Showing posts with label Podcast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Podcast. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Greg Larson 'Clubbie" Author Interview


Greg Larson wanted to live the big league dream, but after batting .091 during his senior season, he knew his only way he was getting into a pro clubhouse was if he worked there. Fresh out of college, Larson searched for any opportunity to get his foot in the door. When a spot opened up at baseball's lowest rung with the Baltimore Orioles short season Class-A Aberdeen Ironbirds, Larson jumped at the opportunity. 

The ensuing two years completely flipped his perception of a professional baseball player's life. Minor league life was filled with squalor and despair, with salaries that hugged the poverty line. He decided to chronicle his wild two year ride with Aberdeen in his new book, Clubbie: A Minor League Baseball Memoir.

Larson joined the Baseball Happenings Podcast for a candid talk about the ups and downs he experienced while working in the clubhouse and how it forced him to grow up quickly.

Click here to listen to the Greg Larson interview or stream below.

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.

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.

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.





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.




Saturday, August 31, 2019

Hal Naragon, one of the Cleveland Indians last 1954 World Series links dies at 90

Hal Naragon, a catcher on the Cleveland Indians 1954 World Series team, died Saturday, August 31, 2019 in a statement the Indians released. He was 90.


We had Naragon as a guest earlier this year on the Baseball Happenings Podcast, where he spent over 40 minutes discussing his lengthy major league career. Naragon signed with the Indians in 1947 and debuted in 1951.

“I know it was a chilly day and they called me in from the bullpen,” he said. “Naturally I was a little nervous, but usually by the time you get to the plate you get yourself together and do what you can do.”

He spent the next two years in serving in the Marines during the Korean War and returned for good in 1954. He came back right in time to help the Indians to the 1954 World Series. Serving as a reliable backup catcher, Naragon looked back 65 years later at his lone series appearance as a major thrill.

“You know, I was hoping that I would get in one,” he said. “When I was called up out of the bullpen to come in, I, of course, felt a little on edge at first but then I kinda settled down. I liked to be able to play in a World Series.”



He played in the majors until 1962, spending time with the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins, before moving into coaching. He was a member of the Twins' coaching staff during their 1965 World Series appearance, and he finally won his ring as a coach with the 1968 Detroit Tigers.

“That was a good team,” he said. “They would hit in the clutch … they got hits when it really counts, they were good defensive players, and they always had a lot of fun.”

Naragon left coaching after the 1969 season to take over a local sporting goods store in his hometown of Barberton, Ohio. He ran the store from 1974 until his 1990 retirement. The town paid a massive tribute to their native son when they named Barberton High School’s baseball field Naragon Field in his honor in 2006.

You can listen to Hal Naragon's Baseball Happenings Podcast interview below, as well as subscribe to future episodes.


Click here to listen on Stitcher


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Author Gaylon White Pays Tribute To Tom Jordan, Oldest Living MLB Alum

On the latest episode of the Baseball Happenings Podcast, author Gaylon White discusses the life and career of former major league catcher Tom Jordan, who died August 26th, 2019 in Roswell, New Mexico. Jordan was just ten days shy of his 100th birthday, and at the time was the oldest living former Major League Baseball player. Jordan played parts of three seasons from 1944-1948 with the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, and St. Louis Browns.

Tom Jordan as a member of the Cleveland Indians

White spent an extensive amount of time with Jordan in preparation for his book, "Left On Base In The Bush Leagues." The two formed a close relationship which White proudly explains on the Baseball Happenings Podcast. Click here to listen and subscribe on your favorite platform.









Monday, August 12, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Celebrating National Baseball Card Day With Susan Lulgjuraj Of Topps

On the latest episode of the Baseball Happenings Podcast, we caught up with Topps Marketing and Communications Manager Susan Lulgjuraj in Brooklyn at the Topps Truck to celebrate National Baseball Card Day.


During the interview, we discussed how Topps' baseball card wrapped truck connected with National Baseball Card Day, the return of Bowman Sterling to their release lineup, and how Topps has shared in the positivity of Gary Vaynerchuk's involvement with the collecting hobby.

If you enjoyed the interview, feel free to subscribe to our podcast, or click here to follow us on your favorite social media platform.



Friday, July 26, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Jim Bouton Ball Four Varsity Letters Tribute

Jim Bouton's Ball Four started as a colorful documentary of baseball life, and it turned out to be a legacy journey. With 5 million copies in circulation and multiple editions of the book still in print, Bouton's story will continue to be passed down across generations of baseball fans.


Gelf magazine recently had our lead writer Nick Diunte at their Varsity Letters event in New York City to read his favorite passages from Ball Four. Click here to listen to the hilarious passages of Joe Schultz's malapropisms on the latest episode of the Baseball Happenings Podcast.



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Baseball Happenings | Explorations In Baseball Card Collecting On The About The Cards Podcast

Baseball Happenings lead writer Nick Diunte recently appeared on the About The Cards Podcast to dicuss baseball cards, autograph collecting, and what we do here at Baseball Happenings. The two-hour show is below. It's a fun watch; if you love collecting, click here to subscribe to them on YouTube.  

The podcast is also available on multiple platforms.
Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Twitter


Saturday, March 16, 2019

2019 Topps Heritage Baseball | Checklist, Box Break, Inserts, Autographs, and Review

The metallic borders of 2019 Topps Heritage baseball cards rekindle visions of the concrete architectural designs that were popular in the 1970s. While some collectors passed on the 1970 Topps Baseball card set due to its cold feel, Topps attempts to accentuate its minimalist features in 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball.
2019 Topps Heritage / Topps

Base Set / Checklist / Short Prints / Parallels

Topps marks the 500-card base set with the presence of 100-card short prints that are sure to drive collectors on a season-long mission towards completion. Topps makes an interesting turn with the set checklist, leaving a load of stars within the 100 short prints, which means collectors will have to be either very lucky or pay up for the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Long-time collectors will note Pat Neshek's tribute to Lowell Palmer's 1970 Topps card in the picture below.
2019 Topps Heritage Base Set / Topps

Base set parallels are difficult to come by, with hobby boxes offering black (#/50) and flip stock (#/5) versions, while Walmart Mega Boxes serve up a variety of serial numbered chrome cards.

Variations and Refractors

One of the Topps Heritage annual features that draw collectors towards the product is the nuanced variations that demand a detailed look at each card. This year’s twists include French-language OPC versions, image, name, error, and throwback variations, as well as a 100-card set of both chrome and silver metal cards.

The box provided for this review landed a Mike Trout image variation card, as well as an Alex Bregman serial numbered chrome refractor.

Mike Trout Image Variation & Alex Bregman Chrome Refractor / Topps

Inserts

Topps stays true to form with their inserts, honoring the time-tested Then and Now, Flashbacks, and New Age Performers series. Another tip of the cap to the 1970 set comes with the Scratch-Off insert set. All of these inserts are a strong complement to what collectors expect annually from Topps Heritage.

2019 Topps Heritage Then and Now Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Heritage Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Heritage 50th Anniversary Box Topper / Topps

Autographs and Relics

Each 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball box guarantees either a Real One autograph or a relic. The Real One autographs include two mystery players and red ink parallels that are numbered to 70 or less. Fortunate fans will be able to land coveted dual and triple Real One autographed cards, which are limited to 25 and 5 respectively.

The 1970 Milwaukee Brewers are in focus with a 10-card autographed set including Hall of Fame owner and Commissioner Bud Selig, as well as pitcher-turned-author Dave Baldwin.

Autographs also dominate the relic space, as Topps reserves star power for its Clubhouse Collection signed relics. These hand-numbered autographs of Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, and Mike Trout exist in quantities of 25 or less. Topps links a further connection to the 1970 season with the Flashbacks autographed relics, celebrating the likes of Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson, and Steve Carlton.

2019 Topps Jose Ramirez Clubhouse Collection Relic / Topps
While the box used for this review did not yield one of the spectacular aforementioned signatures, a neat relic of Cleveland Indians All-Star slugger Jose Ramirez rounded out the box.

Box Break Video

If you want to get a feel of the fresh excitement that 2019 Topps Heritage has brought to the 1970 Topps design, check out our entire box break in the video below. Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future breaks and interviews.


Wrapping up 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball

Topps has created the 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball for the patient collector, starting with the old-school details, to the extended time needed to complete the entire run of short prints. The experience is an epic that starts well before the regular season that will keep playing out well through the All-Star break. As Major League Baseball attempts to write new rules to quicken the pace of play, 2019 Topps Heritage is a reminder that baseball cards collecting is not something that needs a time clock to get to the next release.





Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Don Newcombe's memory celebrated by Nashua teammate Billy DeMars

Don Newcombe was instrumental in breaking down barriers when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him in 1946. Instead of sending him to join Jackie Robinson in Montreal, they sent him along with Roy Campanella to play for the Nashua Dodgers where they integrated the Class B New England League. In the wake of Newcombe’s recent passing, I reached out to the 93-year-old Billy DeMars for the latest Baseball Happenings Podcast to discuss the experience of playing with his pioneering teammate.




Click here to listen on Spotify.
Click here to listen on iTunes.

“The one thing I remember about Don was he was a helluva great pitcher,” DeMars said from his Florida home. “We were playing in Manchester New Hampshire one night, and Walter Alston was our manager that year. He brought him in the ninth inning. ... He didn’t hold anything back, he struck out all three batters. Just to watch him throw, he let the air out. He was tremendous!”

Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella in Nashua, 1946 
DeMars also noted that in addition to being lights out on the mound, Newcombe was a force at the plate. He led the team in with a .311 batting average, even besting his future Hall of Fame teammate Campanella.

Branch Rickey sent both of Negro League talents north to New Hampshire, as he could not place them in the hostile cities of his other southern minor league affiliates. DeMars said the Nashua team readily accepted both players and treated them like family.

“We had absolutely no problems whatsoever on the team," he said. "They were just other players. We got along absolutely great with Don [Newcombe] and [Roy] Campanella. In fact, Campanella had a little boy who was five or six. We used to put him on an iron crate and let him play on the pinball machine.”

The Brooklyn native wound up on the Nashua team after returning from his World War II service, where he played with Ted Williams and Charlie Gehringer at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. The trio of future major leaguers, as well as player-manager Walter Alston, helped guide the team to the championship. Some seven decades later, DeMars chuckled at the reward.

“Another funny thing about that season, we lost the pennant on the last day of the season,” he said. “We went into the playoffs, and we won that to [become] the champions and our winning share was ten bucks apiece!”

Long removed from his playing and coaching days, DeMars marveled at the amount of money, or lack thereof, he made while in the minor leagues.

“I signed and went up to Olean New York in 1943 just before I went in the Navy,” he said. “I tell everybody I made $3.50 a day. It was $100 a month — $25 a week, which came out to $3.50 a day. It is a little bit different than today.”

He cited a broken current minor league system that continues to underpay both the players and coaches. He explained with record-setting major league contracts, baseball needs to reach down into the minor leagues and improve salary conditions.

“That’s what’s wrong with the game,” he said. “I just saw [Manny Machado] signed for $300 million and the guys who have to take cuts in salary are the minor league managers and the players. They are not paid as much as they should be [making]. The scouts and minor league managers need to make good money too. They are developing the players, and they have to work hard as hell down there.

"I spent 11 years as a minor league manager, and I was married and I had children at the time. You had to write up the whole league twice a year, the players once a month. At that time, I used to drive the team. We used to have cars; me and two other players would drive the club around. It wasn’t easy but we made it.”

DeMars played parts of three major league seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Browns. After 11 years as a minor league manager, he spent the next 19 as a major league coach with the Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and Cincinnati Reds. He has managed to outlive most of his peers, with Newcombe’s death serving as a mortal reminder of his place in history.

“In August, I will be 94,” he said. “Now with Newcombe gone, I moved up to 22 [he is currently the 23rd oldest living former major league baseball player]. It’s a helluva a list isn’t it?”

Still, the nonagenarian is popular with the fans due to his status as one of the few remaining St. Louis Browns alumni.

“I get a hell of a lot of mail,” he said. “I think there are 12 of us left from the St. Louis Browns. St. Louis was great, everything about St. Louis was great.”

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Baseball Happenings Podcast | Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict

Tanner Jones joins the Baseball Happenings Podcast to tell the listeners what exactly led him on the path to spend $100,000 to amass one of the finest single-player collections in the world en route to earning the "baseball card addict" title. In his new book “Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict” he narrates his fascinating journey of building a 10-million-card collection before deciding to roll the dice on one player — Jose Canseco.

“I call junk wax a cheap gateway drug in my book because I almost feel like it was engineered by the card companies to be mass produced in the '80s,” Jones said during his appearance on the Baseball Happenings Podcast. “So that way, when we all grow up, we are able to come back to a super easy. It's really easy to slip in a couple wax boxes of Score just for nostalgia sake, and while you're at the card shop you're like, ‘Wait a second here, there are some cards out here that have pieces of jerseys and autographs on them.’ You know, it's a completely different way of collecting than what we were used to as kids.”
Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict / Tanner Jones
Once Jones had the itch, he was off to the races. Armed with extra cash to spare, Jones started to buy back his childhood memories at pennies on the dollar.

“It didn't have anything to do with Canseco when I came back as an adult,” he said. “I was just absolutely enamored by the prices of the complete sets that I loved as a child. So yes, thinking, ‘Wait a second, I can get an '89 Upper Deck factory set for 60 bucks? Holy cow, how do you not buy that?’

“I started assembling a complete run of complete sets from 1980 to 1992, or '93 or so. Along the way is when I started discovering the game used and autographed cards, so I just got into that hardcore as well. After a while, I take step back and go, ‘Holy cow, I've already dropped a couple grand on this stuff — on baseball cards!' To me, that was like insanity back then, like a couple thousand dollars [spent] on baseball cards.”

For most, a few thousand dollars would have sufficiently scratched their nostalgic collecting itches; however, Jones is far from ordinary. His re-entry was just the tip of the iceberg that led him on a multi-million card chase for the next decade. Jones discusses how he moved from flipping cards to settling on one player before deciding to sell it all. In the midst of all of tales of wheeling and dealing, he gave valuable advice on how to keep your marriage intact during the process. Jones drops gems on the collecting conundrums throughout the latest episode of the Baseball Happenings Podcast below.