Baseball #18

May 6, 2012,

Daniel Gould to Jim Driscoll


Hi JD;
Nice to here that you have experienced Wrigley Field. I love that ball park. Do I remember Santo, Williams and Banks...who is 'em guys????  Banks and Billy Williams were favorites at the time along with Fergie Jenkins who I think, historically,  is still an underrated pitcher.
I don't recall if I mentioned that I met Ernie. I was at an ALA (Am Library Assoc)  convention in Houston. Ernie was there signing his book Mr. Cub. I got in line with all these old librarians---all females---standing in front of me. A man from the company came up to me and said, "Sorry, we have any more books" they were given free. I replied, "It's ok. I just want to shake his hand." When I got up to EB,  he was looking for the book and I began to explain the situation. Just then, the company man popped up with book in hand and said, "I found one." He signed it, "To Dan, Peace, Ernie Banks." (c. 1970)
I do agree that "Baseball is life, conceptualized in a game" and like in life you don't have to succeed in earning a lot of money to buy your big home and BMW; you can make life a big success in a lot of little ways. If you have no money some would say you have failed at everything...But that may not be true. YOu can succeed at things without the monetary element being the bottom line. Same with my Cubs.
...And the Angels and Cubs seem to be mirror images of each other this year...And they are already booing Pujols...Cubs lost again on Saturday...but Castro was 3 for 5. I can live with that.


May 17, 2012

Jim Driscoll to Daniel Gould

DATELINE: SURREY, B.C. >>> Wednesday, May 16th, 2012:
The White Rock AA Pee Wee baseball team won the 30th annual Jevon
Clarke Memorial Baseball Tournament championship over the Mother's Day
week-end, held at the beautiful Town Center Park complex in Coquitlam,
B.C.  They swept all four games en route to the tournament title.
White Rock gave up 9 runs to the Coquitlam Reds in the first inning of
the very first game, and then stormed back to win, 20 - 9, led by Ryan
Driscoll's 4 hits. Dawson Gray then tamed the Coquitlam Tigers, 5 - 2,
in Game 2, with both games played on Saturday, May 12th.  
On Sunday, Game 3 was highlighted by Josh Cheng's no-hit shut-out, as
the White Rockers blasted Burnaby, 17-0. The title game, played Sunday
evening, saw Sam Shoemaker overpower the Vancouver team finalist, 7 -
1, striking out 9 in 5 shut-out innings, with Ryan Driscoll wrapping
things up over the final 2 innings.  Dawson Gray led the offense with 2
big home runs and a double, good for 3 runs and 3 RBI''s. Congratulations
White Rock !!!
The tournament is held every year as a memorial to Jevon Clarke, a
young, local baseball player who died tragically in an auto accident.
The Pee Wees won 4 games leading up to this tournament, and one game
after, giving them a total of 9 straight victories. Sam had 2 open
field homers in a 14-10 victory over Abbotsford on May 3rd, then Ryan's
run scoring triple led W.R. to a 7 - 3 win over Vancouver, with Sudden
Sam getting the win, and then Chris, Dawson and Gavin each contributed
2 hits in a 10 - 3 win over Chilliwack on May 8th, in which Josh got
the win with a fine pitching effort. In yesterday's regular season
game, Ryan went the distance with a 2-hitter, with 5 strike-outs in 5
innings, with Sam and Jakob each getting 2 hits, and Jakob adding 2
RBI's, one on a long triple to CF. Erik also contributed a solid
single, a walk and 2 runs scored in the easy win.
Sammie's Thunder softball team was pounded 12 - 6 on May 5th, despite
3 hits from Olivia. The Thunder then turned the tables and did
some pounding of their own in a wild 18 - 10 victory vs. The Invaders
at Sunnyside Park the next day. The team amassed 12 hits in this one,
as Olivia led the way with 2 homers and a single, while Emily,
Alexandra, and Dani each chipped in with 2 hits of their own. Sam
safely made it to 1B on every AB, with a walk, a hit by pitch and a
After a 6 - 6 final vs. Poco on May 8th, the Stars won handily, 10 - 2,
on May 10th, in a game which saw the Thunder strike out 21 times while
collecting only 5 hits ... all singles. And then, Tuesday evening, they
lost by a 7 - 3 score when their defense imploded. Sam had 2 of the team's 5
total hits in this game.

And, lastly, The C-Man's 9-10 year old Angels lost 12 - 8 to their
nemesis rivals, the Athletics, on Thursday, May 10th,
managing only 6 singles while giving up 14 to the A's. But they came
back strong on Saturday in a wild donnybrook, winning 8 - 6, in a most
exciting game. Everyone seemed to contribute to this
win, as Josh R., Marcus, Buddy, Camden, Tyson, Colin, Scott,
and Lucas all hit safely at least once, and Tyson adding 2 RBI's.
Colin's hit was a tape-measure double to the base of the LF fence, while
Lucas and Camden were the only 2 Angels to hit safely twice in the
On Monday, May 14th, the Angels took a 12 - 5 lead into the bottom of
the 5th and last inning, only to see the Mariners come back with 6 runs.
Josh "The Juice", however, struck out the last Mariner batter on a 3 - 2
pitch with the tying run 60 feet away, and the Angels escaped with a
12 - 11 victory. Buddy was the hitting star of this one, with a single,
a double and 3 RBI'S. Lucas, Camden and Josh R. also added 2 hits
Coach Mike was rewarded with an extension to his imperiled contract
... but only for an additional 24 hours.
============ SCOOP JOHNSON, REPORTING =========

June 1, 2012

Jim Driscoll to Daniel Gould



DATELINE:  Thursday, May 31, 2012


The White Sox out-hit the Angels 12 - 6,  and beat them Saturday night, 15 - 11. The Angels had 4 - 0, and 8 - 4 leads, but couldn't stop the hard-hitting Sox  from coming back, led by Kyle with 3 hits and Rory with 2 hits and 3 RBI's.  Camden led the Angels with a double and a single, while Marcus and Buddy each had one hit and 2 RBI's.  Marcus added 3 runs scored.  The rule of thumb is:  if Marcus gets on ... Marcus scores! Will and Josh each added a single and an RBI.  Colin took the collar in 3 AB's, and made a brief appearance on the mound, coaxing a ground-out on his only pitch. 


Colin Driscoll gave a masterful performance on the mound Monday evening, throwing a complete game, 71-pitch  4-hitter, as the Angels defeated the Mariners, 9 - 2. Colin walked 3 and struck out 4, and kept the Mariners off balance the entire game.  He was also backed by a solid defense, which included one of Colin's own  now-patented sliding catches, on a pop-foul along the 1B line. In contrast, the Mariners threw 5 pitchers at the Angels, and issued 16 walks. Tyson led the Angel's offense with 2 solid singles and 2 RBI's.  Colin and Scott each also had 2 RBI's.  The win was even more significant in that the Angels were missing several key players and were down to 8 men, using only 2 outfielders for the entire game! 


The White Rock 13 year-olds won their 10th and 11th consecutive games to end the regular season over the past few days. On 5/29, W.R. defeated Richmond, 12 - 1, as Ryan pitched a complete game 1-hit gem, with the only run  against him unearned.  Ryan struck out 8 batters and helped with his bat , getting a 2-run single during a 6-run 5th inning. Dawson had 3 hits, while Jakob and Sam added 2 hits apiece in the win.

Then, on the 30th, Dawson took charge with a solid pitching performance of his own, going 5 innings and giving up 1 unearned run  while striking out 7. He also led the offense with  3 hits, including a bases-clearing 3B and a 2-run single. Gavin and Matt added 2 hits apiece, and combined to produce 5 runs. The first 8 batters in the line-up all hit safely in the game. 


Sammie's fast-pitch Thunder softball team returned to their winning ways when they beat Richmond, 23 - 13, amassing 18 hits. Sam and Nicole led the balanced attack with 3 hits apiece, while Jessica, Julia, Emily, Dani and Camille all had 2-hit games.  Dani added 3 RBI's  in the rout. Then, a few nights later, on 5/29, the Thunder clobbered Force 97,  13 - 7.  Sammie, Taylor, Susanna and Julia all had 2 hits in the game, as the Thunder pounded out a dozen hits, which included HR's from Olivia and Susanna.  GO THUNDER!!!


If all of the above wasn't enough for the over-worked Scoop to cover, Coach Tim himself tried to practice what he's been preaching as he pitched  2 solid innings of relief in his Saturday morning 45+ BB League, getting the save, in a 7 -6 win. Tim also chipped in with a line drive single, in 3 AB's. His efforts proved that sometimes the dead do come back to life!

                                                   (Bela Lugosi...take note !!)


>>>>>>>  SCOOP JOHNSON, REPORTING ... >>>>>>>


June 8, 2012

Daniel Gould to Jim Driscoll

The excitement and anticipation is mounting...the country of the
Netherlands is drenched in a snow of orange. Orange balloons, pendants,
paper flowers and crepe is spread across the cities and villages of the
land. People are dressed in orange from head to foot. What's it all
Football! ... Or what you foreigners call soccer.
The Euro Cup begins tomorrow. Three plus weeks of thrills and
fingernail biting tension.
...But let's first do a remedial course in something called the World
Cup and the Euro Cup...
A few years ago, in late October, the NBA had a traveling all-star team
traveling through Europe. An article in the Int Herald Tribune cited a
complaint by one of the NBA players, "I turn on the TV in Frankfurt and
I can't get NO World Series games...Why? I mean, after all, it is 
called the World Series." he Superbowl? Well, forget it!
There is only one international game: Football/Soccer!
I gained an appreciation for the game at Saint Louis Univ. One of my
many part time jobs was selling tickets to the school's soccer games.
After the game started, I got in FREE. One of the perks to the dollar
an hour job. The NCAA recognized soccer as a collegiate sport only in
1959. By the time I graduated, the Billikens had won three NCAA
championships: for one of the finals we sold only 750 tickets. Soccer
got NO respect. 
I arrived in Amsterdam, for the first time, in Feb 1972. The following
May, AJAX, the Amsterdam football team won the European Championship.
The city went wild (in 1994, they won ALL the club championshis
including the international final held in Japan.) In 1974, the
Netherlands was in the championship game against Germany for the World
Cup---the TV camera kept showing Henry Kissinger who was in attendance.
Germany, on home grounds, beat Holland. It was a sad day.
In 1978, I was back in the states and living in Detroit. The Detroit
Free Press didn't list the outcome of the World Cup championship until
three days after the event. The news once again, sad, Argentina won by
one when the great Maradona scored an illegal hand goal; the ref didn't
see it though the rest of the world did.
In 1988, the Dutch won the Euro cup. The celebration was glorious
throughout the country. You would have thought they had won WW III. In
1994, the World Cup was held in the USofA; maybe you remember reading
about it. What is so unique about both the Euro Cup and the World Cup
is that the players play for their home country team and for FREE.
Players making several million dollars/euros participate in the quest
for nationalistic glory. Both contest begin two years in advance of the
final playoffs. For 24 months the national team plays against teams
from around the world while also playing for their "clubs."  This is
the part I like, world football/soccer is like American sports, the
players sell themselves to the highest bidder. the top Dutch players
play for cities in Spain, England, Germany and Italy for big bucks. You
root for your city's team, made up of players of all nationalities; and
follow the exploits of the national team made up of all Dutch, German
or Italian players. The competition, I have said, replaces the
battlefields of war. Cool!!!
But back to 1994...FIFA (the international organization that oversees
world football) wanted the World CLub played in the USofA because it is
and was the world's largest market place for sports. The AMerican group
of promoters met with FIFA officials and their first demand was for
frequent "time-outs" for TV commercials (the game is played in two 45
minute segments and with NO timeouts).  FIFA said, "No way, Jose."  The
American group pressed on and insisted on at least one break during
each 45 minute segment. "That's not the way the game is played!"  they
were told. The compromise was that the American network would run
commercials, throughout the game, at the bottom of the screen like CNN.
I was very excited that the USofA was to play Brazil---one of the best
football teams, year in and year out---on the 4th of July. A group of
us would meet at an artist's atelier to watch the games. We were
especially interested in this particular game because the winner would
play the Netherlands in the next round. I was predicting that
considering the day---4th of July---the USofA would never have a better
opportunity to beat Brazil; something akin to the American amateur
hockey team beating the USSR at Lake Placid in the winter Olympics. My
Dutch friends assumed that I would then back America against Holland. I
replied, " I want the USofA to win because the Dutch will have an easy
time defeating them. If Brazil wins, well I worry that could be it for
the Dutch."  Brazil beat team America, but the latter put on a good
show...And Brazil would beat the Netherlands in the next game. Damn, I
got that right.
The World Cup begins with 163 teams competing in different geographical
units around the world. For two years there are about 25 games. In
2010, the Netherland won 25 straight and went into the championship
game against Spain. Spain won. It didn't break my heart because the
Dutch had played very aggressive defense. It was almost ugly.
Well, they go into this Euro Cup with, again, a flawless record. They
are picked to be one of the favorites...And with every game, life in
Holland comes to a stand still. Every cafe/bar and various other venues
have large screen TVs. The championship game is viewed by nearly the
whole country on monster outdoor TV screens. Two years ago, I popped
into a neighborhood cafe to watch the action. At my table was a woman
of a "certain age"  and she was dressed ALL in orange including orange
jewelry, orange plastic flowers, orange nail polish an lip stick and
even orange hair. Why orange? The Royal family of Holland is of the
House of Orange.
My Chicago Cubbies stink this year, but I 'll get through the anguish
of enduring their loses by watching the Euro Cup...Life doesn't get any

Photo: Fergie Jenkins