YOUR Boise Hawks First Annual Sponsor Softball Game

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YOUR Boise Hawks hosted the First Annual Sponsor Softball Game last night at Memorial Stadium for all of the sponsors throughout the 2012 season. Participants included Primary Health, BodyBuilding.com, Brown Rental, Cable ONE, Blue Cross of Idaho, Peppershock Media and Banner Bank.

The evening began with appetizers and drinks served at 4:30PM followed by a “Thank You” from President and GM Todd Rahr and dinner at 5:30PM.

Inning to Inning was entertained with some form of mix up to the game. In the second inning you had to ride a toddler’s bike from home to first, in the third inning you had to hula hoop from home to first and in the fifth inning you had to run backwards, this action was attempted by some and not even entertained by others!

For between inning promotions there was the Primary Health “Get Fit Race,” BodyBuilding.com Race Humphrey, Brown Rental Musical Chairs, Cable ONE TV Trivia, Blue Cross of Idaho Tissue Box Pull (minute to win it), Peppershock Media Potato Race and the Arm and Hammer Dryer Toss! John May from the Owyhee Plaza won the Dryer Toss and was awarded a year’s supply of laundry detergent.

Awards for the night included the Best fan, Lori “HOTSTUFF” Knipe from the Owyhee Plaza, who was awarded the golden foam finger, the big hitter, Greg Nelson from Brown Rental, who was awarded the golden bat, the best in field, Julie Milian from Peppershock Media, who was awarded the golden ball, and the golden glove was awarded to Brad Stith from BodyBuilding.com for pouring water on Jinny Giery at the end of the game!

YOUR Boise Hawks staff participated both on and off of the field. Jinny Giery was the home team’s coach, Greg Marconi was the away team’s coach, JD Bowers was the pitcher, Thomas Wolff was the MC/Home Plate umpire, and I was on music duty with Brandon White on PA and Raymond Stone on the “not so updated” scoreboard. The promotions team included Elizabeth Griffin and Lauren Stopher, with Todd Rahr and Dina Duncan as the photographer/haggler’s.

The Sponsor Softball Game was a fun way of showing our appreciation to YOUR Boise Hawks sponsors and a great way of meeting new people. Thank you to all who came out and participated and made it a great event!

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Party Rock with the Idaho Cubs

 

YOUR Boise Hawks hosted the Scout Days Showcase here at Memorial Stadium, October 5-7, giving young men the chance to show off their talent on the ball field in front of college coaches and major league scouts. The teams ranged from High School to College level with four teams participating including the College of Idaho, Vauxhall Academy, Treasure Valley Community College, and the Idaho Cubs prospect team for the Chicago Cubs organization.

The Idaho Cubs are a select group of young men put together by Manager Gary Van Tol, YOUR Boise Hawks Bench Coach! The mission of the Idaho Cubs is to develop the players at a higher level of competition, give the team exposure and evaluate the individual strengths, weaknesses and future projection of the individual players.

The Idaho Cubs also have High School and College prospect camps. The camps include coaches, players and scouts from the Chicago Cubs and other major league organizations; as well as NCAA, NAIA, and junior college coaches. The goal of the camps is to teach the importance of “strength and conditioning, supplements, injury prevention, college recruiting, NCAA rules and eligibility, professional baseball, agents, private instructors, showcase events, travel teams and practice organization.” While the camp is serious there is also a little time for some fun thrown in the middle. I will leave you with a short video, check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuYPGih-RNI

For more information on the Idaho Cubs Prospect Team and Camps visit www.idahocubs.com.

Moniker Madness Champion Swings for Homerun of the Year

He took Moniker Madness; can he take Homerun of the year as well? YOUR Boise Hawk Rock Shoulders has already won the 2012 Moniker Madness contest for the best name in baseball and has now been informed that he is in the running for the 2012 MiLBY Awards Homerun of the Year for his grand slam into another area code against the Yakima Bears September 3.

“It was a great accomplishment to be announced the best name in MiLB and win the championship for Moniker Madness, but being nominated for this is an even bigger accomplishment so this one would mean a little bit more to me and I’m honored to go up against all these great hitters.”

When highlighting the season with the team, almost every guy responded with Rock’s grand slam being at the top of the list and of course for Rock it was THE highlight of the season.

“This grand slam was great because it was in playoffs. We had been battling against Yakima all year long and their pitcher Perry did really well this year and in that at bat I just knew he was going to come with a slider with the bases loaded so I was waiting for it and he finally threw one that was hittable.”

Hitting Coach Bill Buckner had a lot to do with Rocks performance throughout the season. It was always Buckner that helped pull Rock back up when he had fallen into a little slump.

“I always knew I could count on him to help me figure it out and now I can do it on my own.”

Rock Shoulders is a young and talented player in the chase of his dream. Help him make yet another dream come true and support YOUR Boise Hawks by voting for him at http://www.milb.com/news/awards/y2012/index.jsp?category=homerun.

“I’d like to thank everyone who takes the time to vote for me to win this great award and tell everyone you know to go out and vote for me to win this. Thank you.”

What’s YOUR Ambition?

“Ambition is priceless; it’s something that’s in your veins.”

“Ambition,” a song released this year by Wale, promotes a positive attitude, one of belief not just dreaming. YOUR Boise Hawk, Rock Shoulders had it picked as his original walk-up song while Giavanni Ruffin has an inspirational documentary on YouTube titled “MY Ambition.” The video starts off with “Ambition” playing in the background as pictures of Giavanni’s High School diploma slide by along with his college acceptance letter and the 2010 Most Improved Player Award from East Carolina University. Giavanni says that he doesn’t want to just be an athlete; he wants to be a motivator and help kids, and adults, realize they should never give up. His ambition starts with his goals and believing, not just dreaming, wanting to help others and never taking a day off. The documentary sends a positive message and I encourage everyone to watch it but also, ask yourself, “What is MY ambition?”

Dan Vogelbach, YOUR Boise Hawks 2012 MVP, is a guy with great ambition. His mother, Jennie, works with the Special Olympics and has been an inspiration to Dan, igniting the dream to start his own little league for disabled children. Dan says that he is always around the kids for the Special Olympics and it makes you realize just how good we actually have it. “The little things we take advantage of makes their day! I want to make them happy, they love playing sports, getting out, and being around each other. They don’t care about winning or about who has the nicest stuff; all they care about is having fun and getting a chance to do what they never had the chance to do!”

Being around the children is a huge eye opener for anyone who is capable of fulfilling their dreams. “I want people to realize how good we have it and that just when you think you have it bad you need to look around and find a way to put a smile on your face! Because that’s what these people do, day in and day out they are happy!” During his time here with YOUR Boise Hawks it was obvious to see Dan’s attitude towards life leap out onto the field and take hold of his teammates. He was a positive inspiration to the team and will be to others in the future.

Going back to YOUR Boise Hawk, Rock Shoulders, it is not about the money, it is about baseball. While Rock admits that money is a plus, it is not why he plays the game. I asked Rock what the song “Ambition” meant to him and why he picked it as his walk-up song. “I picked it just because Wale talks about how he doesn’t care about the money anymore, he is just rapping for the love of it. Like me, I want to make it to the pros and play on the big stage because I love the game.” Rock started his ambitious routine at a young age hitting and practicing with his dad, and since high school, “working out … a lot.”

Ambition, it’s not about where you come from, what you or your family has, it’s about heart.

Life and Baseball

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What is baseball? To some people baseball comes off as boring, slow and “easy,” lacking both physical contact and physical ability. To others it is just a bat, a ball, two teams and a field. To me it is a tradition. It is entertainment and family fun, and for the most part, affordable. To me it is a bat, a ball, two teams and a field but it is also the ONE sport that time CAN’T touch. There is no clock counting down time to the end of the game, it is timeless. The ball is pitched, the batter swings, it’s a hit, a strike or an out, and the round-a-bout routine keeps going. The game is played until it is all said and done. Faith, hope, blood, sweat and tears are all poured into this sport just like any other … and life.

As I like to say, “They say there is no crying in baseball, so how come it is the only sport that can make me cry?” You never know what’s going to happen. It is like life in that sense. First you are up and then you are down. You put your all into one thing. One moment you are cheering for the good and then you get down on the bad, but win or lose you keep going. There is no giving up; you fight until the final out, whether that is in the 9th inning or the 20th. In life it is the same, you take the good with the bad, cheer for the good times and cry for the sad but you keep going.

Growing up I loved watching my big brother and cousins playing ball, as well as my grandpap in church league ball, the oldest player on the team and MVP. It was as much inspirational as it was fun. It was something I felt like I always shared with them. At the time it obviously taught me nothing. I was just a young girl running around a ball park, but looking back is when it all hits you. The importance of being committed to something, having fun, finding the passion and pushing through any struggle that may arise.

Watching the young fans this summer brought back a million memories. For our host families there is already that connect. The memories, the players, the staff, family time, etc, they come to most all of the games and cheer on their “host sons and brothers.” For the other children in the ballpark there was a glimpse of what memories could be made. Coming to the ballpark is more than just the boys on the field or the stadium the game is being played in. I don’t want anyone to miss what is taking place at the ballpark because they are too focused on what a new stadium might be like or what a winning team feels like.

Just like my description of baseball, Memorial Stadium, as well as any other, can be described in a million ways. To some Memorial Stadium may be run down, old and boring but to others, like me, it is not what you see from the outside that matters. The stadium is like a human, the importance doesn’t lie on the looks of the outside, it lies in what is happening on the inside. The walls may be old, your seats may be in the sun, but the memories are what matter most, the player/fan interaction, the hotdog slingshot, the Kids Park, fireworks, etc. In the moment it’s not as clear, but like I said, it is when you look back that things hit you. I don’t remember what the walls looked like, how comfortable the seats were or how the field compared to others. I don’t even remember who won what game, or whether or not the team I was cheering for was a winning or losing team. What I do remember is cheering for my brother as he hit a homerun, clapping as my grandpap rounded the bases, and the forts my friends and I made in the woods around the ballpark, that is what matters most, the lifetime memories. The flaws of the stadium are not flaws at all; they simply add character to the place and the experience itself. I urge you to look past the materialistic makeup of what is around you and instead, think about what is going on inside.

Opportunity Cost: Taking the Risk or Playing it Safe

What is there to gain by leaving home, going after something undiscovered, trying something new, simply putting yourself out there? My answer, friends, family, experience, memories that last a lifetime, and maybe, if I’m lucky, a job. I guess we never know what is to come when we step out the door and try something new, but no matter how big the battle or stretch, we never find out without taking that first step. A journey of a thousand miles, or in my case, three thousand miles, begins with just one step, one chance and one opportunity.

In this situation I am talking about my trip to Dallas, Texas which ended up bringing me here to Boise, Idaho where I have done exactly what I previously mentioned. I took one step, left home, put myself out there, tried something new and gained friends, “family,” experience and memories that will last a lifetime. The job is still in the making, but either way this experience has led me in the right direction and has made me a stronger person.

I, along with three other co-workers, made the trip. We took the journey to Dallas, Texas, and then to Boise, Idaho to see what we could become (thanks to Dave Sappelt for the tweet, #WhatCanUBecome). And here are our stories.

Jake Abbott left home, Chehalis, Washington and went to the 2011 Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas knowing that he wasn’t done with school until June and the job market for that time period would be twice as competitive. One of his previous co-workers, with the Tacoma Rainiers, told him that it was the best experience and opportunity out there in the baseball industry. Jake put in 25-30 resumes and had just 4 interviews. However, out of the 4 interviews, he got the seasonal internship with YOUR Boise Hawks as the Event Operations and Marketing Coordinator. Jake is glad that he took the risk and made the journey because there would have been “what if’s” if he hadn’t. His peak of the season was simply being in the press box and seeing everyone’s hard work on display. The hard part of the journey is knowing that he might not be here post-season and he will have to go through the whole routine again. At the same time, this excites him because he will be going into it with much more experience and more defined goals. “Great things happen to those who are motivated and proactive, find the passion and chase the dream.”

Thomas Wolff moved from Modesto, California for a chance at a career in baseball. He also went to the Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas where he took the job with YOUR Boise Hawks as a Ticket Sales Executive. Thomas moved out here on January 2 and at that point was the farthest he had ever lived from home. Thomas lived just an hour away from home when he was in college, so this was a change. “I was offered over 10 jobs, strewn across the country from Alabama to Washington, Cleveland to California. I had plenty of great options yet the Hawks were the best. The comfort of friends and family is great but sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, take some risks and make the move that is best for your future. Boise and the Hawks were that move.”

My story was a bit rushed. I had had a horrible two months and decided last second to go to the Winter Meetings. Going to the meetings had been my goal for a couple of years but I let my fiancé (at the time) keep me where I was. My grandfather, my best friend, passed away in October. I took it hard and went on a downward spiral for a month or so. Take it for what it’s worth, but I was in a car accident in November, my fiancé and I broke up a couple days later, and a week after that I was online signing up for the meetings. I am not telling a sob story, I am speaking about how the best possibility came from the worst situation. I put in 12 resumes and had 10 interviews. I chose YOUR Boise Hawks and moved out here 4 days after graduating college. I didn’t realize quite how far away from home I’d be but in the end I couldn’t have asked for a better learning experience. I, like Jake, have a better defined list of goals and experiences and am more than ready for the direction I am heading these days. My point being that no matter what struggle you are going through you still have to make things happen for yourself and just DO IT!

I think this idea started rolling after reading an email from my grandmother this morning. She mentioned my cousin, Kevin, who shares a love for baseball, and in his case, sports in general. “I wish some of your ambition and self-confidence would rub off, he doesn’t have the drive you have to go after what you want.” I replied by saying that everyone has it in them; it is just finding the strength to DO IT. My strength was not found in times of joy, and I didn’t always have the ambition to do something like this, this meaning packing my life up and moving 3,000 miles from home. But I found it. I encourage everyone to look deep inside and go after what they want, whether you are 10 years old or 60, or in a great or not so great situation. My co-workers will laugh, but don’t let anyone steal your sparkle! I kind of live by that!

To Kevin: Search inside for your goals and ambition and DO IT! Don’t be shy and don’t let anyone say you can’t, and when they do, turn it into a positive and keep going! Stay strong and be happy! Continue to make your mother proud. Love You!

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!