the Phillies at home and the Mets on the road. The other two starts were eight inning outings against the Nationals in Washington and at home against the Angels last week.

Let’s take a look at his numbers through the stretch. He pitched 37 innings (duh), went 4-0. He struck out 49 and had, ready for this? One walk! He allowed but 17 hits and his opponents hit .135 against him. Of those 17 hits, two were for extra bases, both doubles. His strikeouts per 9 innings was 11.9 and he allowed 4.1 hits per nine innings. His WHIP (walks plus hits/IP) was a microscopic 0.486. To get an idea of just how miniscule that is, the lowest one on record for a single season is 0.737 by Pedro Martinez in 2000.

Last season his streak began in the fourth inning on June 13th in Dodger Stadium against the Diamondbacks. He went seven innings surrendering a run in the third, garnering the win. His following start was against the Rockies and the young lefty made history.

On June 18, 2014 Kershaw no-hit Colorado, punching out 15 and walking nobody in the Dodgers 8-0 win.

Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error leading off the seventh was all that came between Kershaw and perfection.

His 2014 streak covered six starts, one complete game shutout, the no-no, and 41.2 innings. It lasted 27 days and he went 6-0; beating the Diamondbacks, Royals, Padres, Cardinals and the Rockies twice.

Now for the fun stuff, the numbers. He struck out 50 and walked 6 while allowing 17 hits and his opponents hit .121 against him. Of the 17 hits he allowed in this streak three (doubles) were for extra bases. His strikeouts per nine innings was 10.7, his hits per nine was 3.6 and his WHIP was 0.551.

Luis Tiant’s two separate season streaks took place in 1968 with the Cleveland Indians, 41 innings and in 1972 with the Red Sox, 40 innings.

El Tiante’s 41 straight scoreless innings went from April 28-May 17 1968.

On April 20th Tiant was pitching in Fenway against the Red Sox. He took a 1-0 lead into the fourth. Mike Andrews singled to lead off the inning and he walked Joe Foy. After Yaz flied out to center, Reggie Smith took him deep. Down 3-1, Luis was pinched hit for leading off the fifth.

His next start came eight days later in the second game of a double-header in Washington’s DC Stadium. He flipped a two hit shutout. Luis 41 innings covered five starts in a span of 19 days. He went 4-1 during the streak with four complete game shutouts against the aforementioned Senators, Twins, Yankees and Orioles. In his fifth start against Baltimore he hurled five scoreless innings before giving up a three run homer to “Boog” Powell and he would eventually be on the short end of a 6-2 loss.

He had 42 strikeouts and 11 walks while giving up only 16 hits (2 doubles) leaving his opponents with a batting average of .116. His strikeouts per nine innings was 9.2, his hits per nine was 3.5 and his WHIP was 0.658.

Following arm injuries, trades and finally being cut by the Minnesota Twins on the last day of camp in 1971, Luis found himself in the minors; first with the Richmond Braves and then with the Red Sox AAA affiliate in Louisville, appropriately enough.

After going 21-8 in 1968 and leading the league with a 1.60 ERA, arm woes befell Tiant and following a 9-20 “69” season he was traded to the Twins, along with Stan Williams. The Indians received Dean Chance, Bob Miller, Graig Nettles and Ted Uhlaender.

By June of 1971, he was back in Boston as he struggled through the summer bouncing back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen.

It was more of the same in 1972 and on August 16th Luis stood with a respectable record of 6-4 with a 2.95 ERA. He had pitched in 32 games, eight of them starts. He had three saves and four blown saves.

AND THEN….

Three nights later came a start in Chicago. The result, a 3-0, two hit shutout. Luis was off and running again. Forty innings and 20 days would pass before Tiant surrendered another run and in that stretch of five starts Luis went 5-0 with four complete game shutouts in a row. He gave up only 16 hits with two doubles being the only extra base variety.

Throughout this particular stretch, Tiant had 32 K’s, 9 walks and his opponents hit .122 against him. His hits per nine innings was 3.6, his strikeouts per nine was 7.2 and his WHIP was 0.625.

For the next six seasons Luis Tiant as the ace of the Red Sox staff, one of baseball’s best pitchers of the decade and one of the Fenway Faithful’s all time favorite players; a mantle he holds to this day!

Friday night Clayton Kershaw took to the hill in Pittsburgh sporting his 37 consecutive inning scoreless streak. In a pregame report on the MLB Network, it was stated that Kershaw had joined Luis Tiant as the only pitchers to have consecutive scoreless innings streaks of 35 innings or more in two separate seasons.

However, baseball almanac lists another fellow, who was not bad, that the MLB Network seems to have overlooked.

Walter Johnson threw a stretch of 40 consecutive scoreless innings in May of 1918 AND in 1913 he threw a stretch of 55.2 scoreless innings. A major league record he held for 55 years.

So, if I may add an addendum to this story; In the summer of 1972, Luis Tiant joined Walter Johnson as the only two pitchers to hurl consecutive scoreless innings streaks of 40 innings or more in two separate seasons.

That fact remains true!

And so it is on this day in Fenway history, August 10, 2015.

 

 

 

 

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