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73 Low A-Ball

About WillyM

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 2/2/1949

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  • Location
    York County, PA
  • Favorite All Time Oriole
    Willy Miranda

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  1. WillyM

    Hammerin' Hank is 86

    I remember seeing Aaron collect the final extra-base hit and score the final run of his career. He was a youngster of 42 at the time. The Orioles' final home game of the 1976 season, on Wednesday night, Sept. 29, was against the Brewers, with whom Aaron concluded his career. A few days before the game, Brooks Robinson made a comment to the effect that he wasn't sure he would come back for the 1977 season. With the possibility that the Wednesday night game might be Brooks' final home game suddenly staring them in the face, the Orioles hastily announced that that game would be "Thanks, Brooks" night and encouraged fans to come out and give the Oriole legend what might be his last hurrah. The promotion wasn't terribly successful, as only 8,119 of us showed up at Memorial Stadium that night (thought that was a good bit better than the 4,598 who had attended the night before). Brooks played in the game and had an eighth-inning single, after which he was removed for pinch-runner Bob Bailor. Aaron had a sixth-inning double and came around to score the Brewers' fourth run of what wound up as a 6-3 Milwaukee victory. Bad Henry played one more major league game, that in the Brewers' home finale on Sunday, Oct. 3. He went 1-for-3, with a sixth-inning RBI single, after which he was removed for pinch-runner Jim Gantner. Hard to believe, but the attendance at County Stadium for Aaron's last game was a mere 6,858, fewer than had been at Memorial Stadium four nights previous.
  2. Perhaps the spring training caps are MLB's effort to help fans forget how awful last year's Players' Weekend uniforms were. 😝
  3. WillyM


    My pension plan was negotiated as part of a union contract. The union did very nicely for me. If I had gone with a single-life annuity without any guaranteed period, the benefit would have been equal to my final year's salary multiplied by 2.5% multiplied by my number of years of service. I retired with 20 years of service, so that would have been 50% of final salary. I signed up for a joint and survivor annuity with a guaranteed period, so the benefit is somewhat less than 50%.
  4. WillyM


    In an era where employers have by and large abandoned defined benefit pension plans, I'm not sure how much this advice is worth. However, when I retired five years ago, I had a defined benefit pension plan. The portion of the account that represented my employer's contributions was automatically applied to provide a lifetime income. For the portion of the account that represented my own contributions, I had an option. I could either apply that money to increase the lifetime income, or I could withdraw it and invest it in a traditional IRA account. I figured out that if I applied the money to increase the lifetime income, I would be earning the equivalent of four or five percent interest every year. People told me I would be crazy to apply it to increase the lifetime income. I was told nobody applies it to increase the lifetime income. If I withdrew it and put it in an IRA account, I would surely earn 10% return every year, at a minimum. Well, I withdrew the money and put it in an IRA account. Not trusting my own financial acumen, I got a financial professional to invest it for me. Five years later, the return on that account has averaged a little over 2% per year. My advice to anyone who's offered a similar option on a defined benefit pension account would be, unless you're certain that you are a financial wizard, apply your contributions to increase the lifetime income.
  5. I'm a Bills fan, and I'm still wondering about a penalty that was called at the end of the Bills' last offensive series in their game against the Texans last Saturday. The Bills had the ball around the Houston 45 yard line, third down and ten or eleven yards to go. Josh Allen dropped back, then started to scramble around to the right, where he had some running room. He made it to about the 38 yard line, where he was tackled, bringing up a fourth down and about four - or so it appeared. That would have brought up the possibility of the Bills going for it on fourth and four or trying to win the game right there with a field goal. A field goal attempt would have been from about 55 yards, which would be about as long a field goal as Stephen Hauschka has ever kicked - but he had been having a good day, so they might have tried it. But they couldn't, because a flag was thrown on Allen's scramble. The Bills were called for an illegal blindside block. Fifteen yards penalty made it third and about 25. One play later they had to punt, and then Houston marched down the field and set up the winning score. I've heard of holding. I've heard of clipping. I've heard of illegal blocks in the back. I've heard of illegal cut blocks. I've heard of illegal hands to the face. I've heard of illegal contact to the head. But the Bills blocker didn't do any of those things. He came from the side, as a Houston guy was pursuing Allen from behind, and pushed the Houston guy off balance, to break his stride so he couldn't continue his pursuit. What makes it all the more frustrating is that replay showed that the Houston guy who was blocked was looking at the Bills guy who blocked him. How can you hit a guy from the blindside when he's looking at you? I never heard of a penalty for illegal blindside block. Does anyone else remember having seen this call made before? Pardon my bitterness. I'm the type of fan who's still waiting for the umpires to reverse themselves and declare J. C. Martin out for interference in Game 4 of the 1969 World Series.
  6. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported today that Billy Gardner Jr. will manage the Harrisburg Senators in 2020. His father played ten seasons in the major leagues, four of those with the Orioles. He won the award for Most Valuable Oriole in 1957, when he led the American League in doubles. Retrosheet and Baseball Reference refer to him simply as Billy rather than Billy Sr., perhaps because his major league playing career ended in 1963 and Billy Jr. wasn't born until 1966. I can still remember watching on TV as Billy settled under Hank Bauer's popup in shallow right-center to make the final putout that secured Hoyt Wilhelm's no-hitter on Sept. 20, 1958.
  7. Holmes played for the Orioles in 2000. He appeared in five games, all of them blowout losses. He pitched a total of 4 2/3 innings and compiled an ERA of 25.07. I guess his job as bullpen coach will be to tell the guys as they're leaving the bullpen "Whatever you do out there, don't do it like I did."
  8. IPad? What's an IPad? Bluetooth? What's bluetooth? Watch on my phone? Can't do it. I have a flip phone and a land line phone. I am still quite happy with MASN on cable.
  9. Would somebody enlighten me as to what wonderful things streaming would do for me? If all it would do is give me the opportunity to watch games hunched over my computer instead of sitting comfortably in my easy chair and watching on TV, no thank you. I am quite happy with MASN on cable.
  10. Fans of the long-departed Baltimore Clippers may remember the name of Gilles Boisvert, who served as the Clippers' backup goalie for a number of seasons during the 1960's and early '70's. Recently I watched a webcast of a college hockey game between RPI and St. Lawrence University. St. Lawrence's goalie was a fellow by the name of Francis Boisvert. The announcer pronounced it "BWAH-vurr," rather than "boy-VAIR" as Jim West and George Taylor used to pronounce Gilles' name, but I wondered if they might be related. Apparently they are not, but I was happy to find, in searching the Internet, that Gilles is still alive, still in Baltimore, and still very active at the age of 86. He owns an enterprise called Baltimore Sport & Recreation Inc., which includes three ice rinks, as well as a state park camping store and a beach and marina.
  11. I would like at this point to wish a happy birthday to Elio Prado, who turns 18 years old today. Surely everyone remembers who Elio Prado is, right? He's one of the two guys the Orioles got for Andrew Cashner. (The other one, Noelberth Romero, will celebrate his 18th birthday next Thursday.) When the Orioles traded Cashner, he was 9-3 for a team that had lost more than twice as many games as it had won. I knew that the Orioles were expected to start trading productive veterans for prospects, but I was sort of hoping that a guy as productive as Cashner could be traded for the kind of players who might be major league ready within a year or two - or three at the most. It was disappointing to see Cashner traded for guys who are probably at least four to six years from being able to contribute at the major league level. I can't say it makes me feel good to hear that the Orioles may not even get that good a return for Villar.
  12. Thanks for the info. My cable company offers NFL Network only if I pay a hefty additional fee for a sports and entertainment package. I'm not willing to pay that much, so I had no idea that Amber appears on NFL Network.
  13. I was listening to Westwood One's radio broadcast of Monday Night Football last night, and suddenly the play-by-play announcer said that there was going to be an update from sideline reporter Amber Theoharis. And there was Amber, or at least her voice, reporting on the likelihood of some banged-up player being able to return to the game. Many Oriole fans may remember Amber doing in-game and post-game interviews on MASN some seasons ago. As I recall, she left MASN after giving birth to her first child. Hope the kid's babysitter lets him/her sit up on Monday nights and listen to Mom's voice.
  14. I was lucky enough to be in the stands at Yankee Stadium the day Andy hit his first major league homer. Sept. 6, 1965, second game of a Labor Day doubleheader. Etch had just been called up from the minors and was not listed in the Yankee Stadium scorecard. They had to post his name on the message board on the old scoreboard there. The message board was only eight characters wide, so it showed up as ORIOLES CATCHER # 8 ANDY ETCHE BARREN Andy came to bat in the fifth inning with Jerry Adair on third base, Paul Blair on first, and the Orioles trailing, 2-0. He ripped one down the left-field line and into the corner. Mickey Mantle, suffering from a sore arm, was playing left field instead of his customary center. Unaccustomed to the tricky left-field corner, he failed to stop the carom, which rolled past him and way out to the bullpen gate, 402 feet from home. By the time the Yankees got the ball back in, Etch was on his way home, where he slid in safely on a close play for a three-run inside-the-park (and, as it turned out, game-winning) home run. I heard some time afterward that the next time Etch came to bat, the Yankees' veteran catcher, Elston Howard, growled at him, "We had you at the plate, rookie." Not intimidated in the least, Etch shot back with "Ellie, I had my hand in there." He was only a rookie, but he knew that he belonged in the big leagues. I wish I'd had a chance to meet Andy in person, shake his hand, and tell him I remembered that play.
  15. Actually, I kind of hope they play together longer than Mantle and Maris did. Maris played only seven seasons (1960-66) for the Yankees and missed significant time with injury in two of those years. He did, however, help the St. Louis Cardinals win the world championship in 1967 after the Yankees traded him for the immortal 😊 Charley Smith. I certainly hope they live longer than Maris did. Roger died far too young at the age of 51 in 1985.
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