Former Seattle Mariners Pitcher Dave Fleming Teaches Baseball By The Numbers



Clouds? This wasn’t
taken in the Kingdome!

 Pitcher Dave Fleming has been mastering a new pitch for the last nine years.

If being a former major leaguer isn’t enough to be granted rock-star status in the classroom, Fleming combines a ballpark field trip with math lessons. Imagine. Bring your glove and your calculator!

Fleming wrote:

“I have been a teacher for nine years. I am unaware of other ballplayers in the same profession.

My students take a field trip to a New Britain Rock Cat Game (double A – Twins) and they learn to compute batting ave., won-loss percentage for teams, and some learn ERAs.”

Sounding like a thoughtful educator, Fleming chose to differ from my assessment of Seattle’s Kingdome. I remembered seeing him pitch there. I told him it looked, and sounded, like kids more cool and talented than myself playing Nerf baseball in my family room basement. Without grading my Kingdome mini-essay, he said:

“I liked that the Kingdome was always the same temperature and you knew you were playing every day. (Except for the roof collapse.)

I was not crazy about the turf.”

For five years, Fleming had the best seat in the house to marvel at superstar teammate Ken Griffey, Jr. Did he have a favorite “Kid” memory?

“My favorite Griffey memory was just having the opportunity to watch him play every day. Sweet swing and a graceful outfielder.”

In teacherly fashion, he closed his letter with:

“Hope this answers your questions!

Dave Fleming”

I found a fun newspaper article from 2008 that touched on Fleming’s second career. Check out the classroom photo, too. I thought this was a student, not a teacher!

John or Johnny Moses?


To get a memory, you need to give a memory.

In 2002, I sent a recollection to outfielder John Moses. Not an autograph request. Just a letter of thanks.

He rewarded me with an autographed card — and much more.

I attended several games in Seattle’s Kingdome in 1992. The former Twin had joined the Mariners. Or had he?

The first time I read his name on the scoreboard, I paused. JOHNNY Moses?

Was this his idea? Did the M’s think a new start needed a new name? I suspected that someone might have thought a younger first name might add some speed or vigor to a veteran’s comeback.

I didn’t want to accuse Moses or the team of some sneaky plot. After all, I noted that my Aunt Bernice refused to call me “Tom.” Although I endured being called “Tommy,” I still felt like a Tommy at age 41.

Moses wrote back!

“Tom —

Don’t worry. My Mom called me ‘Johnny’ for 47 years now. And it has never bothered me. I was always known as ‘Johnny Mo’ around the baseball field.

Remember the great names:

Johnny Bench
Tommy Davis
Johnny Pesky
Tommy Helms

also

JOHNNY Moses

Take care.

Sincerely,
Johnny Moses”

As proof of his dual identity, he signed his 1991 Score “John” card “Johnny Moses.”

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