Thursday, May 29, 2008


Will’s team feasted on an inferior team Wednesday night, winning 17 – 0 in 3.5 innings. Thought they rubbed it in a bit, continuing to steal and take extra bases with a big lead. The umps didn’t help, repeatedly calling balks on novice pitchers, and every close call went out way, infuriating the opposing team, coaches, and fans. The kind of game someone gets hurt in…and the Wildcats only have nine healthy players.

Will had a single, triple, and two walks, scoring three runs…two in one inning. Made a nice play at shortstop.

Watched most of the Braves game last night. Tough with 2/3 of the outfield being backups, not that they’re not pulling their weight. Had to go get Will when the Brewers had the runner on second in the bottom of the eighth, after the leadoff walk.

Memorial Day

I’ve been running some numbers on Will, hopefully to help encourage him. He’s really playing good, but doesn’t think so. Since mid February he’s played in 47 games and had over 20 practices.

Coaching…I’m not a big fan of pulling the infield in, which is what Will’s coach always does. When you have a big lead it can make things worse.

Cleaning out clothes this weekend, I have a bunch of favorites that I want to keep, though no one wears them. Jerseys, tees, golf shirts, dress shirts. Got rid of a few, kept most. May give old tees to a friend who wears old tees, just so I can see them more often.

This weekend Ceil painted the dining room, and I went through over 15 containers of clothes…putting up all the winter clothes and getting out the summer clothes. I have a carload of clothes to give away. Had to go swimming. Last night we went to see Horton Hears A Who, which was a pretty good commentary on the state of our society these days, drawing parallels to abortion and discrimination to Christians, etc. We only had one baseball game, a story I’ll email separately. This week Will has six games, all for one team.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This weekend Ceil painted the dining room, and I went through over 15 containers of clothes…putting up all the winter clothes and getting out the summer clothes. I have a carload of clothes to give away.

Had to go swimming Saturday.

Last night we went to see Horton Hears A Who, which was a pretty good commentary on the state of our society these days, drawing parallels to abortion and discrimination to Christians, etc.

Only had one baseball game. This week Will has six games, all for one team.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Frustrated...But Why?

Will has also been down on his pitching. Sunday afternoon we looked closer at the scorebook. In the error-filled game Will pitched May 8th in Chattanooga with only two defensive starters, Will pitched the equivalent of six scoreless innings, even counting in the ten walks he allowed. He only gave up two hits, while striking out five.

In his next outing nine days later, Will faced six batters and should’ve gotten five of them out, had the defense been on their toes.

Lately his defense has been terrific, and both his hitting and pitching not far behind. If we can only get him to believe this!

Game on the Line

Sunday afternoon the Wildcats lost 6 – 3 to Milton. With the time limit expired, Will came up to bat in the bottom of the last inning with two out and the bases loaded, representing the winning run. All he had to do was hit a grand slam. The game was played on the same Roswell Area Park field where he had last hit a home run, just a few weeks ago.

The first pitch of the game was a ground ball to third base. Will fielded it and easily threw out the runner at first. He made an identical play in the fourth, and in the third charged a bunt, fielding it so quickly that he considered throwing out the lead runner at second. Instead he wisely threw out the batter at first.

In the bottom of the first Will flew out to center. Although he’s been hitting around .500 and reaching base 75% of the time, he’s been frustrated at the plate. I thought his spirits were lifted with the long fly he hit Thursday evening, that would’ve been a home run on today’s field. In the third Will turned on an inside pitch and grounded it down the line. The third-baseman was barely able to throw Will out at first.

In the fifth Will led off with a single to left. Dispite another single by Ritchie, again the Wildcats were unable to score.

Down 6 – 3 going to the bottom of the sixth, Will was due up sixth in the inning. Vince led off and hit the ball hard, but right at the centerfielder for the first out. Trey was walked, but was forced at second. Chris barely beat the relay to first to avoid a game ending double play. Jeremy blooped a single to right, and Nick’s line drive single to right loaded the bases, setting the stage for Will.

Milton changed pitchers, and Will stayed near the batter’s box, eying the hard-throwing reliever. Will took the first pitch, a called strike down the middle. The next pitch was inside, and the third pitch was low. The fourth pitch was low and outside, but an anxious Will took a swipe at it, evening the count at 2 & 2. Will fouled next pitch back over the first base dugout, then fouled the sixth pitch back over the third base dugout.

With two strikes against him, Will had no choice but to keep swinging. With seventh pitch was also down the middle, and Will got a good cut on it. As Nick’s dad would later say, he got just under it, resulting in a fly ball the leftfielder caught to end the game.

Down on himself for not hitting a home run, Will went off by himself after the game. The same umpire who had complimented Will on his catching Thursday night went out of his way to offer encouragement to Will.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Never had a good number until I started liking Jim Kiick. As a junior I finagled number 21 and wore it a lot ever since. Didn’t ask for it at the Cubs camp because I wasn’t a Sosa fan…it was just before he really got big, if you know what I mean. Took 23 for Sandberg, but then they put our names on the back, when the real Cubs didn’t wear names. When Will was younger he tried 3, 7, and 13, but has settled on 5…not a bad number.

Whoever that is wearing 4 for the Braves looks good in the number, similar to when Blauser wore it. Javy looked good in 8, but chubbier guys don’t look as good. Eleven is a good number…Sheffield looked good in it, but others not as well. I’m not a fan at all of 1 or 2. One is ok in baseball, not football. I wish Matt Ryan weren’t 2…what great football player was two? Farve was the first ever good number four…in football.

Terrance Moore just doesn’t care what people thing about him…that’s probably good for a columnist. Of course Matt Ryan must prove himself…doesn’t everyone? No one is worth the money. Then he comes back and compares Chipper to Mantle.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Short-Handed Win

Will’s team won last night fielding only four regulars. The other nine were from a 13 year old team…two of the guys were good, the CF and 1B/P. Will caught the whole game…he had an assist and putout for the first two outs of the game. He recovered a wild patch at a not-so-close backstop and tossed to the pitcher covering to get the first runner, then the 13 year old 1B fielded a grounder and fired home for Will to tag the runner. The low throw skipped, almost hitting the bat. The play was close and the sliding runner spun Will around, but Will showed the ball to the ump, and the out was called.

Will blocked many bounced pitches and balls in the dirt. Two innings ended on third strikes, seemingly called as Will was in the process of rising and rolling the ball back to the mound. Last week his roll back to the mound rolled up and stopped perfectly in the hole in front of the rubber. After tonight's game on the way to the car, we were talking to the two excellent umpires who had called these last two games. They complimented Will on his catching.

At the plate Will fouled out on the first pitch, one of the most frustrating things to do at the plate. Next he launched a fly ball high and deep over the LF’s head for a 2-RBI double, and later scored. Later he added a single. He was coming up to bat when the ump called the game…exactly at the 1:45 time limit. Will batted third, ahead of Anthony for a change. He accounted for three of his team's five runs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I'm not as good a father as I had hoped to be, being involved in their lives. The older they get, the dynamic continues to change. Will loves the interaction…I need to play more basketball with him. We played Monday night…I blocked one of his shots.

Bryan told of the couple in his old group that got divorced after they split up. We were in a group in the late 90’s where the couple split up…the wife moved to Seattle to marry a guy she met on line, but that’s not what broke them up. I did lose it Sunday…basically because of our finances. I always take it out on Ceil and Will.

Another win at the Ted tonight would be great, but 3 in a row is great.

Matthew’s team hung tough, without their best player Phillip, who reminds me of Maddux in comportment. Lost 9 – 6. Matthew’s second AB was against the good pitcher Sid, who had earlier struck out a good batter by changing speeds. I got Ceil to tell M that he could hit him, because he threw strikes. M swung at the first pitch and hit a blooper…right into the pitcher’s glove. The runner on first broke for second, creating an easy DP. But it proved my point…M can hit when he wants to.

Right after the game I dodged construction, driving to Roswell for Will’s game. They only had nine, as one player just quit, and Ritchie was punched out in stitches. Then Chris had to play lefty with a hurt hand…he batted last and walked and got a hit through the hole into RF. In RF he made a catch, and caught grounders barehanded. SS Audie was spiked on the hand, breaking his thumb. He played the rest of the game in CF, making one long running catch, and chased another down at the fence, hit relay man SS Howie, who threw home to Will to get the runner scoring from first.

Will ripped one line drive and later scored, and threw out a base stealer by several steps. He was 1 – 3, but it was a tough team. Had several good blocks at the plate, and almost made another tag on a close play.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Matthew called to ask me if Sea World/Disney World was near where we going in Florida. I told him no, but they probably have stuff nearby. He wasn’t excited about the outlet mall when I told him about that!

Matthew’s team scored the 5 run limit in the top of the first, and help a good Braves team to four. Then the Braves turned a lucky outfield catch into a DP, holding the Rockies scoreless in the second. Against an easy pitcher Matthew grounded the first pitch past the pitcher, but the 2B threw him out by a step. The Braves tied the game, then everyone was sent home just before the tornado warning sirens sounded.

I totally agree we did good letting Andruw go…as do thousands of LA fans who have figured out they got a bad deal. At least its only a short contract. But you are right, there are lots of Braves fans who wish we still had him. As for Joey Devine, sometimes a guy just needs a new start. Hopefully Boyer will blossom after 2 years of injuries, etc. They say he could be a starter or closer.

I’m pulling for the Spurs. Every time I see Chris Paul, I think that the Hawks could’ve drafted him.

Told my boss that work is driving me crazy…I disagreed when he said we were having fun. Doing something no one else in the country is doing doesn’t motivate me - providing for my family does. He says we shouldn’t have to work 11-12 hour days, but we’re not making progress to lessen the load. He has set up a half day review for Friday morning.

Leaving early all this week to get to ball games.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Went to IKEA last Thursday night. Ceil is looking for some cheap out-of-stock IKEA fabric, and she’s looked on line and called the 800 number. They say she’s got to check the store. I ran the numbers as we drove down there, how much each trip costs. At some point soon it’s better to buy more expensive fabric.

Saw the no-hitter immediate aftermath on ESPN last night. Will and I watched the Hornets-Spurs. Was that lang in the green Braves cap?

I went into such detail on Will’s inning on the mound because right now he thinks he isn’t playing well, when in fact he is. He does hit hard grounders or popups the last week or so, but they’ve been playing on fields where the mound appears close. The conditioning from basketball has helped his catching in particular…he will spring out and pounce on a bunt, fair or foul.

Jeremy should bat leadoff, but as good a baserunner as Will is, it’s my opinion that he shouldn’t hit fifth…cleanup is bad enough, as he steals more bases and scores more runs than everyone save Jeremy. Anthony hits the ball hard, but Will gets stuck behind him on base. Will draws more walks and HBP than anyone, but he often finds himself with two strikes against him. He’s not much of a thinker at the plate. But more thanmost years, I'm fine with whatever the coaches let him do.

Matthew’s baseball career may end tonight…it’s their first playoff game. Hopefully I can get out of here.

Those were the days when we played softball. I only rarely pitched as well. One time I made two straight diving catches in left, so my buddy Hurt made a diving catch for the third out of the inning.

Ceil has to take Will to Roswell Area Park at 4:30 for his 5:30 game. That’s just south of Roswell High…

Ballet recitals are a different world. Now Anna is getting to be one of the older girls, though we do know a couple of younger ones. Sunny did great…one of the best in her class. Anna always knows here stuff and has a big smile throughout.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Meet the Wildcats

Jeremy...bats leadoff (P, RF)...has been a welcome late addition at the plate & in the field, as well as providing lots of team spirit. Excellent baserunner.

Nick...1B...usually bats second, sometimes pitches & plays outfield...has been an above average player, playing most of the year wearing an ankle brace. Co-captain.

Audie...SS/P/sometime OF...a more consistent SS than Will, has had an overall better year offensively & defensively than last. Has had ups & downs pitching, like last year.

Anthony...3B/RF...hits the ball hard most at-bats, though unluckily right at people the first month and a half. Makes many plays at third, though he looks uncomfortable running bases.

Will...has played every position except RF for the Wildcats. Coach pitches him mostly in relief. Has had his best year ever catching...blocking pitches, throwing out runners, and fielding bunts.

Chris...CF/P...also has had a much better all-around season than last year. I had never seen him pitch before, and he's done well.

Ritchie...P/OF/2B...also has been given more chances & has come through in all areas.

Michael...2B/RF/P/C...MOP of the tourney championship game, he wears it on his sleeve when he struggles.

Andrew...LF/P (but can play every position)...he has proved he can contribute everywhere, he doesn't back down at the plate. One of the team's best baserunners and fielders.

Jared...2B/P/RF...has also improved offensively, defensively, and pitching this year...playing more confidently as well.

Trey...3B/1B/C...keen eye at the plate, he gets his cuts. Heads up in the field as well.

Vince...C/RF...was becoming a lefty force at the plate when he broke his thumb, causing him to miss a month. Did well behind the plate, allowing Will and Audie to play the field at the same time.

Bryce...last year's leading hitter hurt his hip at the beginning of the season...his pitching has also been missed.

Recent Wildcats Stats

Wildcats Offensive Stats since April 26...
...of the games I have attended long enough to keep score.
I have missed all or parts of at least 4 games since then.

Will .722OBP, .500BA, 7 runs, 5 rbi, 2 SB
Jeremy .650 OBP, .563BA, 10 runs, 3 rbi, 7 SB
Chris .533 OBP, .500BA, 4 runs, 5 rbi, 2 SB
Ritchie .538 OBP, .400BA, 4 runs, 4 rbi, 2 SB
Jared .533 OBP, .222 BA, 3 runs
Nick .438 OBP, .357BA, 6 runs, 3 rbi, SB
Anthony .400 OBP, .357BA, 5 runs, 5 rbi
Audie .353 OBP, .333BA, 6 runs, 8 rbi, 4 SB, CS
Michael .353 OBP, .214 BA, 2 rbi
Trey .333 OBP, .231BA, 2 runs, rbi
Andrew .308 OBP, .182BA, 1 run, 3 rbi, SB
Vince 0 - 3 since returning from injury.

These stats of course do not tell the whole story,
but they are a general indicator of individual performance.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Welcome Facebook Readers

I missed my high school reunion last fall, but was able to view pictures of the event by signing up for Facebook. Now Will and many of his Living Science friends are into the craze, so Will invited me to be his friend. When I accepted and set up my profile, several of his friends asked me to be thier friends.

As a comparitively old geezer, it appears to me one of the things a Facebook user does is broaden his/her network by gaining as many friends as possible. I can handle that...I can accept any friendships to give these users more friends. Other than that, I doubt I'll be much of a Facebook dude.

One thing I may be is put a link to this blog on my Facebook page, giving Will's friends a chance to read my recaps of Living Science events, Flight basketball games, and Will's baseball games. These I write to fill grandparents in on thier grandchild's activities. Also posted here are various photos, as well as email texts of day to day events in my life, and the Murphy household. You'll find that shoes and baseball are ongoing themes in this blog.

Welcome, new readers. Be sure to leave any messages/comments/critiques. Use the search engine to find Senior Retreat and Expedition recaps.

No Visible Means of Support

The Wildcats lost all three games in this weekend’s Alpharetta Tourney. Will played shortstop in Friday night’s loss that Ceil attended. I took Anna & Matthew to our small group cookout.

Saturday morning Will started the 11:30 game at third base, against the Alpharetta Eagles. The Eagles were a small team with a good starting pitcher, and they played the Wildcats tough. Will caught popups in the first and third. In the second with a runner on first Will dove to his left to spear a grounder in the hole. He had no chance to get the runner at second, but he quickly got to his feet and threw out the batter at first.

In the bottom of the first Will singled through the hole into leftfield, but the next two batters flew out. Will led off the fourth inning with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on Ritchie’s single.

Later Ritchie made a great second-inning play in rightfield. With a runner on second, the batter lined a one-hopper to Ritchie, who charged the ball and came up quickly firing. I thought he was throwing home, but instead the throw went to Nick at first, barely beating the batter. The runner was held at third. Unfortunately, later in the game the Eagles were able to perform the exact same rare 9 – 3 play.

A close game the whole way, the Eagles tied the game in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs when rightfielder Vince, in his first game back from a month-long injury layoff, couldn’t make a sliding catch of a sinking line drive. The Wildcats went back ahead in the bottom of the inning.

The game featured a base umpire who let us know he had umpired last night’s state playoff game at Lassiter, who made sure everyone within earshot knew he controlled the game. He barked at the opposing coach for asking his own shortstop if he had made a tag, and loudly warned Will he would be tossed if he applied another fake tag on a runner.

Will came in to pitch the last inning, against the top of the Eagles order. The little leadoff hitter looped a line drive that shortstop Audie made a wonderful running and leaping catch. The next batter hit a popup that the second-baseman didn’t go hard enough after, and the ball dropped in for a hit. The Eagles by now had learned they could steal on the Wildcats catcher, and soon the runner reached third on a passed ball. Only then did the base umpire call a balk on Will, allowing the tying run to score.

Rattled, Will walked the next batter, before striking out the cleanup hitter for what should’ve been the third out. The walked batter also stole second and took third on another passed ball. The next batter looped a cacheable line drive up the middle. The centerfielder was playing way too deep. He meekly charged, then allowed the ball to bounce past him for a double. But Will got the next batter to ground back to him to end the inning.

Third Staight Tourney Loss

The 5:30 game against the Cumming Force started out well. Howie was the starting pitcher and Will the catcher. The leadoff batter double to right and took third on a nifty 3-1 putout. The next batter hit a grounder that Howie knocked down. The runner charged home, but Howie was able to deliver the ball home in time for Will to tag out the sliding runner. Then second-baseman Jared reached across his body to make a remarkable catch of a line drive, for the third out.

Jeremy led off the bottom of the first with a walk, stole second, took third on a groundout, and scored on an error. Sixteen more Wildcat batters would reach base, and eleven would be stranded.

Defensively Will’s second inning was even better. With one out the batter let himself be hit, and later took off on a stel of second. Will quickly threw down, but the ball sailed over to the right-field side of the bag. But the throw arrived so early that shortstop Audie continued across the bag and reached out, made the catch, and ran into the runner, while at the same time tagging him out.

After four more batters reached, a pitch popped out of Will’s mitt and bounced behind the right-handed batter. The runner on first took off for second. Will raced over and scooped up the ball, thinking only a perfect throw would get the runner. His throw to Michael was on the money, and the same magnanimous umpire called him out.

This ended the inning, but the Force had gone ahead 3 – 1. This turned out to be the final score, as neither team was able to plate a runner in the next 5-1/2 innings. The Force had eleven more batters reach, and they stranded a total of seven for the game.

Will reached base all three times. He singled to right in the first. Down 0 – 2 in the fourth he popped a slightly high pitch into short leftfield. The shortstop went back and called for it, but he was not able to make the catch, as the ball fell out of his reach. He walked in the sixth.

Will had one more defensive highlight up his sleeve. With runners on first and second and no out, the second straight batter bunted. Pitcher Chris ranged far to his right, near the foul line, picked the ball up and fired the batter out to Nick at first. Nick then noticed the lead runner had rounded third and was slowly trotting home. Nick ran at the runner with the ball still in his glove. The runner had thought the ball had gone past third! As the runner neared home, Nick tossed to Will at the plate. The runner retreated toward third, but Will made a smart play, charging at the runner at full speed, finally diving to tag out the runner…and knocking him down at the same time. This completed the double play.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Will is big into Facebook these days, in addition to guitar hero.

See that picture of Uecker in the SI article on the Brewers? Didn’t realize he was in such good shape…must be a prank.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

adidas EX-4.0

Stumbled across these shoes Monday and threw them in the trunk. Will was playing kickball in his brand new New Balance shoes, so I told him to look in my trunk. Joel thought they looked cool, paired with his kaiki shorts.
He's worn them to practice tonight and last night, and they look good. Will's not one to jump on the latest brand...he's not an Under Armour fan at all.

They're perfect for him...the synthetic leather doesn't get dirty.

If a tree falls in the forest...

A huge tree in the backyard fell Monday. It was one of several trees growing on the steep bank leading down to the creek. Ceil and Anna heard it fall. The tree fell across the creek, of course, and is basically more in my neighbor's yard than ours. It seemed relatively healthy, and it didn't seem to have been a victim of the drought, where soil around the roots may have eroded.

When we moved in 13 years ago there was only one tree across the creek. Now there are three in our yard, plus another in my neighbor's. When it warms up I'll have more clearing out to do down in the creek...I like to keep it relatively debris-free, a twice a year job.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Ceil isn’t a big fan of MarriedLife. We have small group Friday, but Will probably has a game. We don’t mind missing his games, and a teammate lives just around the corner, but we still feel a little guilty at leaving him alone. He doesn’t mind, but we enjoy watching him play.

Ceil’s parents had paid for A & M’s Veritas from Jan – May. We’ve paid for registration and books for next year…without any promise of help.

Our new, young, busy small group leaders are pregnant. Old leader Lee’s family switched to Johnson Ferry…and they were the ones that knew the new leaders the best. Us and another couple go to NP, and 2 other couples go to JF. Seems like we’re splitting up in the fall, but I don’t know exactly how.

Monday, May 12, 2008

3rd of 3: The Pistol

Is that not Jerry West playing D?

Sunday & Monday

Anna's class danced the call to worship at both services at Eastside Baptist. We attended the 9:15 service, and Ceil & Anna stayed until after the dance in the 11:00. Ceil's folks hit the road, and I took the boys out just after them, trying to beat the P.F.Chang's crowd. We barely did, and were actually seated five minutes before the girls arrived. Lunch went well.

Finally had time to watch the Braves in the afternoon, and they were rained out. Ceil went to Dekalb Farmer's Market, and I helped M with his Lewis & Clark book.

After work tonight I went to pick up Will at Living Science. Played kickball with Willis, Joel, Andrew, Russ, Pierce, and others. The Flight basketball boys are played June 1st before the WNBA Spirit game.

Ernie mentioned Lang the other night...did you hear?

A Long Saturday

Saturday: Up at 5:30 to take Will to his ride to Tenneessee, then back home to clean up a bit.

Anna had a doubleheader dance recital, but most of her dances were in the afternoon show.

Matthew walked and scored twice, once walking with the bags full. I made a fool out of myself, hollering that a member of the gung-ho Devil Rays missed third. Tracy actually appealed it, but Jay signalled safe. I gave my umpire friend a hard time. After the third out was recorded on the next pitch, he confessed he was watching runers touch home. I confessed that the third-baseman had been been standing on the base, blocking the runner's path.

M & I stopped by Chick-fil-A with my parents. I was able to stay for the entire 2 pm recital, which was above average. Suuny F also did a fine job in several dances, but I didn't see her parents.

Afterwards I slipped out and ran back up to downtown Woodstock to retreive Will. They finally won, besting a team from Chattanooga. Josiah, Isaac, and David chided Will, and all the boys had napped on the return trip. Thinking Ceil would bring her parents, I husted Will over to his Wildcats game, despite his begrudgement.

After losing game one, Will arrived during the second inning of game two. They promptly batted around. Angry, Will drove the first pitch over the shortstop's head. The hit bounded through the gap to the wall in left-center, and Will cruised around to third...driving in the two base-runners. He plated short one inning and caught the next, tagging out a runner at the plate for the third out...preserving a ten-run lead, thus ending the game.

We again ate at O'Charley's, and a waiter remembered our group from the previous night. I napped in the car while the others shopped Target.

Friday, May 09, 2008

More Engel Photos

Chattanooga Game Two: Similar Result

Friday I took off work and drove Will back to Chattanooga for the Lions next game. The opponent turned out to be the mighty Gwinnett Barons, last year’s home school national champions. Josiah George was the only available pitcher, and he fared poorly, walking eight.

The Lions were unable to muster much offense, with only five runners reaching base. Josiah’s triple was the only hit. Twice Lion runners reached third and tried to score on ground balls, but both times with a huge lead the Barons opted to get the runner out at home, preserving the shutout.

Will played centerfield, making a nice running catch of a line drive. Later he ran down a line drive hit deep in the gap, to hold the batter to a double.

At the plate he hit a sharp grounder the second-baseman was unable to handle, and later popped out.

Also on Thursday...

Thursday afternoon Anna had her regular ballet session, while Matthew’s Rockies had a game at six. He had his most productive offensive game of the year. Down two-strikes in the count with a runner on third, Matthew fouled off a pitch before hitting a sharp grounder. The first-baseman made a nice stop, and barely beat Matthew to the bag for the out…but the runner was able to score from third.

Matthew notched another RBI in the next inning, when he walked with the bases loaded. He took second on a fielder’s choice and third on Stephen’s single, before scoring on Grace’s inside-the-park grand slam. In the fifth Matthew led off the inning with a walk and took second on a wild pitch. He scored from second on Grace’s single to right.

With Coach Tracy unable to make the game, the Rockies won in a route, easily besting the Pirates 17 – 6.

Wildcats Batter

One Day, Two States, Two Games

Ben dropped Will off at Harrrison Park in East Cobb, just in time for his 7 pm Wildcats game, meaning Will was able to play in two ballgames in one day, in two different states. Blessed Trinity took advantage of some timely hits and a few favorable non-calls from umpires to win the game.

Will played another good game, throwing out three baserunners while catching. He picked off a runner at second for the second time this season, threw out a runner trying to swipe third. Later with runners on first and third, Will threw out the runner trying to steal second.

At the plate Will reached base, then stole second and third. Later he hit a line drive up the middle, just to the right-field side of second. Unfortunately the second-baseman was playing out of position, and he was able to make the catch.

Wildcats Catcher

Historic Venue, One Hitter

Will’s NCA Lions played in Chattanooga’s old Engel Stadium this week. Built in 1929, the old stadium played host to New York Yankees exhibitions, Negro League games, and years of Lookouts seasons.

Thursday’s game was played during intermittent drizzles, and with several Lions teammates unable to make the trip due to end of the school year exams, the team was able to field three regular starters, who had to play unfamiliar positions.

The regular centerfielder James had to play shortstop, and his twin brother Josiah, usually the third-baseman, had to catch. The rest of the team included three semi-regulars, and three young players who had barely left the bench all year.

Will was the only pitcher of the nine, and under the circumstances, he pitched a gem of a game. Friday I copied down the scorebook of the game, and discovered he pitched four no-hit innings before allowing a sole safety in the fifth inning. Without his best stuff, he pitched three scoreless innings and did not allow an earned run.

The Lions committed four ill-timed errors, that extended innings. Still, Will struck out five batters.

Will had rode to the game with Ben Hoffer, and on the way they spied an aromatic BBQ place, and after the game they stopped for a bite. The place was a run-down cinder block hut in a not-so-nice part of downtown Chattanooga…a place few sensible people would dare go.

Engel Stadium, Chattanooga

Will is playing three games in this Chattanooga ballpark:

Historic Engel Stadium is the former home of the Chattanooga Lookouts. The stadium opened in 1930 and saw its last Lookout game played in 1999. The dimensions are enormous as the stadium is 325 down the left line, 318 feet down the right field line, and an incredible 471 in dead center, which was the longest in professional baseball history. A new fence was added to shorten the distance in centerfield.
Hall of Famers that played at Engel Stadium: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Satchel Paige, and Harmon Killibrew who is the only player who hit it over the 471 foot centerfield fence.

The Yankees played an exhibition game, and occasional Negro league games were played here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Things sure have changed at work. Mike, Vikki, Melody, Maureen, and long-time temp Nichole have quit or moved on. All worked on EZGo. I took over for Mike, but no one took over for me! We have two new people, including Darryl. Randy is real busy too…it’s not the good old days, but our sales are up. Sue, Damon, Matt, and Eric moved over to TMP to handle the Imperial Bus account. Brad works in our office now, and he’s a great guy.

We’re going to Destin in June and Myrtle Beach in July…looks like we’ll put off Washington DC for another year. My son played baseball in Huntsville in April, and this weekend plays in Chattanooga, so that should be a fun trip.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

weekend recap

Here’s a recap of the last few days…

Friday…dentist in the AM, haircut at lunch, left at 5 pm. Almost bought a Frank Thomas ChiSox jersey, and did get a pair of white Chuck Taylors. Took Anna & Matthew to McDonalds, dropped Anna off, then took Matthew to BP, then to small group. Got to shoot baskets for a while, as the older CPA just got a nice backboard.

From there I left early and drove to Canton for Will’s game. Bad directions, very frustrating. Will was sick, and had been hit and was sore from all the diving he does. The whole team played poorly and they lost to a clearly inferior team. Will walked was HBP again, this time in the back. The lighting was poor, and he failed to catch a high pop in short left-center. Wouldn’t have been so bad had he not been goofing off.

Saturday…some housework and errands in the morning…I quickly washed the van in the rain. Ceil had to go down near the airport to a home school book fair…she sold almost $300.00 in books. From there she drove north of Woodstock to Will’s science fair. Luckily Will’s DH was cancelled, but Matthew got to play.

Matthew walked and scored. Just as he came up to bat a second time the opposition called time and brought in their best pitcher. M had some good cuts, but struck out. Playing second, he fielded a grounder and almost threw out the batter at first…it had been a slow roller and M was playing back, so the batter beat it out. The Rockies played well with only 9 players…barely losing to one of the best teams. Coach Tracy has let every player pitch now, and the game might’ve been different had Joshua not allowed 5 runs the inning he pitched.

That evening I took Ceil clothes shopping, to the Buckhead Abbadabbas and Perimeter Mall. She dislikes clothes shopping, but Sunday afternoon managed to find several items.

Sunday after church Ceil and Anna went off shopping. Will wrote a paper, and all afternoon Matthew wanted me to pitch tennis balls to him. All told he hit over 100 balls, be it with a tennis racquet. I was firing them in there. Got to see a little of the Hawks, as well as good chunks of the Sat and Sun Braves games…more MLB than I’d seen all season.

For some reason Mondays are always frustrating here at work. Had a 2.5 hour meeting on Tuesday’s trip to Augusta.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Pistol Pic 2 of 3

Dig the stripes...many reproductions of this uni don't have both sets. The Hawks wore three sets...white, green, and blue.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Wild about Smoltz, now Hampton hurting again…though Hampton’s earlier comments did not inspire much hope.

Will got sick, coughing etc…hadn’t slept much the last 2 nights. Yesterday’s doubleheader was against arch-rival Crown, who fared better in last week’s tourney. Will played well but his Lions didn’t, losing both games. He said he had “a few” singles. Got home after 5 pm to take a shower, before returning back to Sandy Plains Harrison Park for the Wildcats game.

They only had nine again, against a great Milton team. I was running late because of month end. In the first Will went back on a pop into short left-center, and made a sliding catch just before colliding with Audie, the center-fielder. Will limped badly the rest of the game. With the bases loaded, the hard-throwing pitcher hit Will near the shoulder, so he was in poor shape. He made a two-out diving catch of a line drive at short to end a rally, and drove in a run with a deep sac fly.

The Wildcats were ahead 4 – 2 with two out, bases-loaded and nearing the time limit, before this really big “14-year old” hit a grand slam to win the game. Will went to bed when we got home, bypassing American Idol, and didn’t emerge until after 10 this morning. Luckily today’s doubleheader was cancelled.

Because I’ve been working so hard (but really because my boss wants to butter me up to give me more work), I get to take Ceil out for a nice dinner. I know she’ll want to go to Canoe.