Tag Archives: mlb

Beamer, Benz, or Bentley…or Broken Down Car: Why Minor League Players need YOUR Help!

I know many of you read this article when it was published on tossitaround.com, but here it is again for those of you who did not!¬† Enjoy ūüôā

If you like rap music, you‚Äôre probably familiar with the song ‚ÄúBeamer, Benz, or Bentley‚ÄĚ by Lloyd Banks.¬† And when driving into a player‚Äôs parking lot, even in the minor leagues, that song has a lot of truth to it.¬† There are a number of players that were high draft picks and awarded themselves with a new car, some players who came from wealthy families and already had a nice car, and many players who drove what their parents gave them for their 16th birthday. ¬† It‚Äôs important to remember that not every baseball player automatically comes with an in disposable income.¬† For the players that didn‚Äôt have the luxury of bringing their car on the road with them to whichever small, ‚Äėlast-one-out-shut-off-the-lights‚Äô kind of town (think Elizabethton, TN), I‚Äôve known them to buy bicycles at the local thrift or Goodwill store–partially for entertainment, I am sure–but also because packing more guys than there are seats into a sports car can get pretty uncomfortable.

I‚Äôve first handedly seen a couple of players riding their bikes home after a game, gym bag on the handle bar, pitching arm only feet away from traffic at 11:30 at night‚Ķnot something a coach or a general manager probably wants to see.¬† I‚Äôve also seen a very well-liked, highly touted prospect stop and give a ride out of the parking lot to a handful of Latin players who were headed home in the pouring rain. At a season opener introduction ceremony in 2009 for the team I worked for, an announcement was made that a player needed a car and would be willing to pay whoever could help him out whatever he could afford (a very small amount)‚ÄĒhe had a car within a couple weeks.

In most cases, before they turn into a millionaire or an Alex Rodriguez or Joe Mauer, they struggled in the years before.¬† Many minor league teams, especially at the Rookie level (some rookie teams are located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Mesa, AZ‚Ķplaces not known for cheap rent) offer host families to cut the cost of renting an apartment‚ÄĒsomething that comes very much in handy when you‚Äôre 18 or 19 or 20 years old and even after that.

Often, season ticket holders also turn into ‚Äúteam moms.‚Ä̬† The two years I was with the Ft. Myers Miracle, a couple that were season ticket holders took a few players under their wings and had them over for dinner, took them out to eat, and brought cookies and brownies for the entire team once or twice a week.¬† To a small town, a baseball team provides excitement and entertainment and this is that town‚Äôs way of thanking them.

Until you hear them talk about how nice it was to have a home cooked meal, or how great the ‚Äúspread‚ÄĚ was in the clubhouse¬† when a major league player was in town rehabbing, most fans don‚Äôt know how much being on the road for seven or eight months makes these ‚Äúboys‚ÄĚ miss the little things at home.

If you have a minor league team in your town or city of any level, reach out to the media relations director (who is in daily contact with the players) or the community relations director and see if you can help in any way.  A future MVP or Hall of Famer will remember you long after buying his first Beamer, Benz, or Bentley.

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FSL South 1st Half Division Champs!

1st Half South Division Champs!

~All-Star Game~

Chris Parmelee, Champion of the HR Derby!

Chris Parmelee, Champion of the HR Derby!

Hey fans (if there are any out there…)! ¬† I know I have been a little here-and-there on my updates, but I am in the middle of taking Spanish II and Gov, on top of working,so life is a little busy right now! On a GREAT note, Econ ended well and my grade will transfer back to IU as I had planned.¬†

  Anyway, the Miracle wrapped up the first half of the season by clinching the FSL 1st Half Division title and hosting the 2009 Florida State League All-Star Game. It turned out to be about a 29-hour work weekend (Friday and Saturday) but it was a great time and the Miracle received compliments right and left about the production of the entire weekend.  The South lost the game, but our own Chris Parmelee won the FSL All-Star Game Home Run Derby!  Starlin Castro of Daytona was the MVP of the game, going 4-for-4 on night.   

Here are a few links to some interesting game recaps and photos!  

http://www.miraclebaseball.com/news/?id=7579  (Miracle Recap)

http://www.miraclebaseball.com/fanzone/index.php?cat_id= 

 http://prismpressgroup.org/?p=3775 (GREAT pictures by Prism Press Group!)

http://prismpressgroup.org/?p=3956 (All-Star Game overview and recap)

http://prismpressgroup.org/?p=3953 (HR Derby coverage)

Prism Press Group did a great job with their coverage of the game, and Dave Dorsey, of the News Press, had his story (the Miracle recap) featured on MiLB.com!

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Miracle News and Player Profiles!

 

Our beautiful stadium--Home of the Spring Training MN Twins and Fort Myers Miracle!

Our beautiful stadium--Home of the Spring Training MN Twins and Fort Myers Miracle!

¬†The Miracle are currently 34-19 and in FIRST PLACE IN THE FSL SOUTH! ¬†We’re (not that I technically play but…) 6 1/2 games ahead of the Charlotte Rays, our I-75 rival. ¬†After a few bumpy games in the past week or so, including a season long 3-game losing streak, we’ve (again, there is no jersey bearing my last name on the back) beat Clearwater the past two nights by 1 run a piece. ¬†LHP Spencer Steedley is 4-0 with an 0.67 ERA and Ben Revere is hitting .339 through last night. ¬†The All-Star game is coming up on June 20th (and it’s @ our stadium!) and we have a record 8 All-Stars on the South team, including, P David Bromberg, P Spencer Steedley, P Carlos Gutierrez (will not play due to AA promotion), C Danny Lehmann, OF Ben Revere, SS Chris Cates, OF Chris Parmelee, and IF Steve Singleton.¬†

I am doing short, fun player profiles on our All-Stars, and have 3 to share with you all that I did yesterday!  

1616.jpeg.300Name: Chris Cates

My family: The most important people, ever.

Best concert I’ve been to: Keith Anderson

Playing baseball at Louisville was: Awesome and unforgettable

Best road trip city: Tampa, because it’s my home town

I have always wanted to: Host my own talk show

I’m known for: My height

On a day off I: Go home and spend time with my family

Favorite food: Pizza

Day or night: Both

Fort Myers is: Nice

 

1627.jpeg.300Name: Ben Revere

Funniest teammate: Chris Cates

Best dressed on the team: David Bromberg

The next car I buy: Lamborghini

Team with the best uniforms in FSL: Charlotte Stone Crabs

Lexington, KY is: No place like home

My family: The love of my life

Favorite city: Atlanta

After a game I usually: Eat

Best advice: Play hard every day

Favorite dessert: Twizzlers 

 

1630.jpeg.300Name: Steve Singleton

California: Beautiful

In my refrigerator: Gatorade and a watermelon

Biggest pet peeve: Floating debris in my water at restaurants

Best Halloween costume I ever had: Officer Jones from Reno 911

Early Bird or Night owl: Early bird

Favorite cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

If I could be anyone, I would be: Tiger Woods

Coke or Pepsi: Pepsi

Siblings: 1 brother

iPhone or BlackBerry: iPhone

 

I will hopefully finish up the other 4 today and get them posted soon!  

np

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Chris Parmelee & David Bromberg Feature

 

Parmelee and Bromberg currently play at this beautiful field, Hammond Stadium.

Parmelee and Bromberg currently play at this beautiful field, Hammond Stadium.

Our second Miracle program comes out soon, and our Media Relations Director, Mr. Gary Sharp, graciously allowed me to write a feature on a couple of our players. ¬†After a few tweaks and constructive criticism from my editor ( initials G.S…), I am happy with my story and am looking forward to writing more of them! ¬†As an IU School of Journalism student, I’m just trying keep up on my writing and hopefully display what I have learned while there…see mom and dad, I really do go to class!¬†

Anyway, I hope you enjoy getting to know two of our great players..our team is full of them!

 

 

LET-M-M

 

 

inor league baseball is a job. It’s a commitment. It’s fun.  For two Fort Myers Miracle players from California, it’s a passion.

Chris Parmelee, the Twins first round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, has had a passion for the game of baseball since he was four-years-old, playing catch after school with his dad.

‚ÄúYou know the kids you see at the park playing catch with their dad two or three times a week?¬† That was me, but every single day. All I could think about was baseball,‚ÄĚ said the Chino Hills native.

Parmelee credits part of his love for playing everyday to the team chemistry of this year’s Miracle.  Between watching countless movies on road trips and getting together off the field, playing with same guys day in and day out has become fun.

‚ÄúWe definitely all mesh together really well.¬† Most of us have been playing together for a couple years and all the guys have a great attitude,‚ÄĚ said Parmelee.

The soft-spoken 21-year-old’s dedication to the sport is obvious when he talks about his favorite part of the 140 regular-season game schedule.

‚ÄúThere is nothing better for someone who loves baseball to be able to play every day, and there is nothing better than putting on a uniform and going out there.¬† All I could think about all day when I was younger was playing baseball, and things really didn‚Äôt change as I got older,‚ÄĚ Parmelee said.

To David Bromberg, the Twins 32nd round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, baseball gave him an opportunity.

‚ÄúI hung out with the wrong people when I was younger and I was given a choice: either focus on baseball and start being around the right people or go no where.¬† I choose baseball,‚ÄĚ said Bromberg.

Bromberg learned how to carry himself on and off the field, even when he’s not successful. 

‚ÄúWhen I fail, I always ask how I am going to carry myself to the next start.¬† I‚Äôm a little upset at first, but I just think about what I did and remember that tomorrow, whether it concerns baseball or not, is a new day and pray the Lord be with me,‚ÄĚ the tall right-hander said.

The Los Angeles native credits his dad, along with his baseball coach at Pacific Palisades High, Tom Seyler, as the men who have factored in his success, along with one special fan.

J.R. Bromberg, David’s 19-year-old brother, was drafted by the Twins in the 2007 First Year Amateur Player Draft, but now plays at Fresno State.

‚ÄúWe listen to each other‚Äôs games when we can,‚ÄĚ said Bromberg.¬† ‚ÄúJ.R. calls me up after a game, and I‚Äôll call him after his.¬† It‚Äôs awesome to be able to pump each other up.‚ÄĚ

At the end of the day, with the support of his family and coaches, the promising pitcher simply loves baseball.

‚ÄúI love the game, the fans, and being on the mound.¬† The little fans are the best, and I‚Äôll always take time to talk to them and sign autographs,‚ÄĚ the smiling pitcher said. ‚Äú I just want everyone to know there is nothing else I would rather be doing and I‚Äôm happy to be here.‚ÄĚ

 np

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J is for Jo!

My Roomie!! 

Trace and I last summer working for the Miracle!

Trace and I last summer working for the Miracle!

 Forgot to mention on my earlier spiel that I now have a roommate!  Tracey was an intern last summer with the Miracle and she just graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.  I am so excited to not come home to an empty house anymore!  Trace has an internship with Sunstream, a company that oversees multiple hotels and resorts between Naples and Fort Myers Beach, including The Ritz Naples. 

It’s going to be a great summer “OHHHH 9!”

 

LET-JLET-O

 

I have recently been asked a few times what the “J” in NJP stands for…and good guess, but no, it is not Jean!

It’s actually Jo, and before that, it was Elizabeth. ¬†Yep, I formerly was Natalie Elizabeth Platt from about March of 1987 until probably about April of 1987. ¬†Apparently, the couple that parent me thought Natalie Elizabeth Platt was too long of a name, thus legally changing it to “Jo.” ¬†Eight ¬†Nine¬†letters to two… couldn’t find a middle ground there of five or six letters, mom?¬†

But that’s ok, because my mom’s middle name is Jo too. And my daughter’s middle name will probably also be Jo.¬†

As long as we’re on the topic, my mom’s top picks for my name were:¬†

1) Natalie

2) Caroline

3) Berkley —-> ¬†a name I used to think was hideous, but I think it’s kind of quirky now.¬†

And if I was a boy, Evan Michael. ¬†That was after the fact that she wanted to name me Rhett and after the fact ¬†my dad said “Rhett Platt up to bat” sounded silly.¬†

So here I am, NJP, or Natalie Jo Platt.  

ūüôā

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Twitter

 

Joy and I at the Charlotte Stone Crabs opening night!

Joy and I at the Charlotte Stone Crabs opening night!

 

 

Hey everyone! ¬†Sorry for the delay… I have had family in town, games to work, and sleep to get! ¬†

To catch up a bit, the Fort Myers Miracle are currently in FIRST place in the FSL (Florida State League) and boast a 11-6 record.  Twins catcher Joe Mauer has been on the road with the Miracle for the past five days rehabbing and should be back in Minnesota ready to play on Friday.   Check out http://www.miraclebaseball.com/ to see our roster, news, and updates!  

In other news…Who is on Twitter? ¬†I joined recently and was skeptical at first but LOVE it. ¬†I can “follow” ESPN, Sports Center, Time, the Twins, etc. ¬†That way, every headline shows up on one page and I can click from there to read the article. ¬†It saves so much time and I only get the news I want! ¬†It’s also fun/silly to follow some celebrities… some of my favorites include Giuliana Rancic from E! (amazing tips on working out/health), Perez Hilton (admit it, you like him too…) and Kim Kardashian. ¬†You can also follow Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and Twins catcher Joe Mauer…neither one “tweet” consistently but it’s an oddly fascinating thing to read their “140 characters or less” updates.

You can follow the Miracle (search Fort Myers Miracle or Gary Sharp) and myself, Nat32.

Also, hope you all enjoy a couple of my new pictures (NJP & Friends)…the ones of Joy and I are in our new jackets the Twins gave us in appreciation for Spring Training! ¬†Too bad it was only chilly enough to wear them one night…

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Baseball in Stilettos…

Hey all! ¬†I’ve decided to change the name of the blog to Baseball in Stilettos, for the following reasons (not so much as reasons, but because it gives the blog an interesting twist):

-I’m 22. ¬†I’m not just living and breathing baseball (although at times that may be true)…I try to maintain a a fun social life in between games…and I’m always attired in… STILETTOS!

-Not only do I have a unique behind-the-scene view of Minor (and Major) League Baseball; that view is coming from a girl. 

-I’m trying to work hard and excel at my job ¬†just like everyone else, except I’m teeter-tottering on my heels through the sacred world of baseball, run predominately by males.

-Turf or grass, MLB or MiLB, GM or Intern….everyone has a story and journey, and here is mine: A 22-year-old’s Summer in the FSL: Stadiums, Stilettos, and Strikes.

Great book title, no? ¬†I’ll stick to the blog.

Miracle season starts a week from tonight!

 

Also, George Toma did NOT attend my 22nd Beach Birthday Bash (capitalized to emphasize the¬†importance¬†of that day we so luckily had off), but he DID give me a copy of the book he wrote, “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Man,” and wrote the following in the front cover (“and then some” is HIS quote) :

To: “Natalie”
Happy Birthday to a wonderful young lady and a tireless worker.¬† It’s a real inspiration¬†
to watch you work.  The difference between average people and top people is that you have 
the “and them some”– you do your job “and then some.” You are very thoughtful of¬†
others–are you considerate and kind “and then some.” You are a great friend to everyone¬†
and can be counted on in an emergency “and then some.” Whatever you do you leave it¬†
better than you found it.  Your not just speaking to someone else but offering a smile 
and hand shake.¬† You are not just listening to someone else but actually caring–also not¬†
just giving others a smile, but alawys offering a few kind words.  Keep up the excellent 
work.  May all your good fortunes be as numerous as the blades of grass.
“And then some.”
My Best,
George P. Toma
P.F.H.O.F. 2001 

 

What a great keepsake from such an inspirational man.  

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About Me!

I recently read my entire blog (looking for changes, etc) and realized that some of you who read this may really wonder who I am and what I’m all about–my “Who IS this girl??” doesn’t really provide the 411 on why the heck I am taking a semester off school and why I chose to come here to Florida.

 

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a point in time (22 or 72) where some people come to a screeching halt, parking break and all, look around, and realize they are not happy. ¬†Signs might have been missed leading up to this point, but boy, you want to get the heck out of wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. ¬† Unfortunately for me, this¬†occurred¬†last fall. I had had it- I was done being at the library until 3am, done spending hours studying for a test that was multiple question A-F, and done wishing I was doing something else. ¬†Although I have to return to all that in August (I am already mentally preparing myself), what I am doing now has been great for my self and my resume–and will hopefully launch me into some kind of career after graduation (ahem…after the 5th year victory lap. Or 4.5 yr. Not sure about that yet…). ¬† I have met great people and love the area I live in–the people at Circle K know my name (they will soon forget, as I am on my second coffee-free day in months…tea from now on!) and I have made “when I get to the condo..” into “when I get home…”

 

Digging a little deeper to who I really am…. it’s hard to describe yourself to a virtual world–the majority of the people reading this I know and those I don’t will probably never meet me. ¬†However…

I have multiple pairs of “going out shoes” in my closet (organized by height), but I work sometimes 13 hour days at a ballpark, where heels are somewhat made fun of… (See previous post)

If you look in my fridge, I have¬†Heineken Light sitting next to boxed wine. ¬†You can trick anyone after the wine is in a glass–who knows that much about wine at 22 anyway? ¬†However, everyone loves a great beer.

I love getting my nails done; again, I also work at a ballpark.  The two are like oil and water. 

I love to write, yet my job poses a small distraction.

Everything¬†seems to be tying back to my job….

Rap is my favorite kind of music, yet I know most words to every country song. ¬†I’m from Indiana.¬†

Nothing beats where I am at the moment (on my lanai..palm trees blowing..small breeze coming in)

i’m a girly-girl with a love for sports–that’s just about like the manicures/ballpark situation.

without going on, and on, and on, this is a small glimpse of who the typist is behind this fun, sometimes (hopefully) insightful, and somewhat silly blog. 

hope you all continue reading, and thank you for the great comments and feed back!

np

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People Watching….

photo1

Can I join the Safari??

 

I don’t know one person who does not like to ‘people watch.’ ¬† Its airport entertainment, a laugh from your drivers seat in rush-hour traffic, and a strain of your neck as you do a double take…”is she REALLY wearing that?!”

Needless to say, between yesterday and today at the stadium I got my far share of people watching in.  Stationed on the Party Deck (1st baseline), I saw a few categories of baseball game goers that could be seen throughout Hammond Stadium :

1) The Guy Too Old To Be Bringing a Baseball Glove to the Game

This guy is in his mid to late 30’s (with or without a child in tow, double points for matching shirts/gloves with his son), has a backpack slung over his shoulder with multiple items for autograph signings (not his own…) for after the game,¬†including¬†our $6¬†souvenir¬†bat sticking out from the top. ¬†After multiple attempts of catching a ball, he finally gets one, bare-handed, and continues to shake his hand around in pain after his catch, only to emphasize that any man in his mid to late 30’s should not catch a baseball barehanded…. again, you BROUGHT A GLOVE TO THE GAME. This act is concluded by handing the ball to his son or keeping it for himself, the latter of the two drawing loud ‘boo’s’ from the crowd.

2) The Girl Who Wore a Dress/Heels/Sparkles to a Day Game….

I have nothing against dresses and heels (nix the sparkles), but there is a time and place for everything. ¬†Recently, I saw a girl walk in the front gates of the stadium in a dress I wore out in South Beach for my sister’s bachlorette party (under the Pictures tab, I am wearing it in the picture with my sister). ¬†It’s pink, a tiny bit clingy, and¬†definitely¬†not appropriate for the ballpark (purely my opinion). Maybe she had big plans that night that at 1pm she had to be dressed for. What do I know. ¬†Planning ahead is a good trait in a person.¬†

3) The Miserable Child with His Overeager Parents..

This poor child has very little, if no interest, in baseball or being at the ballpark on a hot, sunny day. ¬†He is more excited about the¬†inflatable¬†Twins beach rafts versus the Twins hitting back-to-back-to back¬†homers¬†(3/23/09). ¬†His parents are on the The Vacation of a Lifetime (either¬†preceded¬†or followed by a trip to The Best Place on Earth…Disney World), complete with fanny packs and a little bit of sunscreen not so rubbed in on their noses. ¬†If they are from up North, their attire might include a¬†Hawaiian¬†shirt,¬†khaki¬†shorts, and white tube socks with their sandals or boots (the above picture was taken today..too bad you can’t see his socks/shoes/rest of the family)…because they need to stand out a little more than they did before (their pale skin/enormous amounts of¬†sunscreen¬†are clue indicators…). ¬†The kid is dragged around with one hand from concession to concession,¬†souvenir¬†stand to¬†souvenir¬†stand, where Dad is testing all the ballpark food and trying to find a score sheet (only included INSIDE the program, for $5. ¬†We’re not a¬†subsidiary¬†of Dollar General, so please don’t complain about the price. ¬†Nothing is free.) and Mom is catching every riveting moment of The Vacation of a Lifetime with her new camera. ¬†So touching.

Although there are numerous other observations, these were repeat offenders throughout my two days on the Party Deck… if only I was there more often.¬†

 

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Twins vs. Red Sox Pt. 2

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It’s safe to say that I BARELY made it though the first two Spring Training games–in fact, only one and a half. ¬†During the win over the Red Sox Wednesday night, the weather went from warm and sunny to chilly and windy as soon as the sun went down. ¬†Combine that with standing outside all night and you’ve got yourself a Top 5 worst cold of all time. ¬†So, the President of Miracle Baseball, Linda McNabb, found me on a makeshift bed of office chairs during the Twins/Yankees game Friday and promptly let me go home where I am pleased to say I feel 80% better this morning. ¬†

I have had the three worst colds/sinus infections in my life when I have been in Florida…once ¬†my freshman year in college during spring break in Miami (that required a quick trip to an emergency med center in a not-so-nice part of Miami…), once during Miracle season last year (the chicken dance and YMCA on top of the dugout needed a break from me as much as I needed a break from it) and now this one–where I slept for about four hours yesterday afternoon on a double-decker blow up matress (Mom, Aunt Tish, Uncle Mike, and G-pa are still here…no bed for me!).

Anyway, the game and a half I have made it through have been fun–lots of work (14 hr work day on Wednesday), but great to see all the things we have done to prepare for opening night come together. ¬†It’s especially great when families come ¬†up to me and explain that this is their son or daughters first time at a Spring Training game and they are having a great time, or how beautiful Hammond Stadium is and what a great facility it is for Spring Training. ¬†

It’s comments like those that remind you why you’re doing what your doing and keeps you wanting to do it more. ¬†Many things we do go unnoticed, but ¬†when someone ¬†takes an extra moment to tell you what a great job your doing or how great their experience was… that makes it all matter.

We play the Red Sox again tomorrow, and hopefully I will make it through the entire game! ¬†Check out the MLB network–not sure Sunday’s game is on (MLB Network website hasn’t posted which games will airing) though. ¬†Also, TODAY on MLB Network, 30 Games in 30 Days will be coming to you from Ft. Myers Florida/Hammond Stadium on the Minnesota Twins!

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