Category Archives: baseball

“Sports Talk” with Don Henderson and Doug Miles Guest: Pete “The Prophet” on the Belmont Stakes 6/9/14

Popular Sports Internet Radio with Doug Miles on BlogTalkRadio


Baltimore Orioles to Host Prospect Wire Florida State Finals in Sarasota this Weekend

(Sarasota, FL) Thousands of youth baseball players and their families will converge on the Sarasota region this weekend for the 2014 Prospect Wire Florida State Finals tournament, with approximately half of the games to be played at venues managed by the Orioles. Facilities at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O’Neill Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park will be buzzing with activity from Friday evening, June 6 through Wednesday, June 11.

This is the fourth year Prospect Wire has held the tournament in Sarasota. According to Visit Sarasota County, the tournament generated a $2.5-million economic impact for the Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte region in 2013 with approximately 110 teams participating. This year, the impact year could be even greater as 130 teams are expected to attend.

In addition to Sarasota facilities managed by the Orioles, the tournament will use venues in Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Media are invited to cover tournament action at the Orioles’ facilities. Prospect Wire representatives will be on hand at the Buck O’Neill Baseball Complex throughout the tournament. A game schedule is available at www.ProspectWire.com or by contacting the Orioles.

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Don Zimmer Passes Away at Age 83

One of baseball’s great men, Don Zimmer, died Wednesday at 83 years old. He had been serving as a special adviser to the Tampa Bay Rays for the past several seasons after an outstanding career as a player, coach, manager and bench coach. The following is a release from the Tampa Bay Rays media relations department on Don Zimmer:

(St. Petersburg, FL) After 66 years in professional baseball, Rays Senior Baseball Advisor Don Zimmer passed away today BayCare Alliant Hospital in Dunedin, FL. He was 83. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean (“Soot”), his son Thomas, daughter Donna, and four grandchildren: Beau, Whitney, Ron and Lane.

Over the course of his 56 seasons in the major leagues as a player, coach and manager he wore 14 different uniforms—but none longer than his 11 seasons with the Rays. Zimmer reached the postseason 19 times and owned six World Series rings: four as a coach with the New York Yankees and two as a player for the Brooklyn (1955) and Los Angeles (1959) Dodgers. He managed 13 seasons for the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs, and was named National League Manager of the Year in 1989 after guiding the Cubs to the NL East Division title. Prior to joining the Rays in 2004, he spent eight seasons as bench coach for Yankees Manager Joe Torre.

“Today we all lost a national treasure and a wonderful man,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “Don dedicated his life to the game he loved, and his impact will be felt for generations to come. His contributions to this organization are immeasurable. I am proud that he wore a Rays uniform for the past 11 years. We will miss him dearly.”
The Rays will honor the baseball icon with a moment of silence at today’s Rays-Marlins game at Tropicana Field and will conduct a special pregame ceremony prior to the Rays-Mariners game on Saturday.

Zimmer signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, beginning a 19-year playing career as an infielder. On July 7, 1953, while playing for St. Paul in the American Association, he was struck in the head by a pitch, spent two weeks in a semi-coma and missed the rest of the season with a fractured skull. The following year the Dodgers promoted him to the big leagues, where he was in the company of eight future Hall of Famers: Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Dick Williams, Don Newcombe, Tom LaSorda and Manager Walter Alston. In total, Zim was teammates with 14 Hall of Famers, played under three Hall of Fame managers, and coached or managed many more.

He went on to play 12 seasons in the majors for the Brooklyn (1954-57) and Los Angeles (1958-59, 1963) Dodgers, Cubs (1960-61), New York Mets (1962), Cincinnati Reds (1962) and Washington Senators (1963-65). Zimmer was named to the 1961 NL All-Star Team as a second baseman for the Cubs. In 1962, he was the first player to try on a Mets uniform, modeling it at Huggins-Stengel Field in St. Petersburg.

Zimmer was born in Cincinnati on January 17, 1931, and attended Western Hills High School, where he began dating Soot. He and Soot, his high school sweetheart, were married beside home plate at Dunn Field in Elmira, N.Y., on
August 16, 1951. Since the late 1950s, they have made the Tampa Bay area their home.

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“Sports Talk” with Don Henderson and Doug Miles 6/2/14

Current Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Doug Miles on BlogTalkRadio

Guests: Howard Peretz on greatest sports finishes and Pete “The Prophet” with a Belmont Stakes preview. GMan on NASCAR.


Baltimore Orioles to Hold Youth Baseball Clinic Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium

(Sarasota, FL) On Saturday, May 24, Baltimore Orioles players and coaches will conduct a baseball clinic on the main field at Ed Smith Stadium for 50 children from the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club in Sarasota. Participants will assemble at 12:30 p.m., and on-field activities will begin at 1:00 p.m. with instruction in pitching, hitting, fielding, throwing and base running. The Oriole Bird will also be present and refreshments will be provided to all participants.

 

Orioles minor league players scheduled to participate include Bobby Bundy, Jonah Heim,  Steve Johnson, Sean McAdams, and Nik Nowottnick. Coaches will include Orioles Hall of Famer Scott McGregor and minor league field coach Scott Thomas. McAdams was selected by the Orioles in 2013 out of Cardinal Mooney High School.

 

“This is the second in a series of youth clinics the Orioles will conduct this year at Ed Smith Stadium,” said David Rovine, Vice President of Orioles-Sarasota. “Orioles players and coaches have a great time sharing their passion for the sport by working with children from local non-profits. It’s another way the Orioles give back to the community and seek to influence young people through providing positive role models.”

 

“We enjoy a great partnership with the Baltimore Orioles and appreciate their players and coaches providing this special opportunity to develop baseball skills. Through team sports, like baseball, we instill healthy lifestyles and good character development,” said Bill Sadlo, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.

            

The Orioles’ youth baseball clinics are part of Sarasota 365, a host of initiatives through which the Baltimore Orioles and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub’s year-round engagement with the Greater Sarasota community. For more information, or to sign up for the Orioles in Sarasota e-newsletter, please visit www.orioles.com/sarasota.

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Bradenton Marauders host Cubs and Stone Crabs in 5-Game Home Stand

(Bradenton, FL) The Bradenton Marauders host the Daytona Cubs (Chicago Cubs) in a four-game series May 20-May 23 and play the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays) on Sunday, May 25. The games on May 20, May 22, and May 23 start at 6:30 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21 is a 10:30 a.m. game with gates opening at 9:30 a.m. May 25 begins at 1:00 p.m. with gates opening at noon.

 

Marty the Marauder celebrates his birthday on Tuesday, May 20. Marty’s mascot friends from around the state of Florida will be at McKechnie Field to celebrate. Cake will be served.

 

The First Mates Kids Club takes over the ballpark every Tuesday. Kids 12 and under can join the club for $15 to receive a game ticket and meal voucher at 11 Tuesday home games, along with special experiences reserved for club members only during the season. Club members also receive a free ticket to the game on Sunday, June 22 with an invitation to a postgame ice cream social with the Marauders. After Tuesday games there will be a Kids Fun Run for all kids 12 and younger to circle the bases.

 

Wednesday, May 21 is Education Day. Students from local schools will attend the game as a field trip. Educational exhibits will be displayed around the ballpark. Students will be served lunch at the ballpark.

 

Thursday, May 22 is Island Night. The first 500 fans will receive an Island Night t-shirt. Island Night is also a Thirsty Thursday. Sodas and select draft beers will cost just $1. The Marauders offer Thirsty Thursday Club memberships for only $60 to receive a ticket to the remaining 10 Thursday home games, a club t-shirt, and the opportunity to earn great rewards all season. Each club member will also receive their first 12-ounce drink for free at each Thirsty Thursday game. Marauders season ticket holders can join the Thirsty Thursday Club for just $10.

 

Friday, May 23 is a Free Shirt Friday featuring an All-Star Game t-shirt giveaway for the first 500 fans. Every Friday home game is also a Happy Hour Friday presented by Pier 22 Restaurant. Between 5:30 and 6:30, 500 free hot dogs will be given away and there will be great drink specials from Kayem and Cheney Brothers.

 

The Marauders play on the road at Charlotte on Saturday, May 24. Sunday, May 25 is Latin Heritage Day at McKechnie Field. Free salsa dancing lessons will be held on the outfield boardwalk when gates open at noon. For $2, fans can purchase a wristband to sample food from great local Latin restaurants that will be onsite for the game.

 

Every Sunday home game is a Family Fun Sunday. Tickets and regular-sized Kayem hot dogs are just $1. Children 12 and younger can run the bases after the game in the Kids Fun Run.

 

For more information about the Bradenton Marauders please visit www.BradentonMarauders.com.

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Bradenton Marauders announce FSL All-Star Game Festivities

(Bradenton, FL) The Florida State League All-Star Game will be played at McKechnie Field  on June 14th. The Bradenton Marauders have announced more details for a busy weekend of baseball and entertainment in downtown Bradenton.

 

Friday, June 13 is the inaugural Pirates and Princesses 5K Home Run. The 5K race will start on Old Main Street, run along the Bradenton Riverwalk, and return to Old Main. Race participants will receive a commemorative tech t-shirt and a ticket voucher for one ticket to the All-Star Game. The top male and female runner overall and in each age group will be invited to be recognized on-field at the All-Star Game the next evening. A “Best Dressed” award will also be given to the participant with the best pirate or princess themed costume.

 

The race will be followed by the “Main Street Plunder” after party on Old Main Street. Each race participant age 21 and older will receive their first 12oz beer free from New Belgium Brewing near the finish line. Several Old Main Street bars will offer discounts on select drafts to race participants.

 

Online registration and printable registration forms are available by visiting www.BradentonMarauders.com/PiratesandPrincesses5K. Early packet pickup will be available at Fit 2 Run in University Park on Monday, June 9 from noon-close and McKechnie Field June 10-12 from noon-6:00 p.m. each day. Race day check-in will begin at 5:30 p.m. Participants must register by May 25 to guarantee preferred shirt size.

 

Florida State League players and executives will be entertained at an invitation-only gala at the South Florida Museum from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. After the gala, players and executives will proceed to the “Main Street Plunder” party.

 

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the game at McKechnie Field. An autograph session will be held from 4:30-5:15, featuring players from both teams. There will also be live music by Matthew Huff at the Yuengling Plaza Bar pre-game.

 

The Home Run Derby will begin at 5:30. Eight Florida State League All-Stars will compete to earn the 2014 Florida State League Home Run Derby championship. Fans have a chance to win as well as various targets will be placed on the field. Balls that land or are caught in target areas will trigger great fan giveaways.

 

The winners of the All-Stars Among Us competition will be honored on-field in a ceremony before the game. Winners will be announced in a special section of the Bradenton Herald in the week preceding the All-Star Game.

 

The first pitch of the Florida State League All-Star Game will be at 7:05 p.m. The All-Stars from the South Division, which includes the Marauders, will take on the All-Stars from the North Division. The South Division has won the last two All-Star Games. A live audio webcast of the game will be available on www.BradentonMarauders.com.

 

A silent auction will be held during the game for each player’s All-Star Game jersey. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Pirates Charities.

 

A Mystery Ball Raffle will be held to benefit the Children’s Dream Fund. Fans can pay $20 to receive a randomly selected signed baseball. Among the many available autographs are balls signed by 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Frank Thomas, reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore.

 

Tennis balls will be sold during the game for post-game Launch-A-Ball. Winners have a chance to win up to half of the total pot. Proceeds will be donated to the Florida State League Hall of Fame.

 

After the game concludes, Zambelli Fireworks will present a spectacular post-game pyrotechnic display. The fireworks will be followed by a postgame concert and after party on the outfield boardwalk at McKechnie Field.  

 

For more information about the Florida State League All-Star Game, visit www.BradentonMarauders.com/AllStarGame.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Announce Plans For Improvements to McKechnie Field and Pirate City

(Bradenton, FL) The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced plans for two capital improvement projects to enhance baseball operations and training facilities at McKechnie Field and Pirate City. 

At historic McKechnie Field, where a renovation completed in 2013 has contributed to record-setting attendance for Spring Training, the Pirates plan to replace the aging clubhouse building at the southeast corner of the property. The new, 22,500-square-foot building will include the Pirates/Bradenton Marauders locker room, strength training facility, training center, food service operations and baseball operations offices. 

At Pirate City, the Pirates’ training facility in east Bradenton, the Club plans a new performance center to be constructed adjacent to the existing dining facility. The 10,500-square-foot center will include weight training and fitness facilities to support year-round athletic performance and rehabilitation programs in Bradenton.

The Pirates will fully fund construction of the buildings, which were approved this morning by the Bradenton City Council.

“The Pirates are continuing to invest in Bradenton because of our long-standing relationship with the community and the vital, year-round training and rehabilitation assets that have been developed by our partnership with the City,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “Our Major League and Minor League players deserve first-class facilities and the new home clubhouse at McKechnie Field and performance center at Pirate City will be among the best in the industry.”

Both projects are scheduled to be completed by early 2015 and are included in long-range plans for the facilities. The Pirates have hired local firms NDC Construction and Fawley Bryant Architects to design and build the projects.

Bradenton has hosted Pirates Spring Training every year since 1969. Only one team has trained at its current Spring Training facility longer.  First opened in 1923, McKechnie Field is the oldest Spring Training ballpark in use.  The addition of lights in 2008 and the expansion of fan-friendly amenities in 2013, have enhanced the ballpark’s status as one of the gems of the Grapefruit League. Ballpark Digest honored McKechnie Field as the “Best Ballpark Renovation” of 2013.

In 2014, the Pirates set new records for average attendance and single game attendance during the 2014 Grapefruit League season. The average attendance at McKechnie Field this spring was 7,587 per game, surpassing the prior high mark of 6,229, set in 2013. A new single-game attendance record was also established. The game between the Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, March 22 drew 8,566 fans.

In addition to Spring Training, McKechnie Field is home to the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates’ Single-A affiliate in the Florida State League.  McKechnie will also host the 2014 Florida State League All-Star Game on June 14.

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2014 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Visitors Generated nearly $21 Million for Charlotte County’s Economy

(Tampa Bay, FL) Visitors attending Tampa Bay Rays spring training games in Port Charlotte generated an estimated economic impact of $20,978,500 for Charlotte County. This estimated figure includes direct and indirect spending and is based on out-of-county visitors. It does not include the spending of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, visiting teams or media staying in the destination.

This estimated figure is based on research the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau commissioned Research Data Services, Inc., of Tampa, to conduct during the 2014 spring training season which ran from Feb. 28 to March 29.

Highlights of the research include:

·   Of the 78,624 people who attended the 2014 Tampa Bay Rays home spring training games, 39 percent were Charlotte County residents or seasonal residents;

·   Of the non-Charlotte County resident attendees, 68 percent came from other Florida counties, 22.7 percent from other states in the U.S. and 9.3 percent hailed from other countries;

·   The typical overnight visitor party had a median party size of 2 people and spent on average five nights in the area;

·   More than half the respondents attended regular season Tampa Bay Rays games at Tropicana Field in 2013;

·   In addition to spring training baseball, the top five activities out-of-town visitors enjoyed were:

Dining Out

Shopping

Beach/Walking on the Beach

Relaxing

Bars/Nightlife

Each year, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County. In addition to generating economic contributions, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or eco-tourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors.

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