Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | DJ Skeme Richards On Adding Breakdancing To The 2024 Olympics

 

With the announcement that breakdancing will be an official event in the 2024 Olympics, we sat down with world renown Rocksteady Crew DJ, Skeme Richards to discuss how the news will affect the tightly knit community

As one of the foremost experts on the musical backbone of breakdancing culture, Richards is in high demand to spin at breaking events and competition across the globe. He offers his insight on what the greater public can expect during the Olympics, and why he hopes the IOC will consult with those deep rooted in the artform to preserve its culture while on full display for the masses. 

Click here to listen to Richards' interview on the Baseball Happenings Podcast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Gary Vaynerchuk - An Intimate Talk On Sports Cards and MLB's Future


Gary Vaynerchuk joins Nick Diunte (@Examinebaseball) for the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss the growing sports card industry, what he would do if he were in charge of Topps, his new VaynerBaseball sports agency, and why he thinks MLB has stunted its own long-term growth

If you enjoyed this interview, we would love if you subscribed to the Baseball Happenings Podcast and leave a comment on this video. 

We welcome you to join us below on your favorite platform. 

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Lauren Taylor Interview


Lauren Taylor, MLB / MLBPA / Baseball Hall of Fame artist joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss her emerging art career while recovering from a traumatic brain injury and the ensuing depression. Check out her designs at - https://laurentaylorillustrations.com/

Click this link to listen on your favorite platform, or use the player below to stream the interview.  


 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Rob Friedman 'Pitching Ninja' Interview

 

Rob Friedman, better known to his 240,000-plus Twitter followers as the PitchingNinja, fulfilled every kid's dream when Topps asked him to be a part of their 2020 Allen and Ginter baseball card set. The lawyer-turned-analyst, who created one of the most popular baseball accounts in the Twittersphere, joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast to tell how Topps' rigorous standards for being a part of the set made him feel like a major leaguer.

Click here to listen to Friedman on the Baseball Happenings Podcast on your favorite platform, or use the embedded player below to directly stream the interview.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Blake Jamieson Interview

Blake Jamieson, Topps Project 2020 artist joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss how being involved in Project 2020 has allowed him to expand his brand and business faster than he ever imagined. During the 20-minute interview, Jamieson explains how he has seized the opportunity to start multiple businesses, including a new podcast, and establish his CardArt.com website. Use this link, or click the stream below to listen.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Greg Modica's Unexpected Return To Professional Baseball After A 14-Year Hiatus

Greg Modica thought his six-year minor league career was over when he tore his rotator cuff in 2006 while pitching for the Long Island Ducks. He spent the next 14 years molding New York City ballplayers to follow his lead on the mound, putting away any dreams he had of returning to the mound.


Fast forward to March 2020, with COVID-19 shutting down both New York City and Modica's successful pitching business, he had nothing else to do but train. Two months shy of turning 40, he made a promise to throw 90 MPH by his May birthday. What happened next wass a Hollywood-esque story where an innocent bet on one's fortitude turned into an opportunity to play professional baseball after a 14-year hiatus.  

During the latest Baseball Happenings Podcast, Modica explains how a 40-year-old with a surgically repaired right arm defied all odds to return to a professional mound for the first time since 2006. Click here to listen on your favorite podcast platform, or use the player below to share in Modica's incredible journey.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Rob Petrozzo Rally Co-Founder On Their Exclusive Topps Collaboration

Rally, the collectibles investment platform, has developed an unique partnership with Topps to produce ten "1st edition" 2020 Topps complete sets to be sold in shares exclusively through Rally's app. Rally's co-founder, Rob Petrozzo, joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss the details of their partnership, as well as explain exactly how Rally's platform works.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Greg Genske VaynerBaseball CEO

Gary Vaynerchuk made another power move in the sports agency world by announcing a partnership with Greg Genske to lead VaynerSports' newly formed VaynerBaseball division. Genske joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss how he linked up with Gary Vee to bring his talents to VaynerSports to expand their agency's reach into Major League Baseball.




Friday, June 12, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | 'Big Sexy: Bartolo Colon In His Own Words' Author Michael Stahl

Bartolo Colón still has hopes of returning to the majors leagues. At 47, and with labor negotiations at a stand still, his chances are as good as Vegas bookmakers trying to set the odds to win the World Series

According to SBD, "The second-tier favorites have generally gotten longer with the MLB planning to play a shortened, 80-game season with an expanded playoff field. Fewer games means greater likelihood for unexpected outcomes."


Despite the uncertainty surrounding Colón's return to the field or if the season will take place, fans will rejoice reading Colón's journey in his new autobiography, "Big Sexy: Bartolo Colón In His Own Words". The 21-year MLB veteran partnered with Stahl through a series of interviews at his New Jersey home to tell how he achieved major league stardom from his humble Dominican Republic beginnings.

In the latest Baseball Happenings Podcast episode, Stahl discussed how the rookie author was able to link up with Colón for his "big league" publishing debut. During the 18-minute interview, he tells some of his favorite stories from the book, while also explaining how this venture has validated his transition from a New York City high school English teacher to author during an unprecedented pandemic.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Jeff Frye Interview




Jeff Frye was a fan favorite during his eight major league seasons with the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, and Toronto Blue Jays, but little did he expect to gain massive social media fame almost 20 years after he last put on the uniform. After a series of videos where he is spoofing hitting instruction methods he's seen online, including the one below which has received 1.4 million views as of this writing, Frye's "She gone!" has become a cult cry among his fans and retired MLB peers.



Frye joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss how he's handled the unexpected attention, and how he hopes his videos will help young baseball players and their families become better informed consumers when selecting a hitting coach.
@examinebaseball

What to do if your ##hitting coach hands you a PVC pipe. ##baseball ##mlb ##tips ##shegone ##baseballcards ##batting

♬ original sound - examinebaseball


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Brad Balukjian Wax Pack Book Interview

Brad Balukjian, author of The Wax Pack: On The Open Road In Search of Baseball's Afterlife, joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast for a special Q&A interview where readers submitted questions for Balukjian to answer live on-air about his 11,341 mile journey across the country to uncover the afterlives of 14 retired Major League Baseball players.



In 2015, I met with Balukjian in Brooklyn while he was in New York to meet with Lee Mazzilli and Doc Gooden for the book. After being rejected by multiple publishers, his book is currently the best-selling baseball book on Amazon at the time of this writing.

During the 45-minute Q&A, Balukjian explained his crazy travels trying to track down Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, getting batting lessons from World Series champ Rance Mulliniks, and his conflict peeling away layers from his baseball hero, Don Carman.




Sunday, April 19, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Bobby Valentine Interview

Bobby Valentine joints the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss playing for Bobby Winkles with the California Angels. Winkles, who also managed the Oakland Athletics and won three College World Series championships at Arizona State University, died April 17, 2020 at age 90.

Winkles managed the Angels in 1973, when Valentine suffered his career-altering injury while playing the outfield. Valentine explains how the injury changed both of their career trajectories.





Thursday, April 16, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Sophia Chang Interview

Queens based artist Sophia Chang joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss her work on Topps Project 2020. In the interview, she explains what inspired her debut 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera design, her foray into the baseball card collecting world, and how she's putting a Queens touch on the new cards.

- Website - www.esymai.com
- Instagram - @esymai




Saturday, April 11, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Mike Sommer Of Wax Pack Hero

Mike Sommer of Wax Pack Hero joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss how collectors are adapting their purchasing habits due to the coronavirus pandemic. We also take a dive into how the card companies like Topps are reacting with their production plants temporarily shutting down to due to forced work stoppages.






Saturday, April 4, 2020

Forever Linked With Rusty Staub, Mike Jorgensen Recalls Their Tremendous Bond As Teammates

When Rusty Staub died March 29, 2018, the New York Mets lost a franchise icon. The Mets traded a trio of young prospects to the Montreal Expos in exchange for the six-time All-Star just before starting the 1972 season. Mike Jorgensen, a 23-year-old homegrown talent from Bayside, Queens, was one of the traded players who had to replace Montreal's most beloved superstar.

“He was a hero,” Jorgensen said in a phone interview. “He was the Montreal Expo at the time, and it wasn't a very popular trade in Montreal.”


Going to Montreal with Ken Singleton and Tim Foli, Jorgensen found strength bonding with his new teammates. They turned their collective energy towards the field rather than worrying about living up to Staub's lofty expectations.

“That trade gave me a chance to be a regular player,” he said. “That was the foremost [thing] on my mind. I played up there for five years, so after a little while, [the fan reaction to the trade] wore down a little bit. At first, it was unpopular because he was an All-Star; he was, 'Le Grande Orange,' and he was a big deal.”

The baseball tradewinds reunited the duo in New York at the twilight of their careers. Jorgensen returned to the Mets in 1980 via a trade with the Texas Rangers. Staub joined him from Texas the following year through free agency. Now both seasoned veterans, they became friends by sharing a similar role on the team.

"We would go out to dinner a number of times; it was kind of unusual because we were both kind of winding [down] out careers at the time," he said. "We were both left-handed pinch hitters, [which] I guess you could do it in those days when you had seven guys on the bench; you wouldn't have room for that kind of a thing in today's game."

He recalled one candid bench conversation early in their Mets tenure that exemplified how attentive and competitive Staub was in his reserve role.

“The one thing I'll remember is that he studied the game,” he said. “He was one of the best pinch-hitters in the game, if not the best. He would study those pitchers, sit in the dugout, and look for something if they were tipping pitches or something like that. After a while, he'd say, 'I got him, I got it.' I'd always sit by him and try to pick up the tip myself. The first time he did that, I said, 'Yeah okay, what is it?' He looked at me and he said, 'You know, we're both kind of fighting for the same job.' It wasn't in a bad way, that was just the way he was.”

The 69-year-old Jorgensen, who currently works for the St. Louis Cardinals as their Senior Special Assistant to the General Manager, acknowledged how his former teammate's passing is a tremendous loss to the entire baseball community.

“He was great,” he said. “Obviously, everybody knows the stories about the restaurants and how he was a gourmet cook. … He was a wonderful man [with] everything he did there in New York, especially [with] the police department. It was enjoyable to play with him; it really was. I enjoyed my time with him. Baseball's going to miss him; we'll all miss him.”



* - Ed. Note - This story was originally published for the now-defunct Sports Post on April 11, 2018.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Erik Kratz Interview

On the latest Baseball Happenings Podcast, we present an interview with New York Yankees and Team USA catcher Erik Kratz. The 39-year-old MLB veteran discussed how he is dealing with the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Games postponement as just another speed bump in his well-traveled career.






Saturday, January 11, 2020

Dick Bokelmann | Former 1950s St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher Dies At 93

Dick Bokelmann, a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals in the early 1950s, died December 27, 2019, in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He was 93.


Born October 26, 1926, Bokelmann was a star at Arlington High School. He went on to Northwestern University, where the Cardinals signed the pitching star from the Arlington Heights sandlots in 1947.

“After I got out of Northwestern [a scout] showed up at a semi-pro game one day and asked me if I was interested in signing,” Bokelmann said during a 2009 phone interview from his Arlington Heights home. “I had been in touch with the Cubs for a few years, but it didn't work out, so I signed with the Rochester Red Wings. I signed a Triple A contract. I then went to Toronto to meet the team and I was only there a week [before I] was sent to Fresno.”

Bokelmann’s major league journey started on the West Coast, far from his Windy City origins. He was quickly introduced to the follies of minor league life.

“I remember joining them in Bakersfield," he said. "Our manager was a catcher but wasn't on our active roster. Our catcher slid into home plate headfirst and got a concussion. We didn't have another catcher. We had a little 5'6” left-handed first baseman. Someone else went back there, I think one of our pitchers, and he couldn't see well without his glasses. Gosh about after two pitches went back to the screen, they brought the first baseman in left-handed, and he caught the rest of the game. I thought, ‘This is professional baseball?’ It was quite different.”

Weathering his rookie season, Bokelmann returned home armed with newfound riches, ready to make a move that would greatly impact his career. He married his sweetheart Dolores Hogreve, a union that lasted 71 years until her March 2019 death.

“I went home and got married,” he said. “I was making a big $250 per month, pretty extraordinary when I think back at that time. I got a big $50 raise for the next year and made $300!”

Bokelmann went 15-11 with a 2.82 ERA at Class B Allentown in 1948. For the next three years, he moved between their Double A and Triple A affiliates in Houston and Rochester.

Finally, in 1951, everything clicked under manager Al Hollingsworth’s watchful eyes in Houston.

“I had a really good year in Houston,” he said. “That year, I started as a starting pitcher and went on a trip to Panama. I pitched good ball down there until the Cardinals came through from spring training and they dropped off Vinegar Bend Mizell, Mike Clark, and Fred Martin. I found myself in the bullpen and it worked out to my advantage. I ended up with a 10-2 record and a 0.74 ERA.

"Every night, it was like 3-2, 2-1, 4-3, so I was up in the bullpen almost every night. It was entirely different; you weren't a one-inning closer back then. I even started a couple of ballgames for Houston that year. I could pitch five-to-six innings without a problem and I even threw a complete game. We would either be ahead or behind by a run and I'd get credit for a win.”

With Boklemann pitching lights out at Houston, the Cardinals took notice. On August 1st, 1951, he finally got the call to the majors. Cardinals manager Marty Marion wasted little time putting him to the test.

“When I got up to the Cardinals, they pitched me the first three days I was there,” he recalled. “The first night I saved a game for Harry Brecheen. The next two days I pitched, I didn't give up any hits; I had the bases loaded for one, gave up no hits, and nobody scored.”

After a failed attempt as a starter, Bokelmann settled into a comfortable bullpen role. He suffered a few early losses but then responded with three wins in one week.

“[Marty] Marion then decided to start me against the Cubs, and that didn't go very well,” he said. “A couple plays screwed up. Nippy Jones and I couldn't get together on a ball up the first base line, and it kind of snowballed from there.

“I went back to the bullpen. I later won three games in a week. We were in Pittsburgh; I gave up no runs in [4 2/3] innings and only one hit. On the third day, I gave up one run in [5 2/3] innings and only one hit. The next week we were home against the Giants, and I picked up another win. I went into the game and I think I pitched about five innings. We ended up winning the game, and I got credit for the win even though I went in with a 6-0 lead. That's how they work out. That's all I got; those three!”

For the next two seasons, Bokelmann shuttled between St. Louis and the minors, making 14 appearances for the Cardinals in 1952 and 1953. The Cardinals sold his contract to the Reds in 1954. Back home in the Texas League with Tulsa, he went 10-4 with a 1.80 ERA. Despite his stellar performance, he saw the unfortunate writing on the wall when the Reds kept him in the minor leagues.

“In 1954, I came home, I was about to be 28, my little girl was six, and my boy was three; I decided I had it,” he said. “I had my shot up there. I wasn't going to make it up there anymore, so I decided to quit.”

In an ironic twist shortly after deciding to hang it up, Bokelmann discovered his services were still in demand. His phone rang with an offer he waited for his entire career.

“The odd thing was, I always wanted to play winter baseball someplace,” he said. “Our manager Joe Schulz managed in Puerto Rico. No sooner than I got home and got a job with Prudential Life Insurance, he called me to come to Puerto Rico to play ball.”

He passed on the offer, turning his attention towards his family. He worked at Prudential for 30 years until his retirement.

According to his daughter, Bokelmann received autograph requests until three days before he died. In 2009, he recalled how Topps reprinting his 1953 rookie card led to a 25-year mail stream.

“About 15 years ago, I got a letter from Topps that they were going to reprint the 1953 series and they gave me a few bucks,” he said. “I now get requests every day. Sometimes I get ten of them. They must be trading them to other people. They get three of mine for one of someone else because I don't know how they get ten of them.”

Reflecting on the stark financial difference between his generation and current MLB stars, he pointed to how fellow Cardinals alum Curt Flood helped baseball players become millionaires when he challenged the reserve clause.

“The Cardinals had so many minor league teams, you kind of had to work your way up through them,” he said “There were good ballplayers especially in the Cardinals [system] that had to stay in the minors, especially in Columbus. Besides that, you had the reserve clause in the contracts, and that killed you.

"Until Curt Flood started the suit, you were done. The year I played in 1951, I had signed the minimum contract. The next year I got my letter from the owner for $5,000. By today's standards, going 3-3 in two months, I would have probably got a big raise today. I had to fight to get $500 more. If he didn't want to give it to me, I had to stay home. I couldn't go anyplace, I was locked in. That's how baseball was until 1973 when the contracts went out of sight. I wonder sometimes how much players like [Stan] Musial who was getting $75,000, which was big money back then, would have made now.”


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Ted Lepcio Interview

On the latest Baseball Happenings Podcast, we present an interview with the recently deceased Ted Lepcio, an infielder who played primarily with the Boston Red Sox in the 1950s.


During our conversation from 2017, we discuss Lepcio's relationship with his teammate, Jimmy Piersall, as well as his memories of facing Satchel Paige. Lepcio died December 11th, 2019, in Dedham, Massachusettes. He was 90.





Saturday, December 14, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Emily Waldon of the Athletic Discusses Rob Manfred's Proposal To Contract 42 Minor League Baseball Teams

Emily Waldon, Detroit Tigers and National Prospect writer for The Athletic joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss Major League Baseball's proposal to contract 42 teams from Minor League Baseball. She shares how the two Detroit Tigers affiliates that Rob Manfred has put on the chopping block have responded to the news.

Baseball Happenings Podcast
"They're very against it, and they're both fighting to make sure that they don't lose their places," Waldon said. "They're working with Congress to try and fight against it. Obviously wanting to defend their place in the organization's farm system, I'm working very hard to make sure that that can stay reality."

In the 11-minute interview, Waldon also shares her thoughts on Lou Whitaker missing out on the Hall of Fame, her grinding journey covering the minor leagues, and the top organizational farm systems to watch in 2020.




Saturday, October 26, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Author Eric Moskowitz On The New World Of Baseball Card Collecting

Eric Moskowitz, author of the recent Atlantic piece, "How Baseball Cards Got Weird," joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss his venture into the new waters of collecting baseball cards online.


During the interview, Moskowitz explains how during his research he caught the collecting bug through watching online breaks, and eventually found a community through their chat rooms that has substituted for a lack of local card shops.