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



Take care.

Johnny Moses”

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

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