Friday, October 26, 2012

Still thinking Biscuits

World Series Party

At Riverwalk Stadium

The Montgomery Biscuits hosted a party for season ticket holders, showing the Fall Classic on the Jumbotron in center field. There was a very nice turnout, there was complimentary snacks and drinks, a cash bar for hard stuff and a warm autumn evening to enjoy the game.

One of the first people I encountered was Greg Rauch, current team president and former GM. I think Greg is probably one of the hardest working guys at the park - I have seen him doing everything from hosting groups of dignitaries to pouring sodas to pulling the tarp. He was really friendly and we talked about the teams in the series and the Grumpy Biscuit Delmon Young was even mentioned. Its always a pleasure to talk with Greg, although he stays so busy I only get the chance to have a convo with him a few times a year.

Greg Rauch and his right hand man, Big Mo

Also there was a collection of my fave 'Skits staffers, Jonathan V, Scott Tribble, Chris Asa, Molly, Megan, Jordan - the whole cool crew! We get good blue shirt staffers, they always seem cheerful and its hard not to smile when you see them. Mike was there, idk his last name but hes one of our fave ushers -the yellow shirts.

And of course there was Bob Rabon. Bob is the man, hes like the season ticket holders best friend. I had forgotten to RSVP for the party, but one email to Bob and its no prob. Other than having scantily clad serving wenches for season ticket holders, Bob has taken care of just about all the requests of season ticket holders.

wench photo unavailable

Giants win Game Two

The SF Giants held the Tigers down again to take a two games to none lead.
It was scary to see Doug Fister wear a Gregor Blanco line drive to the noggin, but Fister seemed to have a really good game even afterwards so he must have not been affected. Rare to see a guy get hit on the mound and have zero effect, but it was a relief he wasnt hurt.

Much was made by the broadcast crew about Fielder being thrown out, but no mention was made of the fact that he would come in third in a race with a pregnant woman. It was a good send by Lamont the 3b coach, theres no blame to be had in that play. Its a big game, the team needs the run - I think he felt that it was a good gamble. The fielders had to make a perfect relay play to the plate in order to get the slow runner, and thats what the Giants did. Its just baseball, and usually a good bet that it wont be a perfect relay play. But, teams that perform the fundamentals go to the playoffs and making that play is what has SF still playing while all the other NL teams are on the couch watching their fantasy football seasons play out.

Speaking of fundamentals, the Giants have showed some great talent in doing the little things to win games. I saw a picture perfect hit and run in game seven of the LCS, and now one of the finest bunts ever put down a line.

All night I cheered for it, and finally Angel Pagan rewarded us with free tacos by stealing second base. I think thats cool, everyone loves free food.
Steal this taco

My last comment regarding game two - Dan Iassogna was a fantastic umpire last night, and helped the game of baseball have a great night. He called a good pitchers strike zone for both sides, made several big calls and got great looks at them so he got them right.

Next up is a travel day, then we see game three at Detroit. I think we will see more life from the Tigers bats, especially guys like Peralta and Jackson, Boesch or the bench could have hits at home.

History Lesson

Maybe not every day, but often I want to dedicate some time to history of baseball in Montgomery, and I thought I would stick with the World Series theme and mention Charlie Metro. Its a little long but I think you will enjoy.

Charlie Metro in 1962

Charlie was one of the most loved managers in Montgomery history, born Charles Moreskonich (yes I had to look that one up to spell it right) his immigrant fathers first name was Metro and Charlie was "Little Metro" and the name stuck. Born in 1918 he spent nearly fifty years in the game as a player, coach, manager, general manager, scout, ambassador as well as inventor.

Charlies abilities as an outfielder are the stuff of legend, once he caught a foul ball for an out while playing center field, another time he put the tag on a runner at home plate to finish a run-down play.

He debuted as a player with the Tigers, thusly our World Series theme, but 1943 was his only full season there. BaseBall Reference says the team was unhappy that Charlie tried to organize the players into a union. He also played for Connie Macks Philadelphia Athletics, winning their starting center field job in 1945, until he was traded midseason to the Oakland Oaks.

This is where our guy gets interesting. He has already spent time learning the game, charting pitches for his friend Steve O'Neil who had managed the Tiger teams he was on. Not to mention what he could have picked up from legendary Connie Mack, Charlie is well on his way to learning to manage baseball from the best minds in the business.

Oakland, in the PCL at the time, was managed by Casey Stengle and befriended the Oaks young bat-boy Billy Martin. As he was seeing his playing days come to an end, he was picking up the tricks of the trade from a host of Hall Of Fame skippers. He took a job as a player manager for the Yankees organization and began working his way up through the minor leagues. After a couple seasons of success for two different organizations, the StLouis Cardinals signed him in 1950 and sent him to Montgomery Alabama to manage the Montgomery Rebels of the Class B Southeastern League.

He would spend four seasons at the helm of the Rebels and enjoyed a bit of a resurgence as a player, hitting 18 homers for second on a team that would be 77 wins and only 54 losses the first year.

In 1951 Charlies Rebels did even better, winning 85 games although Charlie played less and hit only 4 homers. The team that year moved from Class B Southeastern to Class A South Atlantic league, and took the leagues best record into the playoffs where they won the championship.

The following year the team did one better, winning 86 games for third place in the league, thought 1952 was an odd year with the team being called the Montgomery Grays and again playing in the lesser Class-A South Atlantic league, which the third place Grays won after the dust settled on the playoffs.

The team would keep the moniker Grays for 1953, but the team would fall off badly, losing 90 games and winning only fifty in Charlies last season here.

Charlie Metro would go on to become one of the Chicago Cubs "College of Coaches" in 1962 and helped convince the team to abandon the idea! Charlie stayed at the helm of the Cubs that season and he went from there into coaching and scouting for the White Sox and other teams. Charlie was even General Manager for the KC Royals at one point, it seems there was nothing in baseball this man wasn't able to do.

One last interesting note - one that is to me, the most amazing thing Charlie Metro did even though he gets no credit for it. Charlie Metro took a piece of rubber tubing and glued it onto a spare home plate so that a hitter could set a ball on it and practice his swing - to play pepper with only one person. The batting tee was born!

Charlie didnt patent the idea, and of course now the tee is a fundamental tool in baseball instruction. Charlie didnt mind too much that it took hold, he was happy that it helped so many players develop their skills and that should tell you what kind of guy Charlie Metro was!

Biscuit Numbers

Two more hits for Henry Wrigley, who homered the other day after tweeting how it sucked to be sick in a foreign country. I think the Venezuelan pitchers will probably be happy to see Henry go at the end of the season, having seen enough of him to last a whiles.

Hak-Ju Lee had two hits in the Arizona Fall league.

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