Thursday, September 6, 2012

Zack Hample presentation

Last night, I was fortunate to attend a presentation at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, Ohio by Zack Hample, ball hawk extrordinaire and author of 3 baseball books, including "The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches", which I read and enjoyed immensely. He even autographed a baseball for me, here is the pictographic proof:

While I would love to take some of Zack's advice and get a bunch of balls, unfortunately, I kind of have 2 strikes against me. I can't go to a game 2 hours early (due to my wife wanting to go to games as well but not standing for going so early), I can't run from left field to right field on a whim (due to old age).

Zack signed my ball with the number 6309, which is his up to the minute count of his baseball collection. At first, I thought that this number of balls would take up multiple storage units, but then I did the math, because that is what I am good at.

A set of whole number factors that comes close to 6309 is 20 times 20 times 16, which is 6400. A standard Rawlings baseball box that stores one baseball is approximately 2 13/16" cubical, which means that if you stacked baseballs in their boxes in a layer of 20 by 20, making it 16 boxes high, the footprint of the stack on the floor would be 4'8" by 4'8", and the stack would be 3'9" tall.

The weight is another matter, however. At 5 ounces per, 6309 baseballs would weight about 1972 pounds. That is (almost) a ton of balls.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012 videos

Here are the videos of my hijinks of the two TV games for Team Stargell at the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Fantasy Camp. Thanks to Joe B. and his staff with the Pirates for sending me these videos.

Here is the video from Game 2:

Team Stargell Game 2 at Pirates Fantasy Camp 2012 from Brian Prescott on Vimeo.

And here is the video from Game 7 at McKechnie Field:

Team Stargell Game 7 at Pirates Fantasy Camp 2012 from Brian Prescott on Vimeo.

The game 7 video contains a clip of me trying to turn a double play that was included on the camp highlights DVD (unfortunately the ball was not hit hard enough to turn two). So while on the surface it is not as exciting as "The Catch" from last year, I think it shows some improvement in my fielding.

Only 194 days until the 2013 Pirates Fantasy Camp...

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Fantasy Camp DVD insert

Well, the Bucco bats have come to life in the past month or so, and they are in first place at the All-Star break. That hasn't happened in a while.

Just like last year, I made a DVD insert to jazz up the style of the 2012 Fantasy Camp DVDs. If you would like, you can download them from these links, depending on which flavor of word processing app you use:

Microsoft Word 3.x

As with last year's insert, to print these out, you will most likely need to use legal paper, as the width of the insert is almost the size of a standard piece of letter paper, and most printers cannot print that close to the edge of the paper. Also, I would recommend using a paper cutter instead of scissors to trim it down, it makes much nicer edges. The printed page is designed for you to trim away some of the printed part, so do not trim right along the printed edge, go a little bit inside for starters.

Only 197 days until camp opens...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reunion game

Well the 2012 Pirates Fantasy Camp is now officially and totally over, as the reunion game was last weekend. It was a glorious morning for baseball, and the team that I was on won our game, so I guess I wasn't totally winless from the 2012 camp. At the plate, I went 1 for 2. In my first at-bat, I swung at a pitch I should have laid off and hit a squibber down the first base line for the final out of the first inning, and in the third inning I hit a double that bounced and rolled to the wall in left field. In the field, I played 2 innings in right field without any chances, and I played 1 inning at third base and threw out the batter on a ground ball to end the game.

Only 240 days until the 2013 camp opens...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Team Stargell

Well I have been back home for a few days now, and I must say that other than my knees and ankles still being a bit sore, I am way better after this camp as opposed to last year's camp.

I would like to take a moment to mention my Team Stargell mates: Jim Forshey, Laurie Hughes, Chad Peluso, Charlie Peluso, Don Peluso, Todd Rowley, Julie Seidman, Andy Swasko, Richard Thomas, and David Weiss. As always, thanks to Joe Billetdeaux and Kent Tekulve for putting on a great fantasy camp. Also, thanks to our coaches Manny Sanguillen and Bob Walk, to our staff assistant Nollys Solarte, and to our Bradenton Booster volunteer, Dave Pace.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 6 and travel day

Yesterday, the 2012 Pirates Fantasy Camp closed out with our 3 inning game versus the pro staff. Since we finished in last place, we played in the last game of the day. In my only plate appearance of the game, I managed to work a walk off of Steve Blass, but was stranded on first base. Our team scored a couple of runs, but we still lost to the pro staff.

Here were my final batting statistics for the week:

7 games played
.733 batting average
11 hits in 15 at-bats
6 runs scored
2 doubles
1 triple
3 runs batted in
2 walks
1 strikeout
4 hit by pitch

And some additional statistics:
21 plate appearances
1.000 slugging percentage (15 total bases in 15 at-bats)
.810 on base percentage (17 times on base in 21 plate appearances)
1.810 OPS

My flight back to Ohio was first thing this morning, and as I write this, I am now back in the cold and snow. Thanks to the whole fantasy camp and Pirate City staff for a great week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 5

Our relegation round matchup today was delayed due to rain overnight and this morning, which made the fields unplayable for our scheduled start time of 10:15am. As a result, the two playoff games were scheduled to play at 1:00p on fields 3 and 4, and the relegation round games were scheduled to start at 3:00p. Our game was on field 3 (the turf field) at 3:00p against Team Traynor, managed by Mike LaValliere and Bill Mazeroski. Our bats came to life and we managed to score some runs, but we just gave up a few too many and lost by our closest margin of the week. At the plate, I beat out an infield single, hit a solid single up the middle, walked and scored a run, and hit one into the gap for a double, with 1 RBI on the play. However, I was stranded on third, and I was on deck when the game ended. In the field, I played 5 innings at third base and 2 at shortstop, and made a couple of plays, but unfortunately threw away a couple of balls that cost us.

Tomorrow is the game versus the pros, our scheduled start time is approximately 2:10p, as we finished in last place among the 8 teams. My will wants to stay and keep playing, but my legs are screaming to go home and rest a bit.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 4

Well, the final day of the Pirates Fantasy Camp 2012 regular season has come and gone, and unfortunately for Team Stargell, the results of today was much the same as the previous days.

The first game of the day (field 3, 10:30a) was against Team Waner. I was hit by a pitch in my first plate appearance, and then I hit a single in my second plate appearance. In the field, I played the outfield and the infield, and did pretty well in both, making nice catches and throws to get outs. But in the end it was a lopsided 10-0 victory for Team Waner. And there was a pick off play thrown in there somewhere.

The second game (field 4, 2:15p) was against Team Wagner. Once again, as it seems has happened so often at this camp, I was hit by a pitch in my first plate appearance and came around to score a run. Then, I sharply grounded out in my second at-bat, and in my third at-bat, I hit a solid single up the middle but ended up stranded on third as the game and regular season ended with another Team Stargell loss to finish with a regular season record of 0 wins and 6 losses.

The team dinner is at Pier 22 in Bradenton here tonight, and I am anticipating a great meal from a great restaurant.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 3

Well, we are half way through the week already, and it hurts so good.

Today was just a single game for each team at McKechnie Field, where the Pirates play their spring training games and where the Bradenton Marauders play their single-A regular season. It is a picturesque park, and it appears that they are making some major renovations to the park to make it even better.

We had the last game of the day at 4:00pm vs. Team Vaughn managed by Jose Lind and Jim Rooker. In the first inning, I was a courtesy runner and scored a run, then I was hit by a pitch in the arm and scored another run, hit a single, and then hit another single. On that last at-bat, it was starting to get dark, and I was hit again with a pitch, but the umpire would not let me take first base, so it worked out as I was able to get on anyway. In the field, I played 3 innings at second base and made a couple of nice plays with 1 misplay, and then I played 2 innings at third base, and again made a couple of nice plays and 1 little flub. Unfortunately, it was the same old story as we lost again by a score of 23 to 7 to end day 3 with a record of 0 wins and 4 losses.

For the evening, it was the All-American Cookout at Pirate City. It was fully underway when we got there since our game was late in finishing, but I got all of the baseball cards, baseballs, and bats autographed that I wanted to.

Two more games tomorrow, and I am not sure how I am going to be able to make it to the end of the week. Maybe Bob Walk will put me on waivers so that I don't have to play any more.

Day 2

Day 2 was a league double header day with 2 games. Oh the pain...

Game 1 (field 2, 10:30a) was against Team Carey, managed by Dave Cash and Bob Patterson. I had 3 pretty solid at-bats during the game, the first was a line drive out right at their shortstop, then I tripled with a runner on second for 1 RBI and then scored a run one batter later, and I had a single in the 7th inning. Also, I did some courtesy running, and managed to score another run. In the field, I played 3 innings at first base and had no putouts with two unfortunate flubs. One was a high throw that I probably should have had, and the other was admittedly a real tough play going back over my shoulder on a little pop fly. Then, I played 3 innings in right field and made 1 catch on a hard hit line drive by one of the better Carey players. Unfortunately, this all added up to a 15 to 8 loss to drop our record to 0 and 2.

Game 2 (field 2, 2:15p) was against Team Clemente, managed by Grant Jackson and John Wehner. At the dish in this game, I was hit in the left arm on a hard thrown pitch, I grounded into a fielder's choice, and I hit a single in the 7th inning. (Seems to be a theme.) And in the field, after seeing my antics at first base, Bob Walk moved me to the outfield, where I played 4 innings in right field with no chances, and 1 inning in center field, where I made a difficult catch on a long fly ball.

And then for the evening, I met up with some old friends of mine from when I lived down here in Florida, and we went to the Tampa Bay Lightning game where they defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4 to 2.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 1

Day one of my sophomore season at Pirates Fantasy Camp began with the 5 inning evaluation game.  For the game I was assigned to Team 4 and had a single with 2 RBI, I grounded into a fielder's choice, and I struck out swinging after battling the pitcher and fouling off a few. I played 3 innings in the outfield and 1 as the catcher and did not have any chances.

As a result of my evaluation game efforts, I was drafted by Team Stargell headed up by Manny Sanguillen and Bob Walk. Our first test was the afternoon game (field 4, 3:15pm) against Team Cuyler led by Steve Blass and Gary Redus. You knew that they were going to have good pitching because of Blass, and this turned out to be the case as they handled us pretty easily. Personally,  I worked a hard fought walk in my first at-bat, struck out swinging in my second at-bat, and hit a double with 2 outs in the top of the 7th inning, but was stranded there. In the field, I played 3 innings in right field without any chances, and then Bob Walk moved me to first base, where I had 4 putouts, 2 on ground outs to shortstop and 2 on pop flies. We are hurting a bit from our 0 and 1 start, but tomorrow is another day and hopefully we won't run into the hot pitching that we saw today.

At least it was nice and warm here today. Although I heard that it was also pretty unseasonably warm up north as well today.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pirate City arrival

Well, I finally made it down to Pirate City. I am not sure what kind of good fortune I have found my way into here, but I am in the Bill Mazeroski room this year. No disrespect to the Mike LaValliere room that I stayed in last year, but the Maz room appears to be a bit more spacious and forgiving. I will try to post a picture later. The weather here is very nice compared to Ohio, we shall see how well I can do tomorrow at the evaluation game and in the first league game. EDIT: As promised, here is one picture of the room.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One week to go...

Only one more week before I ship out to go to Bradenton. It should be a fun time. I can't wait for that first taste of Mixon's orange ice cream. It is flat out awesome.