Category Archives: Baseball Jerseys

Rafael Palmeiro Jersey Outlet

Happy Sunday, Camden Chatters. We made it to December! That means that four months from now, we’ll be in a month that has baseball! As fun as that sounds, I’m still opposed to Opening Day being in March. I will not stop complaining about this.

As usual for this time of year, there isn’t much going on with the Orioles today. But the winter meetings are coming up in a week and maybe we’ll finally get some news! In the meantime, you have plenty of good Maryland sporting events to choose from. The Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are facing off in what some are saying could be a Super Bowl preview. Is anyone attending the annual Purple Tailgate, with its new host Trey Mancini?

If football isn’t your thing, the Maryland Terps men’s basketball team is playing Marquette in the finals of the Orlando Invitational, looking to preserve their undefeated record.

Or you could listen to Christmas music and decorate the tree! That’s what I’ll be doing.

Links

Gary Kendall talks about Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer – Steve Melewski
The Tides’ manager gave his thoughts on two Orioles prospects to Steve Melewski.

Mancini ready to host Purple Tailgate – School of Roch
Trey Mancini has taken over Adam Jones’s tradition of Purple Tailgate at a Ravens home game. Some nice quotes from Trey in here about it, and Adam Jones has hinted he might make an appearance. That would make ma happy.

MLB rumors: Yankees’ Clint Frazier on block? Here are 4 trades that make sense – nj.com
How would you feel about a Clint Frazier for Mychal Givens trade?

Dumping Jonathan Villar might make sense from a rebuilding perspective, but Orioles fans don’t have to like it – Baltimore Sun
Oh look, now the Orioles have got me agreeing with Peter Schmuck. What a world.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two Orioles birthday buddies, Jeff Tackett and Dan Straily. Tackett, who turns 54 today, was the backup catcher to Chris Hoiles from 1991-94. If you watched the 2019 Oriole (and no one judges you if you didn’t), you might remember Straily (31) from his 14 games this year. Since it’s his birthday, I won’t mention his ERA.

On this day in 1998, the Orioles signed Albert Belle to a five-year contract, of which he played two before retiring with a degenerative hip condition. Also in 1998, the Orioles traded pitcher Armando Benitez for catcher Charles Johnson.

And Rafael Palmeiro, who had just spent five seasons with the Orioles, turned down a bigger contract from the Orioles to sign with the Texas Rangers.

Jeff McCurry Jersey Outlet

OXFORD, Ohio — Dantez Walton, that beardless version of James Harden who plays forward at Northern Kentucky University, continued his prolific scoring binge Tuesday night inside Millett Hall.

Walton poured in 32 points as NKU impressively rolled to a 76-54 win over Miami (Ohio). The 6-foot-6 senior converted 13 field goals in 20 attempts, including 4-for-9 shooting from 3-point range. He netted 20 points in the second half and keyed a 21-4 run that turned a 33-31 lead into a 54-35 blowout with 8:16 left on the clock.

It marked the third 30-point performance in four games for Walton, who is averaging 23.1 points and 7.5 rebounds during the last six contests. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists as NKU improved to 6-3.

Dantez Walton drives past Miami’s Elijah McNamara (22) for a basket during the first half of NKU’s 76-54 win. Walton finished with 32 points. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

“Honestly, it’s a confidence thing,” Walton said of his scoring outbursts, which include a 30-point performance against unbeaten Arkansas. “My teammates and coaching staff put it in me. I knew I had it in me, so I’m just trying to keep this thing going.”
Miami (4-4) had no answers for Walton, who dominated the paint with an assortment of drives to the basket and pull-up jumpers. The RedHawks’ only defense against the native Ohioan was to send him to the charity stripe, where he converted just twice in eight attempts.

But other than the free throws, Walton’s performance ranked somewhere between Harden and Luka Doncic at the collegiate level. NKU head coach Darrin Horn has certainly noticed the impressive performances.

“We really challenged him from Day One, going all the way back to June workouts, that you got to get yourself in great shape and be a guy we look to. A focal point,” Horn said. “Not to get 30 (points) a game, but a guy we can play through.”

Walton netted 12 points in the first half as NKU took a 29-22 lead into the locker room. The Norse held the RedHawks to 30.4 percent shooting from the field during the opening half and limited the hosts to just 4-for-24 accuracy from 3-point range for the game.

Horn pointed out that he was especially pleased with NKU’s defense and toughness.

“We really challenged our guys to build on what we did against Arkansas, even though we didn’t win,” Horn said. “We felt like we took a step with our defense, with our toughness, grabbing the ball and getting loose balls.”

Tyler Sharpe finished with 18 points and keyed the NKU defense with three steals. Adrian Nelson grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and scored six points, including a 17-footer from straightaway that bounced off the rim and through the net in the second half.

“That was not a play we were running,” Horn quipped, chuckling about Nelson’s jumper.

Tyler Sharpe launches a 3-pointer over Miami defender Isaiah Coleman-Lands (4) in the first half. Sharpe finished with 18 points and three steals. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Horn praised Nelson’s dominance on the glass. “As a coach, that’s something you love to see because here’s a guy who hasn’t played much,” he said. “He’s coming off a knee injury, but he’s come out and practiced hard every single day. He has a great attitude, a high-character guy.
“I thought he played with terrific energy tonight, and did a good job in our defense. Grabbing 12 boards is a huge number. I almost lost my mind when he shot the pull-up jump shot, but it went in, so everything’s OK.”

Trevon Faulkner added six points and six rebounds for NKU, which made 61.5 percent of its shots in the second half to run away from Miami. Silas Adheke finished with four points and five rebounds, while Adham Eleeda also grabbed five boards.

NKU held Miami’s Nike Sibande to just five points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field. Sibande entered Tuesday averaging 16.6 points per game.

“I felt like (Miami) had two guys who are capable of being dynamic scorers from the perimeter, so we were worried about that,” Horn said. “It was easier, as crazy as this sounds, against Arkansas because they only had one dude that you knew wanted to shoot. (Miami) has five guys who can hit multiple threes in a game.

“We thought this was a greater challenge for our team collectively on defense. That was a real concern, but I thought our guys really responded to the challenge.”

Dalonte Brown led Miami with 17 points and was the only RedHawk in double figures. NKU held 3-point specialist Milos Jovic scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting from the field.

Walton, the only player in Division I basketball this season to record 30-point double-doubles twice, needed just two rebounds on Tuesday to notch another one. Did he ever glance at the electronic statistics on the scoreboard above Millett Hall, which indicated he was two boards away from another double-double?

“I honestly didn’t [look up at the scoreboard],” Walton laughed. “I promise you I didn’t. I just keep on going in motion and if a rebound comes to me, I try to be aggressive. We had help on the glass with Adrian Nelson coming in and making huge plays.”

NKU is now 10-3 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference. Earlier this season, the Norse also defeated MAC opponent Ball State on the road. NKU is 3-0 all-time against Miami, including a pair of wins at Millett Hall.

NKU plays host to Eastern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Sunday. A year ago, the Colonels pulled out a last-second 76-74 win against the Norse in Richmond. Nick Mayo hit a 12-foot baseline jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining to give Eastern Kentucky that victory in McBrayer Arena.

Eastern Kentucky owns a 6-3 lead in the all-time series with NKU.

NORTHERN KENTUCKY 76, MIAMI (Ohio) 54
NORTHERN KENTUCKY (76)
Sharpe 6-15 5-6 18, Adheke 2-2 0-0 4, Walton 13-20 2-8 32, Faulkner 2-4 1-2 6, Langdon 0-4 2-2 2, Eleeda 1-5 0-0 3, Nelson 3-3 0-0 6, Mocaby 1-3 1-2 3, Djoko 0-0 0-0 0, Cobbs 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 28-56 13-22 76.
MIAMI (54)
Bowman 2-2 0-1 4, Sibande 2-7 1-2 5, Brown 5-12 5-5 17, Grant 3-9 3-3 9, Jovic 0-4 0-0 0, Coleman-Lands 0-5 3-3 3, Lairy 3-6 2-2 9, McNamara 0-0 0-0 0, Ayah 1-2 0-0 2, Brewer 2-5 0-0 5, White 0-1 0-0 0, Litteken 0-1 0-0 0, Ritchie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-55 14-16 54.
HALFTIME: NKU 29-22. 3-POINTERS: (NKU 7-29, MU 4-24). REBOUNDS: NKU 38 (Nelson 12), MU 36 (Brown, Sibande 7).
RECORDS: NKU 6-3, Miami 4-4.

Alvin Morman Jersey Outlet

Over the past couple seasons I’ve slowly been releasing a series of posts in which I pair the Padres and whatever team they’re playing, look up all the players who spent time with both clubs, and construct a 25-man roster. Since the Friars’ season is over, as are the seasons of 27 other teams, I thought I’d mash up the Royals and the Giants, the participants of this year’s World Series.

As I always do, I used Baseball Reference’s multi-franchise finder tool to pull up all the guys who have played for both teams. In the case of the Royals and Giants, there have been 77. I then separate the wheat from the chaff, first by determining the starting lineup. I make my selections based on the players’ peaks and full careers without taking into account how they performed for either team in question. If I limited myself to guys who did well with both teams, this post would be completely different and titled “Carlos Beltran sure is good at baseball”.

Starting Lineup:
C- Benito Santiago
1B- Orlando Cepeda
2B- Rey Sanchez
SS- Neifi Perez
3B- Miguel Tejada
LF- Jose Cardenal
CF- Carlos Beltran
RF- Reggie Sanders

Santiago, Tejada, and Sanders all show up very frequently in the Padres combined team posts, a testament to both their performance and their tendency toward transiency. As you can see, the Achilles heel of this team is the infield. Due to a lack of any other options, the starting lineup features three shortstops, two of which are historically notable offensive black holes. I sorted them out according to games played by position.

2B SS 3B
Rey Sanchez 480 984 19
Neifi Perez 252 1115 24
Miguel Tejada 30 1946 163
As you can see, Tejada has, by far, the most tenure at shortstop, but he’s also the only one who has anything even resembling significant time at third base. There was a similar situation with the outfielders, where left field is occupied by the center fielder who played left the most.

LF CF RF
Jose Cardenal 432 848 551
Carlos Beltran 2 1572 438
Reggie Sanders 385 210 1165
Bench:
C- Fran Healy
IF- Jeff Keppinger
IF- Steve Scarsone
OF- Dave Henderson
DH/OF- Chili Davis

Healy is far from a household name but he had a solid nine-year career as a backup and hit well in his only season as a starter, 1974. Keppinger and Scarsone are further evidence of the dearth of decent infielders, while Dave Henderson and Chili Davis would be starters on a lot of combined teams. In fact, Chili Davis would be the starting DH for this theoretical team in theoretical games played in American League stadiums. Theoretical.

Starting Rotation:
Gaylord Perry
Vida Blue
Bud Black
Atlee Hammaker
Pat Rapp

The rotation starts out strong with a Hall of Famer and the Black & Blue tandem, and predictably falls off from there. Hammaker did have one great season and a couple decent ones, and Pat Rapp makes the cut thanks to not being Brett Tomko.

Bullpen:
Dan Quisenberry
Lindy McDaniel
Roberto Hernandez
Mark Davis
Luis Aquino
Ramon Ramirez
Jeremy Affeldt

The bullpen is closer-heavy, with Quisenberry, McDaniel, Cy Young Award winner Davis, and the original Roberto Hernandez (not to be confused with The Artist Formerly Known As Fausto Carmona). McDaniel doesn’t come up in the discussion of great closers, but that’s because he was leading the league in saves before saves were even a thing yet. The underrated Aquino, who used to show up in nearly every pack of baseball cards I bought back in his Royals and Marlins days, would serve as the swingman as he had years of success in that role.

This team certainly has its shortcomings, but I think it would win enough games to take a wild card spot. And, as we saw this year, that’s all you need.

Organizational Depth:
C- Brent Mayne, Alberto Castillo, Brian Johnson, Bob Melvin
1B- Dave McCarty, Todd Benzinger
IF- Tony Abreu, Brad Wellman, Wilson Delgado, Bob Heise
3B/OF- Chris James, Billy Sorrell
OF- Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur, Jose Guillen, Gregor Blanco, Tom Goodwin, Trenidad Hubbard, Mike Kingery, Michael Tucker, Jerry Martin, Jim Wohlford, Pat Sheridan
P- Brett Tomko, Jamey Wright, Sidney Ponson, Juan Berenguer, Jonathan Sanchez, Todd Wellemeyer, Jay Witasick, Denny Bautista, Cory Bailey, Enrique Burgos, Rich Gale, Mark Gardner, J.C. Gutierrez, Alan Hargesheimer, Doug Henry, Ryan Jensen, Matt Kinney, Mike LaCoss, Al Levine, Renie Martin, Mike McCormick, Jose Mijares, Andy McGaffigan, Alvin Morman, Ray Sadecki, Dan Schatzeder, Scott Service, Jerry Spradlin, Bob Tufts

These are the guys who didn’t make the cut, and got sent down to the Sacramentomaha Storm Cats River Chasers, the logical AAA affiliate of the Sansas Frity Royants. Is there anyone I demoted who would make your team, or anyone I benched who you would start? Let us know in the comments how your team would look.

Hilly Flitcraft Jersey Outlet

With the United States at war, the Office of Defense Transportation mandated that baseball teams had to hold spring training near their homes in 1943-44-45. The ODT ‘s travel restrictions limited teams to areas north of the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and east of the Mississippi River.

Taking a break during spring training in Hershey, left to right: manager Bucky Harris, coach Earl Whitehill, owner William Cox and coach Chuck Klein. (Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia)

Seventy years ago, the Phillies arranged to hold spring training in Hershey after being in Miami the previous three years.

A team that had lost more than 100 games in five straight seasons starting in 1938 was about to embark on a bizarre spring training and a year that ended in an equally bizarre manner.

The Phillies not only had a new manager, future Hall of Famer Bucky Harris, but a new owner, William Cox. Gerry Nugent, who became the owner in 1932, was so financially unstable that the National League intervened, forcing Nugent to sell the team to Cox, a successful New York lumber company businessman who headed a 30-man syndicate.

Cox, 33, assumed control as spring training began on March 15. He was known to put on the uniform and work out with the team in spring training and interfere throughout the season. He fired Harris after 95 games (40-53-2). A bitter Harris let it be known that Cox had bet on Phillies games. Following a lengthy investigation by MLB, Cox was banned from baseball. The Carpenter family of Wilmington purchased the Phillies that November. Spring training was held in Wilmington in the next two war years, 1944-45.

Phillies waiting to board the train for Hershey and the start of spring training in 1943. Front row (from left): 3B Pinky May, 2B Danny Murtaugh, CH-OF Chuck Klein, MGR Bucky Harris, traveling secretary Jimmy Hagan, RHP Johnny Podgajny behind RHP Si Johnson and trainer Harold Bruce. Back row, C Mickey Livingston, RHP Andy Lapihuska, RHP Frank Seward and RHP George Hennessy. (photo, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Hershey In 1943

Trying to find information about spring training in Hershey led to stacks of musty, old 18”x18” scrapbooks that somehow survived moves from Connie Mack Stadium to Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park. They were piled on top of files in the photo library. One of the books was labeled 1943.

Newspaper clippings and photos from Philadelphia’s three daily newspapers, Inquirer, Evening Bulletin and Record, had been carefully pasted in the scrapbook.

Browsing through the brittle and yellowed clippings revealed some interesting stories:

** Harris, eight players, the traveling secretary and publicity director boarded a train at the Reading Terminal in Philadelphia at 10:30 a.m. on March 14. At 2 p.m., they arrived in Hershey. Other players went to Hershey directly from their homes.

** Hershey had a small, well-kept high school diamond, a training house for use in wet weather and ample club room facilities (Hershey Arena), reported the Inquirer’s Stan Baumgartner, a former left-handed pitcher who spent eight years in the majors with the Phillies and Philadelphia A’s. Imagine Cole Hamels someday covering major league baseball?

** Housing was split between the Community House and Community Inn.

** Before the first workout, Harris laid out his rules: midnight curfew under penalty of $25.00, no “horse play,” every hitter must sprint to first during batting practice, pitchers must shag fly balls, no card playing for large stakes and most of all, he counseled the players to cast off the defeatist complex.

** Eleven players, including player-coach Chuck Klein, went through the first work out on March 15. Only nine players had signed contracts. Six more players were in uniform two days later.

** Because of World War II, rosters were in flux and the Phillies were a prime example. Of the 42 players that played for the Phillies in 1943, only 12 were in uniform the year before.

** Second baseman Danny Murtaugh, third baseman Pinky May and right fielder Ron Northey were the only returning regulars. A total of 18 Phillies was in the military in 1943, something all teams experienced.

All baseball teams during World War II promoted the sale of War Bonds in the publications, including the Spring Training brochure. Check out the phone number of the hotel, 594.

** In January, Nugent traded first baseman Nick Etten to the Yankees for first baseman Ed Levy, pitcher Al Gettel and $10,000. Levy joined the Army and Gettel decided to stay on his farm. Cox complained but the Yankees initially refused to correct the trade. On March 26, they finally sent catcher Tom Padden and pitcher Al Gearheauser as compensation. Another pitcher, Hilly Flitcraft, also retired to his farm.

** Pitcher Johnny Allen, acquired in a December 1942 trade with the Dodgers, held out and was sold back to Brooklyn on April 16. 1B Ed Murphy was also a holdout and never made it back to the majors. Another rookie, catcher Bill Anske, was lost to the military.

** Evening Bulletin writer Frank Yeutter: “Bill Webb, a loquacious pitcher, wrote his way into a job with the Phillies”. Baumgartner mentioned that George Hennessey “is merely a part-time war pitcher. He will be available only when the Phillies are at home.”

** New players arrived almost daily. Pitcher Charlie Fuchs was acquired on waivers on two days before spring training began.

** Cox constantly tried to make trades or purchase players. According to one report, Cox talked on the phone with Branch Rickey of the Dodgers for 10 minutes, ringing up a $7.00 phone bill.

** Weather was a constant problem. Rain, hail, snow and the thaw of spring were issues. Because of a muddy diamond, the Phillies were forced to work out on a football field at times. On another occasion, high winds forced the Phillies indoors at the Hershey Arena.

** On March 30, it was noted that the entire team went through a physical exam by a physician, a first in baseball history.

** Exhibition games took place in early April. The first was April 5, a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia A’s in Wilmington.

** Two days later, the Phillies beat an Army team at New Cumberland 5-3. Game was called after six innings because of bitter wind and snow flakes.

**Next day, the Phillies played the Indiantown Gap Army Team at the Lebanon High School field. They won a 14-0 no-hitter with the game called after seven innings, again by bad weather.

** April 10, the Phillies beat the A’s 2-0 at Shibe Park before a crowd of 5,000.

** April 12, bad weather canceled a game in Lancaster. Next day, a game in Hagerstown was rained out.

** April 15 was a 1-1 tie in Trenton played before 300 shivering fans.

**The final exhibition game was April 20, a 7-0 win over Yale in New Haven.

** Continuing the bad weather of the spring, the first two regular season games in Boston, April 20-21, were rained out.

** During the season, the Phillies played split doubleheaders, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., to accommodate war workers on swing shifts. They wound up playing a club record 43 doubleheaders, fitting for 1943, a bizarre year.

##

During research, I also reached out to the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society. Carole Hite Welch, the librarian, checked with some long-time residents and was able to obtain the following first-hand report from Camilio “Mimi” Gasper, an outstanding football player who graduated from Hershey High School in 1947:

“I saw the Phillies every day at spring training in Hershey and remember seeing Danny Litwhiler hit a long ball over the pine trees in left field, over the parking lot, a long fly that hit the Arena wall. Also remember seeing Schoolboy Preacher Roe throw. Some of the high fly balls went into Spring Creek behind the roller coaster. The young boys retrieved the balls from the creek and then ran so they could keep them.”

Kim Andrew Jersey Outlet

Concord Chorale will sing in the season with its annual holiday concert on Saturday and Sunday lead by its new music director.

Jenny Cooper will lead the choir in “O Sing Joyfully,” a program that focuses on the Christmas story and the communal joy shared during the season.

“While wonderfully festive, it has a deeper purpose of connecting us to one another and deepening both the singers’ and audience’s awareness of our connectedness,” Cooper said in a statement.

The concert will include the works “The Christmas Alleluias” by Kim Andrew Amesen, “O Sing Joyfully” by Adrian Batten, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” arranged by Keith Christopher, “Make We Joy Now in This Fest” by Matthew Culloton, “In Terra Pax, Op. 39” by Gerald Finzi, “Carols of the British Isles” arranged by Mark Hayes and “The Song We Sing” by Jacob Narverud.

Several of the pieces look at the season through the eyes of poets: “The Christmas Alleluias” draw from Euan Tait and “In Terra Pax” from Robert Bridges.

Cooper, a singer in the Chorale prior to becoming its leader, is the director of music at Lawrence Academy and music director of the Acton Community Chorus. She also co-founded with AJ Coppola the New Hampshire Master Choral Children’s Chorus Festival.

Showtimes will be Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. at South Congregational Church in Concord. Tickets are $20 general admission, $25 seniors for advance sales, which increase $5 at the door. Students are admitted free and should not get tickets in advance.

Tickets and more information are available at concordchorale.org or at Gibson’s Bookstore or Merrimack County Savings Bank.

Jack Aragon Jersey Outlet

The New Yorker magazine’s nightlife listings begin with this suggestion: “Musicians and night-club proprietors lead complicated lives; It’s advisable to check in advance to confirm engagements.” That could very well apply to the Marin live music scene as well. It’s a fluid, ever-changing, some would say even crazy, business. And that’s what makes drummer Michael Aragon’s 36-year run at the No Name Bar in Sausalito such an incredible milestone.

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“Undoubtedly, it’s the longest continuous jazz gig in the Bay Area,” says the 75-year-old musician before playing his regular weekly show last Friday night. “Not one band has played at one spot for 36 years.”

After all that time, Aragon’s tenure at the colorful downtown watering hole finally comes to an end this month. The Michael Aragon Quartet plays on the bar’s cramped little stage the next two Friday nights, and that’s it. For the many friends and fans the charismatic drummer has made over nearly four decades, these final shows have been bittersweet.

“We will miss him so much, because it will never be the same,” says artist Carolyn Meyer, who has been coming to see Aragon and his quartet most Friday nights since moving to Sausalito 15 years ago. “It’s an era that’s ending. We’ve seen Sausalito go through some changes, and this is another one. It’s absolutely sad.”

That sadness isn’t just about Aragon’s retirement from No Name. It goes deeper than that. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that has metastasized into his bones. He doesn’t know how many years he has left, and he wants the freedom to spend more time with his wife, Amanda, and do some traveling while he still can.

Staying mindful

“Life is a very interesting thing,” he says as we walk along a darkened Bridgeway before the gig. “If you stay mindful and you look around, you can have a lot of fun, especially if you think there’s no more left.”

I’ve known Aragon since the early 1970s. He was one of the first musicians I met when I first moved to Marin. We jammed in a big house in San Anselmo where he was living at the time. There was something special about that day, and I’ve never forgotten it.

As we walk along, catching up on our lives since then, he offers to show me the house where he was born. We come to it on the south end of Bridgeway. Jack London is believed to have written “The She-Wolf” there. A stately old place with a turret, it looks like a castle overlooking the bay and San Francisco’s skyline.

“I was born right up there,” he says, pointing to an upstairs room, as little waves sigh on a small beach where he used to play as a child. He explains that he comes from a line of Portuguese landowners and business people that go way back in the history of Sausalito. He credits his mother, a powerful, religious woman, with instilling in him his love of music.

“She would push me down this sidewalk in a stroller and sing to me,” he says. “When I got my first jazz gig, the guy who hired me asked who taught me all the lyrics to the songs? I said, ‘My mom.’ She turned me on to music.”

Numerous tragedies

In his adult life, Aragon has suffered through unthinkable tragedies, more than any one person should have to bear. His son, Franklin, was 31 when he died of cancer. His 23-year-old daughter, Sheila, was killed by a hit-and-run driver. His late wife, Susan, died of a brain tumor. And now, he’s dealing with his own mortality

“It’s a horrible thing, all that happened,” he says. “I thought nothing like that would ever happen to me again. Music is the thing that’s been keeping me together. If it wasn’t for that, life would be very difficult.”

The cancer keeps Aragon in a great deal of pain most of the time, but he’s resisted taking medication to ease it.

“The doctor wants to prescribe all kinds of things for me, but I refuse,” he says. “The funny thing about pain is you can make friends with it, especially if you have to choose between pain and opiates. I’m not into opiates.”

He’s found that his best medicine is to be up on stage behind his drum kit, leading his band through an evening of jazz.

“When I play, my pain level is zero,” he says. “I get in the bubble and things stop.”

Packs the bar

Back at the bar, the members of Aragon’s quartet — tenor saxophonist Rob Roth, bassist Pierre Archain and keyboardist Casey Filson — are setting up as the place begins filling with warm bodies. By the time the music starts, the narrow saloon will be standing-room-only.

Roth, the senior member of the group, figures he’s played more than a thousand Fridays since hooking up with Aragon 20 years ago.

“I haven’t gone through half of what Michael has gone through,” he says. “He really personifies what it means to persist and push through tough times in life. The time we have together playing, all that goes away. We don’t think about anything else. We’re playing with the same energy and drive we had 20 years ago. But Friday nights won’t be the same anymore.”

Fridays certainly won’t be the same for Dave Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning former publisher of the Point Reyes Light, who travels every Friday with a group of friends from his home in Point Reyes Station to hear Aragon and his quartet.

“When you watch him, there’s so much emotion in his face when he’s performing,” Mitchell says. “It’s really fun to watch. I really like him and I’ve brought lots of other people along, too.”

The renowned jazz and pop drummer Harold Jones, of San Geronimo, best known for his stints with Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington, stopped by to see Aragon one last time before going on the road with Tony Bennett.

“I can’t imagine what it’s gonna be like without him after all these years,” he says.

‘Music guru’

Aragon’s musical legacy goes beyond his residency at No Name. With former Sausalito Parks and Recreation director Carol Buchholz, he co-founded Jazz and Blues by the Bay, an annual summer concert series in the city’s Gabrielson Park.

“Michael was my music guru when I was in Sausalito,” says Buchholz in a phone interview. “He has contributed in so many ways to the music scene in Marin. His entire life he’s been doing this. I can only say wonderful things about the man.”

Aragon doesn’t plan to stop playing entirely, but he’ll pick and choose his gigs, rather than be pinned down to a regular schedule. For him now, it’s all about living in the moment, enjoying these last nights with his band and sharing them with the all the folks who are showing up at his final gigs to wish him well.

“Some people kid themselves, but we all know we’re going to leave here,” he says. “I stopped kidding myself years ago, probably when my son passed. There was a reality check there. So, I surround myself with positive people. You can look at it as a glass half-full kind of thing and it’s not so bad. It’s one foot in front of the other, baby, and that’s it.”

Jim Magnuson Jersey Outlet

SAN CARLOS — To quantify Jim Magnuson as a humble baseball aficionado seems a tad simple, yet quite fitting.

A native of San Carlos, he never strayed too far from his roots until his death last month at the age of 71.

Error 0:
John James Magnuson, most often referred to as Jim — or his nickname “Mag” — left quite an imprint on the local baseball community, beginning with the summer after his freshman year at Carlmont High.

“A lot of people associate San Carlos with Barry Bonds,” said Chris Magnuson, 33, his son. “But it was my dad, along with the other members of the ’61 Babe Ruth championship team, that put San Carlos on the map.”

A 15-year-old catcher at the time, Jim Magnuson transferred to the now-defunct San Carlos High as a sophomore.

One of his close friends, Richard Lelo, stayed at Carlmont. The rivalry that ensued came with mutual respect.

“He was a tough out,” Lelo said. “It’s not like you can throw a curveball to Magnuson and get him out, for sure. You had to mix him up and throw under his chin to get him to back up a little bit. He wouldn’t just sit on the fastball. Nothing bothered him too much and he’d hit whatever he felt like hitting. He knew how to play the game and he did it right.”

Baseball culminated each academic year in the spring for the three-sport standout at San Carlos High after football in the fall and basketball in the winter.

“He was a great tight end and he could score — shoot from outside or drive it to the basket,” Lelo said. “He was an all-around athlete.”

Reunited at CSM

After graduating from high school in 1964, the next stop wasn’t too far away as Magnuson and Lelo reunited at College of San Mateo.

Arm problems forced a shift to the outfield for Magnuson under the tutelage of John Noce, a Hall-of-Fame head coach at CSM for 31 years.

“The biggest compliment I can pay him is that he was a real Bulldog,” Noce said.

He added: “He was extremely well-liked by everybody. He had a good personality and a good sense of humor.”

As previously established, Magnuson could also hit, a trend that continued at every level.

“He had a really super unique ability to hit the ball at the very last second,” Lelo said. “Most hitters hit the ball at the front of the plate. Jim never did. Jim hit the ball after it crossed the plate and hit it out in right field, so he had what you’d call an inside-out swing. Very few people can do that. Hitting behind the runners is really valuable.”

It resulted in Magnuson routinely spraying doubles into the right-centerfield gap at CSM, which earned him special recognition.

“We ended up calling that Mag’s alley — named after him — for years,” Noce said. “He did show power on occasion, but he was a good gap hitter. He got a lot of extra-base hits.”

As a sophomore in 1966 with the Bulldogs, the baseball team entered the last day of the season on a 16-game winning streak before a showdown with City College of San Francisco.

“I think it was the longest win streak that my teams had in my 31 years at San Mateo,” Noce said. “And on the effort to get 17, that was the day we got beat by City and it was for the championship.”

Next level

Magnuson and Lelo parted ways again, this time with the former bound for UC Berkeley, while the latter had a scholarship to Cal Poly.

Neither stayed there for more than a year.

Magnuson was selected out of Cal in the 1967 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, while Lelo signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Twins.

After three years in the minor leagues at affiliates for the Phillies and the Boston Red Sox, plus a brief stint in Quebec while once again sharing a dugout with Noce, injuries put an end to his days as a professional baseball player.

“Just gathering different notes and different things, it’s really cool to see the impact,” Chris said. “You don’t realize and it’s cliché, but I really didn’t notice until he was gone.”

“There’s some really neat stuff in his records,” added Deanna, his daughter born in 1983. “He was pretty humble about most of it.”

Return to Carlmont

Jim Magnuson returned to the Bay Area in 1969 to earn a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in science from San Jose State.

In 1975, he was hired as a teacher at Carlmont, where life came full circle before he retired in 2009.

His influence was felt during back-to-back Central Coast Section baseball championships for the Scots in 1992 and 1993, the only such titles in school history.

“Do you ever remember that TV show Columbo with Peter Falk?” asked Terry Stogner, a close friend of the family and Carlmont’s athletic director until 2005. “That’s Mag. He is that kind of a character. He always presented the picture that he was kind of confused at times, that didn’t quite know what was going on, and down underneath, just like Columbo, he always solved the crime at the end.

“Mag was a lot smarter than people gave him credit for. He presented a certain picture, but underneath he was a perfect baseball man.”

Magnuson sat in the dugout for the 7-2 victory on May 29, 1992, over Santa Cruz at San Jose Municipal Stadium to clinch the CCS Division II title.

It was his last game as head coach.

“He left the program right at the middle of its height,” Stogner said. “He decided that there were other things more important in life and he needed to pay attention to his family at the time.”

The keys to the baseball program now belonged to one of his former pupils in Doug Williams.

“Mag was instrumental in helping me as a young coach,” said Williams, who graduated from Carlmont in 1983 and is currently in his 24th season as the head coach at CSM.

The Scots didn’t allow a run in the 1993 CCS playoffs, recording four straight shutouts en route to another Division II title.

It’s not about him

His daughter, who attended Notre Dame-Belmont, vaguely remembered watching some of her father’s baseball games at Carlmont.

“He was really proud of all the accomplishments of his kids, but he didn’t really take a lot of credit for it,” Deanna said. “He would talk about the specific players and their skills, less about his coaching.”

“He was leadership material,” Lelo said. “He played everything straight in his life.”

“He was not the kind of coach that told you to do it his way or you won’t play,” Stogner said. “He was always a coach that let players work it out for themselves. I think one of his favorite expressions when a kid would go out on his own and try and do something and it wouldn’t work, Mag would be, ‘Well, how is that working for you?’

“He let kids learn on their own and didn’t force the way things were going to be done. I mean, he put the players in the right position at the right time and made the right calls and that type of stuff, but the little things. ‘What do you think about this? Well, why don’t you try it and see how it works?’ ”

Not going anywhere

It’s not as if Magnuson disappeared from the baseball scene after he left the dugout.

“In talking to him the other day, I got the impression that even after he retired he spent a lot of time over there out at Burton Park in San Carlos observing the youth baseball program,” said Noce, who paid a visit to his home in San Carlos only days before Magnuson lost an abrupt battle with lung cancer on the evening of March 9.

“One of our old neighbors has a son that’s playing for San Carlos Little League right now,” Chris said. “And in recent years he would go back and try to stay involved. That was his life, it was baseball.”

He added: “What else did he talk about, right?”

Hardcore fans of the San Francisco Giants, one item off the bucket list came in 2010 with a World Series title, promptly followed by trophies in 2012 and 2014.

“I remember sitting next to dad on the couch watching those championships,” Chris said. “We didn’t know if it was going to happen in his lifetime and we got three in five years, so it was really exciting.”

“The Magnuson clan are definitely Giants fans,” said Lelo, who hoped to get his old friend, an avid fisherman, for a trip to his home just south of the Oregon border.

“I never got to take him on my drift boat down the beautiful Smith River,” he added.

Celebration of life

Diagnosed with terminal stage IV lung cancer in November, it took a while for word to get out to his friends, many who didn’t find out until after his death.

“There’s a lot of shock and disbelief because he wasn’t one to inconvenience anyone, let alone with something as minimal as his death, right?” Chris said.

“It was a disaster,” Lelo said. “His friends didn’t know until like five or six weeks before he passed. … We knew it was coming, but you just can’t be really prepared.”

In lieu of a traditional funeral service, the family opted for a celebration of life at a place near and dear to Magnuson’s heart: Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City.

“He loved going to Harry’s,” Deanna said. “He was a sucker for that place. He loved roast-carved turkey. It’s kind of an old-school restaurant, which he felt there aren’t that many of those around these days.”

“It’s not too formal, so that’s the way wanted it to be,” Chris said. “He didn’t really want anything at all and it’s our way to get some closure. Everybody can hang out and tell some stories about dad and have a good time.”

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Family and friends will gather on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Harry’s Hofbrau, including the newest member of the family and another item off Jim Magnuson’s bucket list.

“In the last couple of years, when his daughter Deanna married Sean, they graced him as a grandpa in the last year of his life with little Ethan,” Lelo said. “And that’s what really made him proud. He was quite happy with little baby Ethan. And Chris is like a 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 tall spring bean, a promising young kid. They all have a bright life looking forward.”

Jim Magnuson is survived by his sister, Karen Magnuson of Clearlake, son-in-law and daughter, Sean and Deanna Magnuson Griffin, and grandson, Ethan Griffin of Redwood City, son, Chris Magnuson of San Carlos and ex-wife, Nanci Glass Magnuson, of Belmont.

Ferris Fain Jersey Outlet

OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 2: Baseball hall of famer Reggie Jackson of the 1973 World Champion Oakland Athletics waves to the crowd during a ceremony before the game against the New York Yankees at the Network Associates Coliseum on August 2, 2003 in Oakland, California. The Yankees defeated the Athletics 10-7. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
“Reggie Jackson doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame any more than my grandmother does,” Ferris Fain said in 1995. “How many runners did he keep from advancing with all those strikeouts?”

Fain had a point about strikeouts.

In the seventh game of the 1962 World Series, the New York Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the fifth inning at Candlestick Park. Tony Kubek hit into a double play, scoring Bill Skowron from third base with the game’s only run.

Sometimes, even a double play beats a strikeout.

Ferris Fain rarely struck out. He was drafted from the San Francisco Seals by the Philadelphia Athletics on Nov. 1, 1946 and was a mainstay at first base for Philadelphia from 1947-52.

Fain led the American League in batting in 1951 with a .344 average and again in 1952 when he hit .327. In 1952, he struck out 20 times and walked 80 times. The following season, he struck out 26 times with 105 walks.

In his six seasons in Philadelphia, Fain batted .297/.426/.408. In those days, he was appreciated for his ability to draw walks and not strike out. There was no statistic called “on-base percentage” until the early 1950s. Fain had a higher lifetime on-base percentage than even Mickey Mantle (.424 to .421).

After he won the 1952 batting title, Fain was traded to the Chicago White Sox, basically for slugging first baseman Eddie Robinson because Philadelphia wanted more power at first base.

A factor that contributed to the trade was that Fain had a terrible temper that sometimes got the best of him. He was often involved in fisticuffs, which didn’t please Athletics management. He liked alcohol and was a heavy drinker.

Teammate Eddie Joost, who drew more than 100 walks for six consecutive seasons with the Athletics, spoke about Fain. “He had a lifestyle of his own and would do exactly what he wanted to do. There were many things the players didn’t like about him.”

On the way to winning the 1951 batting title, Fain broke a bone in his foot when he kicked the bag because he was frustrated that he had made an out.

In 1952, it was worse. Fain was involved in a fight in a bar when some patrons started heckling him. He missed many games, but returned in time to qualify for the batting title.

Philadelphia set a record for the most double plays in a season with 217 in 1949. Fain was involved in 194 of them, which is still a record.

No first baseman was more aggressive than Fain. I remember watching a New York Yankees game with Phil Rizzuto on first and Joe Collins batting. Casey Stengel gave Collins, who was a left-handed hitter with good power, the bunt sign.

Fain, as he usually did, came charging toward the plate, daring Collins to swing away to try to hit the ball past him. Mel Allen always referred to him as “Fearless Ferris Fain.”

After a relatively short career that ended at the age of 34, Fain moved back to California, where he spent the rest of his life. It’s too bad so few individuals have heard about Ferris Fain.

Seth McClung Jersey Outlet

What’s going on everybody? My name is Bryan Woodward. I am very pleased to be given this opportunity to contribute to this great site. I will be covering the Gulf Coast League beginning with the 2020 season. I am planning to contribute in other ways as well.

I was born in Lakewood, New Jersey and have been around this game since that very day! When I was first able to walk, I was given the classic Playskool baseball set with the yellow bat and brown glove and soft plush baseballs. I have pictures and home videos of me swinging that thing as early as 14 months! Fast forward now being 31, I STILL have the set! It’s in great shape and will be given to my first born! They just don’t make things like they used too!

As I grew older, my father got me into baseball cards. Since then, I have not only been an avid collector, but also have grown the hobby into a small little side business. You can find me on Instagram @RedBeardSportsCards and also on eBay under that same name! I am big into Bowman products and Topps flagship Rookie Cards.

I played the game my entire life, from the age of 4 up until my age 27 summer when I had to call it quits due to an eye condition called Myopic Degeneration. With my ability to play the game taken away, I decided to move to Florida and opened a baseball facility called The Hack Shack. I also co-founded, directed and coached the Florida Gulf Coast Prospects travel baseball organization with former MLB Pitcher Seth McClung for the first two years I lived here. I have now begun my own travel organization, the Tampa Skyhawks. 2020 will be our inaugural season. The goal of the organization is to make sure all of our players are found a home to continue their careers into college.

This brings me to my involvement in fantasy baseball. I play APBA baseball in a face to face league called the Jersey Central League. It is based in New Jersey/Pennsylvania and has been in existence since 1978. I joined the league when I was just 16. All credit here goes to my dad as well for getting me involved at such a young age. I also play in numerous re-draft fantasy leagues as well as a couple dynasty leagues. I just got into my first 30-team dynasty and am loving every second of it. Finally a place to put all of my knowledge to use!

As you can see, I am connected with this game in so very many ways. I was already a frequent visitor to Gulf Coast League games and always wanted to have a purpose other than for my own enjoyment. This will now give me that purpose and make the days in the Florida heat just that much more worth it! I hope to provide you all with great insight into one of the hidden gems of minor league baseball!

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram @CoachBarbaRoja to discuss anything Gulf Coast League or request some specific coverage!

Anthony Bemboom Jersey Outlet

ANAHEIM — After the decision to non-tender Kevan Smith on Monday, the Angels are officially in the market for a catcher this offseason.

The Angels have just two catchers on their 40-man roster in Max Stassi and Anthony Bemboom, and Stassi might not be ready for Opening Day after undergoing right hip surgery this offseason. The club also doesn’t have any catching prospects close to the Majors after permanently moving Taylor Ward to the outfield and Matt Thaiss to the infield.

So here’s a look at available catchers both via trade and free agency that the Angels could target this winter:

Martín Maldonado

A reunion with Maldonado could make some sense, especially considering his relationship with Gerrit Cole, who remains the club’s top target in its search for starting pitching. Maldonado, 33, played with the Angels in 2017 and ’18 before being traded to the Astros. He worked well with Cole last season, essentially becoming his personal catcher in the second half. Cole had a 1.57 ERA in 10 starts with Maldonado compared to a 2.94 ERA with other Houston backstops. He’s still a solid defender, but he doesn’t offer much offense, hitting .213/.293/.378 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs in 101 games in ’19.

Robinson Chirinos

Chirinos is also a free-agent catcher from the Astros and is a better hitter than Maldonado, batting .238/.347/.443 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs in 114 games while also smacking three postseason homers. The 35-year-old is two years older than Maldonado but figures to get more in free agency because of his bat. He also graded out well defensively last year.

Jason Castro

Castro, 32, is a free agent and is coming off a bounceback year in 2019 after missing most of the ’18 campaign because of knee surgery. Castro hit .232/.332/.435 with 13 homers and 30 RBIs, playing 79 games as a backup to Mitch Garver. Castro, a northern California native who attended Stanford, works well with pitchers and was rated as an average defensive catcher by advanced metrics last year.

Castro hits Twins’ 307th HR
Sep 30th, 2019 · 0:43
Castro hits Twins’ 307th HR
Alex Avila

Avila has been plagued by concussion issues throughout his career but remains a reliable backstop with strong on-base skills. The 32-year-old batted .207/.353/.421 with nine homers and 24 RBIs in 63 games with the D-backs last year. He’s been relegated to a backup role the last two seasons but is rated as an above-average pitch framer, which could help Angels pitchers.

Avila’s 432-foot smash
Aug 4th, 2019 · 0:36
Avila’s 432-foot smash
Russell Martin

Could Martin move across town from the Dodgers to the Angels? Martin, 36, remains one of the best pitch framers in the Majors and is known for his leadership skills and ability to work with pitchers. Offensively, he’s declined, however, hitting .220/.337/.330 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 83 games. He also could be looking to sign with a ready-made contender, although the Angels are obviously trying to reach the postseason in 2020.

Martin’s go-ahead 3-run homer
Sep 4th, 2019 · 0:55
Martin’s go-ahead 3-run homer
Willson Contreras

Unlike the others, Contreras is not a free agent, and it would take quite the haul to acquire him via trade from the Cubs. But the need is there and he has a history with new manager Joe Maddon. The Angels are much more likely to use their resources to acquire top-tier pitching, but the idea of trading for Contreras is tantalizing considering his combination of offensive and defensive skills and the fact he’s under contract through the 2022 season. The 27-year-old hit .272/.355/.533 with 24 homers and 64 RBIs in 105 games last season.

Contreras nabs Hiura at second
Aug 3rd, 2019 · 0:17
Contreras nabs Hiura at second
Omar Narváez

The Mariners are looking to trade Narváez but the Angels could be ruled out simply because of Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto doesn’t have a good relationship with his former organization. But if the two clubs get past that, Narváez would be an upgrade for the Angels and wouldn’t require the same kind of prospects as a trade for Contreras. Narváez, 27, is also under contract through 2022, however, and is coming off the best year of his career. He hit .278/.353/.469 with 22 homers and 55 RBIs in 132 games but was rated as a below-average catcher.