Mar 28, 2012
Mar 27, 2012
Triple A Minor League Baseball Is Back
Written by Jim Coles
Published in Panorama Magazine - June, 1989
This article was written just after the start of the inaugural season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. The team had been playing in Old Orchard Beach, Maine as the Maine Guides before relocating to Northeast PA prior to the start of the 1989 season. The Phillies International League affiliate played at Lackawanna County Stadium from 1989 to 2006 before eventually moving to Allentown as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Mar 26, 2012
Mar 25, 2012
Hazleton, PA - June, 1989
My grandmother passed away earlier this month, and my dad and I are in the process of cleaning out her home. I came across this magazine under the cushion of the green chair in the living room.
Panorama is a free magazine that is distributed to businesses in and around Hazleton. My Nana used to pick up a copy at the Blue Comet Diner after she and my grandmother went to church services at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel. She would read it and do the crossword puzzles either at the kitchen table on sitting on the front porch.
Seeing this brought back a lot of happy memories of those days. They're a type of happy memory that tends to get forgotten. It's not memories of a holiday, or a birthday, or a family vacation. There's no particularly funny story that was triggered by this. It's just the memories of everyday life - of being 8 years old and looking forward to my 9th birthday, and of going out on the front porch to sit with Nana and Grandma, or going in to the kitchen to make a plate of cheese on crackers and watch cartoons while I waited for Grandpa to come home from work. Memories of simple, everyday occurrences, each of which fade away gradually. It's only decades later that you're able to reflect on just how short of a time it was, but in the moment, it felt like it was the way life had always been and would always be.
Over the next few days, I'm going to scan and share some of the contents of this magazine. Maybe it'll bring back a few happy memories for someone else.
Mar 24, 2012
Mar 18, 2012
Ruben Amaro signed Dontrelle Willis in December with the hopes of using him as an effective left-handed reliever this season. It was a smart move. He just turned 30 in January and he was one of the best pitchers in the National League not too long ago. The Phillies have had recent success with helping former All-Star starting pitchers turn into weapons out of the bullpen with Chan Ho Park in 2009 and Jose Contreras in 2010. Sadly, D-Train won't be the latest success story. The Phillies released him on Friday.
Dontrelle was one of my favorite pitchers that had never spent time with the Phillies, and I was very happy when they signed him. He's very close with Jimmy Rollins, so it would have been fun to see the two of them chase a championship together. Also, in addition to having once been an ace, Dontrelle is also one of the best hitting pitchers in the game with a career .244 batting average and 9 home runs. In fact, there was talk of the Phillies using him both as a reliever and a pinch hitter this year, including a $25,000 bonus in his contact if he makes 30 plate appearances.
He made three appearances in Spring Training. The first two were pretty rough, but his last appearance on Thursday went pretty well, giving up a leadoff walk, but getting three outs and a scoreless inning against the Braves. There was every reason to be encouraged, and I had high hopes that with more work, he would settle in nicely. I hope he can catch on with another club and bounce back this season, but I wish it could have been in Philadelphia.