Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baseball, Hotdogs, My Life...Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style


1978 Topps 400 Nolan Ryan California Angels Baseball CardWhere and when did the Angels go wrong in their early years?  Well, in my humble opinion, one of their worst decisions was to let their fast pitchin' ace, Nolan Ryan, "The Express", get away in free agency...Yeah, like they didn't know that he would be in the Hall of Fame someday!  Oh, how I loved to watch him pitch!   I saw many games where we would count his strikeouts like they were flies at a picnic!  I was fortunate to have a childhood where the family enjoyed the "outdoors", but at the ballpark!  Anaheim, CA.  Home of the ANGELS.  Oh, they had their struggles.  Too many to count.  The 70's were hard to sit through a whole game sometimes.  Until the mid 80's, things didn't get too much better. Have you ever seen the "Bad News Bears"??  Yep, many a night we would look around in the 9th inning and only a thousand of the original ten thousand were still sitting in their seats! (They now pack the stadium of 45,000 capacity.) 


RD and BG



When we had an extra seat with our season tickets, I could always find a buddy from school who wanted to go... ; )  Got tickets, let's go!  We would chat with the players before the games as they were warming up.  During those years, that was maybe more fun than the game...Ha!  Section 124, Row G, Seat 1.  I loved the aisle seat, as I had the best view of what was going on the field and in the stands!  My other favorite player was Bobby Grich...All-Star Second Baseman and Golden Glover... He was one of the single guys on the team at the time... : )
 








A view over our section.


After we moved to Utah, they got better, of course...in fact...2002 World Champions!!  Whoohoo!    But, let me go back to the one, the only, Nolan Ryan.  I watched many one hitters, two hitters...missed the no-hitters.  But, I was there for many record strikeout performances which were also exciting!  I would sit with my scorebook and love to jot down the "K"'s...I think that I had a record of 3 years in a row that I had a "listening streak" and never missed a game on the radio or being there live.  And I would even keep a scorebook at home as I listened to away games.  Crazy?!  Yes.  But, when I do things, I do them full hilt...anyone that knows me, will tell you that.  Ha.  No half-way job on anything.  Maybe that's why I'm afraid to get into fly-tying...I might never stop!   


Anyway, when my last boy was born, I named him after Nolan Ryan...he is now 15 yrs old (6'5, 220) and has quite the stretch at first base.  My "Ryan" always laughs when I tell him who he's named after...but here is the story.  After my teeny weeny baby boy was born...all 10 lbs 1 oz, 22 1/2 inches (yes, it's true), I knew that his name had to be Ryan.  My husband understood this had to be the case too.  Ha.  My dad was overjoyed, of course.  I think that it was almost Christmas and my dad came over to the house to give me an early Christmas present.  I opened up an 8X10 glossy Nolan Ryan photo signed by the man himself!  What made it even more special was the inscription..."Happy Birthday Ryan!"  How cool was that?  My dad had a tear in his eye, as did I.  Ok, the tears flowed!  My husband just looked at us like we were nuts...well, maybe we were!  (past tense)  I asked my dad how in the world...and he said that he mailed a letter to the Texas Ranger organization where Nolan Ryan was employed after he retired.  They forwarded it on to him.  In the letter, my dad told Nolan Ryan that we had been to many of his games and loved to watch him pitch.  Then, came the baby story and the name thing...and wallah!  A response back.  It was indeed special.  Not every kid can say that he has a story like that...so my son can laugh all he wants... :)  Wait until he becomes a major leaguer and some kid wants an autograph from him!  So, there is a little bit about my childhood and how I started my life "outdoors".  A little different, I know.  But it was good.  Very good.  Now, I fish...and I don't keep score!  

My Sunday Tippet for this week: 

Perseverance and determination...pay off most of the time!  Did Nolan Ryan put in countless hours of practice and hard work towards getting to where he wanted to be?  You bet he did.  He also had talent to boot, but without his determination, he wouldn't have had the same results.  He wouldn't have thrown 7 no-hitters!  Whatever you want do in life...if it is something you really want to accomplish...you have to give it the old college try!  You have to dig in with all your heart, might, mind, and strength to make it happen.  If you don't, you might never know.  Don't wish that you had done it years later.  Where there is a will...there is usually a way.  And that ain't no curveball...just a fastball down the middle!! 


Check out highlights of 7th no-hitter...


21 comments:

  1. Wonderful stuff their to look back on.
    I believe you forgot another Angel's player,who left. He was a fan friendly hard nosed player, who may have not been great but was what's needed on a team for other reasons.
    Jerry Remy. The Red Sox and Angels have had some fantastic games between each other over the years, with both teams suffering some heart breaking losses. And one of my fond memories of this rivalry is when long time owner Gene Autry gave a silver plated Colt 45 revolver to Carl Yastremski after the Sox defeated the Angels in the playoffs.
    A great post RD.

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  2. Oh, your "Rem Dawg", of course, leaving wasn't a great thing either. No, I didn't forget Jerry. We were displeased about that, but, Grich did a pretty fine job replacing him. The Colt 45 story was great...(I'm sending a pic of Remy to your email)

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  3. As a baseball nut myself, I loved this post. How cool of Nolan to send that signed photo! You tippet this week is right on. If I have learned anything in life it is this, you get out of it what you put into it.
    -stephanie

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  4. The only Angel I was familiar with was Gene Autry, but not because of baseball. He was my original hero when I was about 5yo. And seriously, who's the hot chick in that picture?

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  5. Clif ~ Ya, know...you just don't mess with "Gramps" when he hasn't had his nap! haha...that look at the end is priceless.

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  6. Steph ~ Usually it doesn't happen without a little bit of effort. How true.
    Cofisher ~ That chick is enjoying the squeeze from Bobby...let me tell you!

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  7. I have added the highlights of Nolan's 7th no-hitter at the end of the post...it's awesome!

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  8. I hear you about your team letting Nolan Ryan get away. How do you think us NY Mets fans feel for giving him away for Jim Fregosi in return ?? LOL

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  9. Very cool post. Love the baseball post, I'm a big seamhead. Funny, I thought the same thing Clif did while I was reading the post. Robin Ventura just should have known better.

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  10. Capt. ~ That had to be one of the biggest steals in baseball.
    Mike ~ Yeah, that fight was kinda ugly and funny at the same time!

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  11. I did a post on some of baseballs finest in July of 2010. Thanks to RD for letting me link.


    http://smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html

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  12. RD........I am taking my sons to the Angels v Red Sox on May 4th at Fenway Park (I say it much differently). I will be sure to update you after the game.

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  13. Ed ~ You are killin' me!!! Lucky U...

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  14. Once again the Sunday Tippets pull me through another tough day of fishing. Determination...

    I was hoping Nolan would get a World Series win as an owner last year.

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  15. Far out! Super Cool! Dyn-O-Mite!

    and that stuff you wrote about baseball wasn't bad either! :) These Sunday Tippets get any better and you're gonna have to start charging for em, RD!

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  16. You need to get out fishing soon, or I fear we may lose you to that crazy bat and ball game?

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  17. Mark ~ The better days of fishing are just around the corner! Hang tight...
    Owl ~ Buddy, you are toooo much! Thanks for the kudos...
    Richard ~ Oh, no worries...I'm fishing maybe tomorrow... :) I just had a few requests for this baseball story. This is still a fishing blog!

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  18. Hey, just getting caught up. Here's a couple of Angels tidbits. I was at the first game that they put the radar gun on Nolan Ryan. In fact, I believe it was the first time the radar gun was used, but I can't swear to it. I was also at a game that Richard Nixon (then President) threw out the first pitch. Interesting watching the Secret Service doing their protection thing.

    Mark

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  19. Shoreman ~ Wow...how cool is that? I have heard that he was still throwing in the 90 mph's when he retired. Amazing.

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  20. What a fun story. Baseball is my favorite sport to watch. Troutfishing is for participation!

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