Are They Lucky?

If you read my post today, you know about my lucky elephant earrings. And for those of you who did NOT read my blog today, I wore my lucky elephant earrings last night hoping to bring some luck to the team … and we got our first WIN at home. Well, I wore them AGAIN tonight … and guess what … WE WON AGAIN.

Now like I said in my last post, I am not taking away from our boys talent, but I STILL believe in the luck of my elephants … what do you think? Are They Lucky? I will of course be wearing them for the rest of the home stand …. we will see what happens!

Lucky Elephant

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For those of you who do NOT know me, I LOVE elephants. I have a pair of elephant earrings and I consider them lucky 🙂 With our loss of Wednesday night’s game, I decided to rock the Lucky Elephant earrings last night … and guess what … WE WON! Now don’t let me take away from our young talent here at Memorial Stadium, I’m just saying that the elephants ARE lucky 🙂

It was 96 degrees, clear sky, and a 4 MPH wind as James Pugliese threw out the first pitch at 7:17p.m.

The Emeralds started the game with a single by Martinez to shortstop. Martinez then scored off Adamson’s triple to center field. The triple was followed by a fly out and ground out. Adamson then scored and Stevens closed the inning with a ground out, Amaya to Shoulders.

Candelario was the only Hawk to get it started in the first inning, with his SECOND homerun of the season, BOTH of which being at Memorial Stadium (I wondered if there was any significance to that, the crowd, the atmosphere?)

The second inning is not worth mentioning as neither team scored. (Just my girly point of view … sorry, I need to get to the excitement).

Emeralds put 3 up and Pugliese took them DOWN in the 3rd inning. Hawks then tied up with Amaya getting a single to 3B who then advanced to 2B on a throwing error. Candelario then grounded out, and Amaya advanced to 3B followed by HOMEPLATE, bringing the score to 2-2. Rock Shoulders was then walked and Kim got the third out.

Again, to me, the 4th inning is not worth the mention so I’m moving onto the fifth … again, I need excitement.

Burke strikes out for the Ems while Adams started the 5th with a homerun on a 3-1 pitch count bringing the score to 3-2 Ems.

With a wild pitch, a single and a walk, the Hawks also got their third run of the game in the 5th inning.

Hayden Simpson replaced James Pugliese in the 6th inning (It was his first game here with the Hawks and he did GREAT).

The score stayed tied through the 8th inning.

While I was waiting to do my Player of The Game on field interview, I was on the edge of my seat wondering who it would be. Will we get our first home win of the season, will my plans for the interview be crushed?

With a double by Richardson and a throwing error by Bruno, Richardson scores … L 4-3 Emeralds, going into the bottom of the ninth.

Still on the edge of my seat, Dunston starts off the last inning striking out. My heart went crazy. BUT THEN … Amaya tripled to center field and all faith was back. I have to admit I didn’t really pay much attention after that until I heard the crowd go wild as Candelario hit a single through the hole at 2B, which brought in the 4th run by Amaya! Contreras then singled, advancing  Candelario to 3B. With that there was a pitcher change for the Ems and Inoa replaced Candelario at 3rd. With Rock up to bat … he singles to left field AND INOA SCORES THE WINNING RUN!

It was a great feeling … I looked to my boss and pointed to my Lucky Elephant earrings 🙂

All that matters is that the boys brought home a W!

“Bayete”

I sat down for an interview with Tayler Scott, a raw and rare phenomenon from South Africa who started out kicking soccer balls and playing rugby. Baseball is not the typical sport for kids growing up in South Africa, and there has never been a South African to make it to the major leagues, so what is Tayler Scott doing here?

When the players first arrived I had them fill out a short questionnaire just to get a grip on who they are behind the ball and glove. On Scott’s sheet I noticed the word “bayete,” I wondered where exactly the word came from and what it meant. Scott said that one of his family’s close friends in South Africa married a traditional African woman and that he loves ”the tribe she is from. The Zulu tribe. And so he tells me stories of what the warriors did during war and before war. And so the chief before would shout ungakunani. Which means how strong are you. And the warriors would reply bayete. Which means bring on the enemy.” Scott then proceeded to tell me that his father has “ungakunani” tattooed on his arm, while Scott has “bayete” tattooed on his, just another reminder that they are always under the same moon.

Scott got started in baseball when he was about 10 years old. His dad was reading a local paper and came across an ad for baseball. Scott wasn’t looking for a career, just something to keep him busy and out of trouble between his other sport seasons. It didn’t take long for Scott to realize how special the sport was to him. “When I was about 13 or 14, my dad saw that I was better than the kids my age. And by that time I really liked baseball and my dad said if you want to play baseball you have to go to America. So when I was 16 we found a high school in Arizona”

At a young age Scott was on his own. His parents were not able to move along with him and could only stay for a couple months at a time. “They would commute between South Africa and Arizona. When my mom was here my dad would be in South Africa then they would switch off every couple months” His parents are currently in South Africa.

While Scott says the transition was different, he also says that he is used to it now. He is sure it was more difficult on them being apart from each other and as far as he goes, they still visit every couple of months. “In the off season I go home. So it’s not too long that I don’t see them.”

Although Scott misses his home in South Africa, he says that being here is what motivates him to do well. He wants to be the first South African to make it to the major leagues. A big motivation comes from knowing what his parents sacrificed for him to be where he is today and also “knowing that baseball keeps me in America. America is where I want to be.”

I asked Scott what the biggest difference was as far as baseball in South Africa and baseball in America was when he first arrived here and as we all might assume, there are a lot of differences, baseball is a small thing in South Africa, it is not, shall I say, “America’s (South Africa’s) Sport.” In South Africa baseball is more of “a social sport, something fun to do every Sunday. The biggest differences were the amount of baseball played here, the amount of kids that play here, and the skill level, and coaching.” Not exactly the 7 month, 162 game seasons we look forward to here in America.

Scott had much of the same reaction when asked about comparing pro ball to high school ball. “There is no comparison.” Scott didn’t get the jump from high school to college; he was drafted out of high school and is now in his second season with the Cubs. Scott says “Pro ball is exactly how I expected it. The speed of the game increases. The skill level. Every player here was one of the best players on their team in high school or college. Now everyone is kind of the same skill wise. You can’t make mistakes like you did in high school because these hitters will take advantage of it. It’s just so much more exciting.”

With Scott coming from South Africa I wondered if there were stereotypes he had to overcome. I wondered if people doubted Scott for being from an area not known for the sport. Scott said “there will always be people that have their doubts because I haven’t really been playing baseball for that long and because no South African has ever made it to the major leagues. But a lot of people have high hope and are wishing me the best to become the first.” So for scouts, coaches and critics alike, “Bayete,” bring on the enemy.

South African Phenomenon

June 18, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

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Tayler Scott

So I have to ask, you started out kicking around soccer balls and playing rugby, what caught your eye with baseball? How did you get started in the sport?

  • “I was around 10 years old. And my dad was reading through a newspaper and found an ad for baseball. And I was looking for something to do in between my other sports seasons, and stay out of trouble. And so I went to go try it out.”

When did you realize you wanted to attack a baseball career head on and move to the states?

  • “When I was about 13 or 14. My dad saw that I was better than the kids my age. And by that time I really liked baseball and my dad said if you want to play baseball you got to go to America. So when I was 16 we found a high school in Arizona.”

Did your parents move as well or how did your situation play out?

  • “No they couldn’t move here. They could only be here for a couple months at a time. So they would commute between South Africa and Arizona. When my mom was here my dad would be in South Africa then they would switch off every couple months. They are in South Africa right now.”

How did you deal with that transition? Really, how ARE you dealing with it?

  • “At first it was different, only having one parent at a time. But then started getting used to it. I’m sure it was harder for them being away from each other. Now it doesn’t bother me that much I’ve become used to being here alone. And they come visit every few months. And in the off season I go back home. So it’s not too long that I don’t see them.”

When you first got to the states, what was the biggest difference you noticed with baseball? Was there a difference?

  • “There were a lot of differences. Baseball in South Africa is very small. It’s just a social sport, something fun to do every Sunday. The biggest differences were the amount of baseball played here, the amount of kids that play here, and the skill level, and coaching. “

Do you get any doubts from people as far as your capabilities go with being from South Africa … where baseball isn’t exactly a big thing?

  • “There will always be people that have their doubts because I haven’t really been playing baseball for that long. And because no South African has ever made it to the major leagues. But a lot of people have high hope and wishing me the best to become the first.”

I know you’re only a few games into the season, but how does pro ball compare to high school ball for you?

  •  “There’s no comparison. Pro ball is exactly how I expected it. The speed of the game increases. The skill level. Every player here was one of the best players on their team in high school or college. Now everyone is kind of the same skill wise. You can’t make mistakes like you did in high school because these hitters will take advantage of it. It’s just so much more exciting.”

What do you think motivates you the most? It must be hard being so far from home, what keeps you going?

  • “Wanting to be the first South African to make it to the major leagues. And just knowing what my parents sacrificed for me to be where I am. And also knowing that baseball keeps me in America. America is where I want to be.”

Ok, one last bone to pick, I saw that you don’t like ANY country music, not going lie that’s a little sad, but I’m not going to ask about it, BUT I need to know more about this crocodile thing … what exactly was the situation, how did you catch it (Scott informed me that he once caught a crocodile with his bare hands)?

  • Yes not a big country fan. I know that like every American loves it. (Hahaha). But it was at a crocodile farm. One of the baby crocodiles climbed out of the enclosure and I saw it laying there and just went and grabbed it. It was a small one (Hahaha).”

HAWKS EYE VIEW

Here is a look at what has been said about our young hawks since they have landed in Boise, Idaho.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/15/2155986/out-of-africa.html

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/14/2154549/converting-his-career-not-goals.html

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/13/2153128/its-all-in-his-name-for-new-hawk.html

http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/boise-hawks-return-to-their-nest-vs-eugene-emeralds/Content?oid=2667433

Media Day 2012

Media Day 2012

The Boise Hawks got to see just how much they are supported here in Boise, Idaho when they saw the Media come out to the stadium on Wednesday June 13. Mark Johnson, the team’s manager, said that is was like something you would see in the majors. Personally, I have only worked for one other team, but I have never seen a set up like I did here at Memorial Stadium this past week.

Speed Dating & Baseball

Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind as the 2012 Boise Hawks arrived at the Boise Airport with a large group of fans waiting to greet them. While we only received 21 players to begin the season, there were many host families waiting to take their pick and start making their case for why each player should choose them to live with.

Later on we had a meet and greet with the coaches, players, front office staff and the host families at the Owyhee Plaza. This is where each of the host families had to state their case for why their living arrangements were the best for each player.  Lists ranged from the fact that they had a pool, transportation, a lot of food, xbox, children nuts about baseball, and of course, a list of what kinds of animals they had which ranged from cats and dogs to chickens. In the end, it is a mess of speed dating. Players flock to families while families gravitate to players, swapping name tags to indicate “who belongs to whom.”

At the end of the night the players left for their “new home” with the host families.

Today brings the official start to the team’s 2012 season with media day where they will be swamped for interviews, have pictures taken, participate in their first practice here at Memorial Stadium, and end the night with a dinner at the Hawks Nest with their biggest fans, the season ticket holders. The team will then wake up bright and early and end their 48 hour stay in Boise to leave for their first series with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.

Angel on the Mound

Some believe in miracles and some believe in absolutely nothing at all, but I believe in guardian angels watching over us all. I was unable to be there for any of the games but through many Facebook posts of support and love, I was able to see the work of Brenda Gentry through her son Jordan and everyone else who believes in the angel watching over him and his team. This is a story about a team who hit, caught, laughed, cried and prayed together through thick, thin, and trying times, a team that still smiled and cried tears of JOY because they all felt the presence of what had held them together and kept them strong, they all shared a love for one woman, Brenda Gentry.

Jordan (Brenda’s son) found out at just 16-years-old, on the way home from basketball tryouts, that his mother had not one but two inoperable, cancerous brain tumors. At a young age he had to comprehend what stage 3 cancer even meant while Brenda had to start chemo the very next day. It was some of the most shocking news I’ve ever had to hear, as I am sure it was for many others as well.

Brenda fought hard for 14 long months, there were many times I got the call to say they weren’t sure if she would make it through the day or the night, but she always seemed to hold on.

It wasn’t until  my spring break this past March that I got to spend time with her and my extended family (my grandparents raised Jordan and I together in the summer, along with my other cousins, I will never forget). Brenda was still concerned with how everyone else was doing up until her last day. It was amazing to see someone’s strength … she was the one in pain, but I was the one crying, not able to handle it. Brenda had a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face, making you feel loved and beautiful at all times. The first thing she said on my first visit that week was, “You are soo beautiful, I am glad you came.” I will never forget that day.

It wasn’t long after my visits that week that her life came to an end, but it is apparent that she still lives on. I got the call March 9th. My heart broke for her family and all of the friends left behind but I also knew she would keep touching our hearts from above. I knew that Jordan had inherited his mother’s strength and he would be sure to keep pushing to make his mom proud (even though she was already proud). I knew that he would hold not only his family together, but his team together.

Just 3 short months after Brenda’s passing, Jordan’s baseball team came home the STATE CHAMPIONS on June 9th, 2012. I don’t want to take away from the team’s talent, but I know there was (is) a strong lady up above keeping the world turning for a small town team in Greene County, VA.

Jordan, I love you, and I know you can feel the presence of an angel on the mound, always remember … LOVE LIVES ON.

“She fought more than anybody I’ve ever known,” said Gentry, who was informed time and time again that his mom had little time to live. “My dad was always the big, tough guy. I always thought I was strong from my dad. Then I said, ‘Dad, I get my toughness from my mom. I thought it was from you.’ (TheDailyProgress)

*for those of you interested in more of the story, here is a link to a heart warming story written in our local paper.

http://www2.dailyprogress.com/sports/2012/may/05/william-monroes-gentry-draws-strength-his-mother-ar-1893905/

The Beginning …

So you might be thinking “what the heck is high heels and highlights …” well … It’s just that. This blog is meant to give a tall girls  “girls eye view” of the baseball world, both business and pleasure and highlight things going on OFF of the field rather than on it. Community events, charity events, interviews … etc. Somewhere along the way there may be something a little too girly for some, or a little too statistical for others, bottom line, I am just looking to keep this a fun environment and avenue to view and discuss baseball as I see it.

Thanks!