Tag Archives: baseball

Zack Hample, Youtuber, Baseball Fan, Home Run Ball Catcher



Rick is joined by internet and baseball sensation, Zack Hample this week.

Hample has attended games at 61 different MLB stadiums and snagged more than 11,000 balls in the stands including Mike Trout’s 1st career home run and Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit.

Hample gives his tips for catching baseballs at games and his favorite ballparks.

Zack is also the subject of a new feature-length documentary which was released on March 29, 2022. It’s very interesting.

Have a listen:


Kevin Gallagher, Author ‘Teach Your Kids to Hit’



Kevin Gallagher joins Rick this week to talk his new book and “saving baseball.”

SAVE THE GAME ™ is a grass roots initiative to invigorate Major League Baseball and increase youth participation in the game; the initiative was launched by the nine-year veteran former MLB player Jeff Frye (Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays), and two New York college standouts – Kevin Gallagher (Pace University) and Pat Geoghegan (Mercy College). Gallagher’s book, “Teach Your Kid to Hit … So they Don’t Quit,” was the genesis of the “Save the Game” ™ movement. The hope is that the initiative will ensure the revitalization of the game toward a healthy business future.

Visit www.savethegameus.com for more information and to sign the petition.
The initiative starts a one million signature petition-for-change effort to gain momentum toward a National movement, while grabbing the attention of MLB executives on a league and team level.  Visit www.savethegameus.com for more information and to sign the petition.

Simply stated, Gallagher, Frye and Geoghegan contend that MLB has lost its entertainment value because of its reliance on the power swing and little action between home runs. America’s youth is not engaged with MLB because the game has become too slow for this generation. Without the next generation’s involvement, MLB’s customer base will be diminished and baseball could lose its relevance and becomes a niche sport.

SAVE THE GAME ™ group wants to align with MLB on issues it has raised and problems already recognized in a grassroots effort.
Some of the focuses of SAVE THE GAME ™ include:
·       Give a Voice to the American baseball fan.
·       increasing youth participation in baseball with instruction from the book, and aligning with MLB to partner on the message.
·       reaching out to the RBI Foundations of each team (Revive Baseball in Inner Cities) to provide support and tools to help kids play the game
·       developing an app for parents which will provide a process to teaching kids, so they enjoy the game
·       Creating new fans.

It is the belief of the trio, and many experts are in agreement, that baseball has lost its luster because of its lack of action and strategy. Once America’s pastime, today it lags in television ratings (down 50 percent since 2003), sponsorship dollars and younger fan interest (only 7 percent under 18 watch baseball).

The hope is to revive baseball by bringing it back to its quicker pace of bygone years. The strategy, beginning with a player’s swing in youth baseball, includes: contact hitting and keeping the ball in play instead of swinging for the fences to increase action, thus making the game more entertaining; and by engaging younger fans and instructing younger players on the art of the game from Little League to High School to College.

Gallagher gives this example of the current “All or Nothing” approach: “There are only 2.46 home runs hit per game. In a three-hour game, you’re only getting a home run every hour. In between home runs is what is killing baseball. There is no action. We have to restore the game to the way it was historically played.”

Enjoyed this talk with Kevin.


Shawn Murnin, Play by Play Broadcaster Bowling Green Hot Rods, Minor League Baseball



One of the casualties of COVID-19 was the 2020 minor league baseball season.

But minor league baseball is back in 2021 and Rick talk with the head of media relations and the play-by-play broadcaster for the Class A, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Shawn Murnin. How is life in the minor leagues? Favorite minor league promotions? All that and more!

Murnin is in his third season as the Hot Rods Play-By-Play Broadcaster and Media Relations Manager. The Vandling, Pennsylvania native graduated from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Communications degree in 2011 and began his career in baseball with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees the same year. In 2015, he joined the Northwoods League’s Mankato Moondogs and soon thereafter, made the transition back to Minor League Baseball, making stops with the Peoria Chiefs and the Hagerstown Suns. Shawn calls all Hot Rods’ games on WBGN 94.5 FM/1340 AM, as well as authoring the Hot Rods’ TuneUp Blog. In his free time, you can find him on the golf course, collecting baseball cards, and spending time with his wife and son. His favorite sports team is the Tennessee Titans.

Fun to talk with baseball and sports and life with Shawn.

 


Rich Mueller, Founder of Sports Collectors Daily on How COVID-19 is Affecting Sports Collecting



Rick is joined by Rich Mueller, founder and editor of Sports Collectors Daily.- SportsCollectorsDaily.com— a daily news website/blog for the sports memorabilia industry/hobby.

About Sports Collectors Daily:

We search the internet for stories of interest, produce our own original content and keep tabs on news made by leading companies. We then bring it all together in one place. It’s a unique concept which has grown substantially in readership, internet presence and advertiser interest in the last dozen years.

Rich serves as head writer, editor, social media manager, marketing director and sales manager.

In this episode, Rick an Rich discuss the many ways COVID-19 is impacting the sports collecting industry.

Rick and Rich are both collectors, so it’s interesting to see how collectors are reacting. Also how retailers, card companies and show promoters are adjusting. An interesting talk with Rich, as it might be a good time to be a “buyer” in the sports collecting universe.


John Smoltz, Baseball Hall of Famer, Bridgestone Golf



Rick is joined this week by Baseball Hall of Famer and Atlanta Braves legend, John Smoltz.

Smoltz played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1988 to 2009, all but the last year with the Atlanta Braves. An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series. He won the National League (NL) Cy Young Award in 1996 after posting a record of 24–8, equaling the most victories by an NL pitcher since 1972. Though predominantly known as a starter, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team’s closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history (joining Dennis Eckersley) to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves.

Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history, posting a record of 15–4 with a 2.67 earned run average (ERA) in 41 career postseason games, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series

I caught up with Smoltz not in Atlanta, but at a Bridgestone Golf event that was part of the 2020 PGA Show in Atlanta.
Smoltz has now turned his attention to golf and recently won another celebrity tournament. He’ll be making some starts on the PGA Champions Tour and hopes to qualify this year again for the U.S. Senior Open.

Smoltz is also now a respected voice in the baseball broadcast booth. Hard pressed to find someone better to explain the game than Smoltz.


Bud Selig, ‘For the Good of the Game’



Former MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, from a book signing in the Atlanta area, this week on “Tech of Sports.”

Bud Selig is the former ninth Commissioner of Baseball. A life-long baseball fan and long-term baseball executive, he’s known for contributions to America’s Pastime including reform of the economic structure of the game, as well as labor and drug-testing policies. Tenured for more than two decades, he lives with his wife, Sue, and they have three daughters.

In this clip, he talks about his unique relationship with the legendary, Bob Uecker.

Uecker, remains a Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcaster and he’s beloved by Brewers and baseball fans.

For more than a century, the game of baseball was resistant to change – owners, managers, players, fans all were against it. No one knew this better than Bud Selig, who, as the game’s ninth commissioner and the head of MLB for more than twenty years, brought about more change during his tenure than his eight predecessors combined. He ushered in some of the most important, and controversial, changes in the game’s history – modernizing a sport that that had remained virtually unchanged since the 1950s. In this enlightening and controversial book, Selig goes inside the most difficult decisions and moments of his career, looking at how he worked to balance baseball’s storied history with the pressures of the twenty-first century to ensure its future. Part baseball story part business saga, and part memoir, For the Good of the Game chronicles Selig’s career, takes fans inside locker rooms and board rooms, and offers an intimate, fascinating account of the process involved in transforming an American institution. Featuring an all-star lineup of the biggest names from the past forty years of baseball, Selig recalls the vital games, private moments, and tense conversations he’s shared with Hall of Fame players and managers and the contentious calls he’s made. He also speaks candidly about hot-button issues including the steroids scandal and the labor and economic issues that threatened to destroy the game.