Dirt Ball Read

Dirt Ball Reads and a Fast Start

What they left behind. What they brought with them.

As the New York Mets packed their belongings and headed north at the conclusion of spring training, they brought with them at .357 winning percentage for their efforts. But you know what? They really didn’t bring that home with them. The fans uneasiness and that winning percentage were all left behind in Port St. Lucie. What they brought with them was excitement, determination, grit, and dirt ball reads. We all knew that it would be a moral victory to come north with the fellow’s health, essentially, intact. Last year we left many players behind and many more would later join them in the Ray Ramirez medical abyss. In late March 2018, the Mets I-95 caravan brought back to New York…..HOPE.

“The Magic is Back”….maybe

In 2018, we have been given the joy of watching ball players hustle on the base paths, pitchers being asked to go that extra batter or two, and we’ve come to acknowledge the phrase “that’s championship baseball”. They have played in miserable weather conditions and came out unscathed and victorious. The New York Mets rookie manager, Mickey Callaway, has brought a culture and managerial style that is exuberantly refreshing with results speaking for themselves.

Dirt Ball Read

The Mets Rookie Manager, Mickey Callaway, has pushed all the right buttons in 2018.

Met fans live on the razors edge of emotions every day and night. A fast, sprinters start was necessary to erase the gore of last season. I concede that it has been a small sample size, however, it is what we have to work with and I’ll take it. It’s simply feels different this year. Dare I fantasize that as injuries occur, and they will, this team will be able to absorb them. Time will tell. This team is exhibiting traits we have not seen in a while. We have been used to them lacking speed and they still do…but…what we are seeing is smart and opportunistic base running. The results to this point have been a purely TEAM effort and we are the beneficiaries.

Dirt Ball Read

A-Gon going deep with a Grand Slam against the Nationals. 4/08/2018

The Mets are not riding one or two hot players. The guys are getting their “dirt ball reads” and elevating it to “championship baseball habits”. We all love a little salt and pepper on our steak. So far so good.

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2018 Opening Day

Play Ball! 2018 MLB Opening Day is upon us!

The 2018 Opening Day is here and none to soon.

Opening Day for the 2018 Major League Baseball season has drawn very close. In a couple of days the boys of summer will resume the game we have missed for so many months. Never, in recent memory, has opening day been so anticipated in terms of diversion. We have been inundated, bombarded, and bludgeoned with socio-political viewpoints, headlines, and rhetoric. It’s time to “play ball!” Fandom can heal a multitude of animosity’s. Let’s get it going!

A couple of items I wanted to share include a link to Major-League Baseball’s list of schedules for every major league team. Baseball fans love schedules. Have at it. Also wanted to share Uni Watch’s 2018 uniform preview. Lots of fascinating information about what to expect in terms of uniforms for the coming season. There are numerous subtle and not so subtle changes to many uniforms for the 2018 season. The Philadelphia Phillies will be sporting the 70’s-80’s powder blues at times this season. I bookmark Uni Watch and refer to it constantly. Uniform junkies will certainly enjoy Uni Watch. It is a tremendous resource.

Interesting Info

For the foodie in all of us…here is a link to 29 recipes for ballpark food at home. Don’t forget to spread newspapers on the floor if you are discarding your peanut shells on the living room floor. (Mrs V. allows peanut eating over the kitchen sink…only…or outside).

MLB.com shares some of the most memorable opening days in baseball history.

Lastly, the 2018 MLB Little League Classic will be held August 19, 2018 at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport Pennsylvania. It will feature the Philadelphia Phillies taking on the New York Mets. (The ballpark is about 3 1/2 miles from where I live).

2018 Opening Day

2018 MLB Little League Baseball Classic

The City of Williamsport will be at the center of the baseball world as the 2018 Little League World Series and the MLB Little League Baseball classic take place in mid August.

As we head into the baseball season, enjoy it as much as you can. You have earned it.

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Tommie Agee Remembered

Favorite Ballplayer or Athlete

Who was your favorite ball player growing up? What athlete, when you think of him or her, elicits memories or feelings you’ve long ago forgotten. For me, that ball player was Tommie Agee. He was my first favorite New York Met.

Tommie Agee

1971 Topps Super Baseball #36–Tommie Agee

1971 Kelloggs Baseball #46–Tommie Agee. The second card I ever received. Carried it to school in my pocket, over and over.

He was always the one I was  excited to see come up to the plate or try to steal a base. It was an instant bond. As a youngster, I tried to copy his batting stance. When he was on Kiners Korner, it was the best that Summer could possibly offer.  When I was six or seven years old I took a blue magic marker to a perfectly good white T-shirt. I added pinstripes, the Mets logo on the front, and number 20 on the back…..Tommie Agee jersey! His time with the New York Mets was far too short. As was his life after baseball. We lost him far too soon.

Until recently, I owned one baseball jersey. About three years before José Reyes left for the Marlins by way of free agency, I had purchased his jersey. I always felt a little uncomfortable wearing it when he was no longer on the Mets. The Jersey received a second life when Jose was brought back a couple of years ago. That does not happen to often so I considered myself fortunate. I always considered picking up a Matt Harvey jersey. But with his tenure as a Met, a constant subject in the newspapers and talk radio. I opted against a Harvey jersey.

Mrs. V took care of any future needs or concerns I may have regarding purchasing jerseys by presenting me a Tommie Agee replica jersey for Christmas! Mrs. V did that!

Tommie Agee

Tommie Agee Replica Jersey–Gift from Mrs.V

Queens Baseball Convention

Brandon Nimmo approves of my jersey.

I will proudly wear that jersey to Mets games, Mets functions, weddings, second weddings, bar mitzvahs, first communions, Thanksgivings, jury duty, births, funerals, anyplace two or more are gathered. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received and I won’t shoot my eye out.

A Few Photos of Tommie Agee

Tommie Agee

1968 New York Mets Yearbook

Tommie Agee

1970 New York Mets Yearbook

Tommie Agee

1971 New York Mets Yearbook

Tommie Agee

1972 New York Mets Yearbook.

 

Tommie Agee

Tommie Agee–1968 New York Mets Yearbook–Batting

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