Not All Heroes Are on Scorecards


How do I choose the personalities to write to as I collect baseball memories? I don’t limit myself to 25-man rosters or official entries in any encyclopedia. If someone has a life and career that speaks to me as a fan, I want more of their story.

As I maintain my goal of sending a letter a day, here’s the people my next sheet of FOREVER stamps are reserved for…

RANDY WEHOFER (pictured above): Iowa Cubs team announcer who played a, yes, team announcer, in the movie Sugar.

NANCY FAUST: White Sox team organist retiring in 2010, her 41st season. She got crowds to sing —

“Na, na, na, na. Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye”

MIKE VEECK: Minor league baseball visionary, son of Hall of Fame team owner Bill Veeck.

SISTER MARY ASSUMPTA: Cleveland Indians super-fan who has baked cookies to give to her “boys” for 25 years. Featured on a 1997 Upper Deck promo card.

KADIR NELSON: Gifted illustrator and creator of the stunning book We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

DAVE RAYMOND: The first Phillies Phanatic.

DENNIS RIMA: One of the “Ghost Players” who’ve performed at Iowa’s Field of Dreams and around the world.

Stay tuned!

Walter Alston & Casey Stengel Successful Today? Not Likely, Says Pitcher Larry Miller


Back in 2001, former pitcher Larry Miller still threw strikes.

Verbal strikes, that is.

Miller didn’t sugar-coat his opinions when asked about hurling for two
Hall of Fame managers in a three-year career. Furthermore, Miller slung
a high, hard one at the 1960s Mets organization.

“I never got to know either Alston or Stengel as people,” Miller began. “As managers, they had similar skills as far as making proper strategic moves during a game. Neither spent much effort trying to connect with the players. My belief is that neither would be very successful managing today’s players who require and demand special considerations.”

When coach Wes Westrum took over the Mets following Stengel’s retirement, Miller felt that the new manager was doomed.

“Westrum took over a team still brimming with expansion players. The core of the ’69 Mets (Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, McGraw, etc.) were just coming into the organization as minor leaguers. The best manager in baseball at that time would have had difficulty improving the Mets record.

“The old saying ‘You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s – – – ‘ applies here.”

Walter Alston & Casey Stengel Successful Today? Not Likely, Says Pitcher Larry Miller


Back in 2001, former pitcher Larry Miller still threw strikes.

Verbal strikes, that is.

Miller didn’t sugar-coat his opinions when asked about hurling for two
Hall of Fame managers in a three-year career. Furthermore, Miller slung
a high, hard one at the 1960s Mets organization.

“I never got to know either Alston or Stengel as people,” Miller began. “As managers, they had similar skills as far as making proper strategic moves during a game. Neither spent much effort trying to connect with the players. My belief is that neither would be very successful managing today’s players who require and demand special considerations.”

When coach Wes Westrum took over the Mets following Stengel’s retirement, Miller felt that the new manager was doomed.

“Westrum took over a team still brimming with expansion players. The core of the ’69 Mets (Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, McGraw, etc.) were just coming into the organization as minor leaguers. The best manager in baseball at that time would have had difficulty improving the Mets record.

“The old saying ‘You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s – – – ‘ applies here.”