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 🙂

If you like rap music, you’re probably familiar with the song “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” by Lloyd Banks.  And when driving into a player’s 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’s important to remember that not every baseball player automatically comes with an in disposable income.  For the players that didn’t have the luxury of bringing their car on the road with them to whichever small, ‘last-one-out-shut-off-the-lights’ kind of town (think Elizabethton, TN), I’ve 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’ve 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…not something a coach or a general manager probably wants to see.  I’ve 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)—he 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…places not known for cheap rent) offer host families to cut the cost of renting an apartment—something that comes very much in handy when you’re 18 or 19 or 20 years old and even after that.

Often, season ticket holders also turn into “team moms.”  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’s way of thanking them.

Until you hear them talk about how nice it was to have a home cooked meal, or how great the “spread” was in the clubhouse  when a major league player was in town rehabbing, most fans don’t know how much being on the road for seven or eight months makes these “boys” 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.

“You 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,” 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.

“We 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,” 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.

“There 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’t change as I got older,” Parmelee said.

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

“I 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,” said Bromberg.

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

“When I fail, I always ask how I am going to carry myself to the next start.  I’m 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,” 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.

“We listen to each other’s games when we can,” said Bromberg.  “J.R. calls me up after a game, and I’ll call him after his.  It’s awesome to be able to pump each other up.”

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

“I love the game, the fans, and being on the mound.  The little fans are the best, and I’ll always take time to talk to them and sign autographs,” the smiling pitcher said. “ I just want everyone to know there is nothing else I would rather be doing and I’m happy to be here.”

 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.  

🙂

np

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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…

np

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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.  

np

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