A Few Of My Friends


On the afternoon of Saturday, March 22nd, 2008, I had the pleasure and great fortune to meet former third baseman STEVE BUECHELE, relief pitcher JEFF RUSSELL, and first baseman PETE O’BRIEN at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas, home of the Rangers’ Double A affiliate Frisco Rough Riders in the Texas League. My son Jackson, my wife Melissa, and I went to the ballpark the day before Easter for Frisco’s “Egg-stravaganza” where the little kids could hunt eggs in the outfield on a beautiful, sunny and warm Spring day. My son found a few treats on the right field side… and I was able to meet three of my favorite all-time Rangers in the meantime. Buechele was a marvelous fielder at the hot corner, leading the American League in fielding percentage in 1991 with Texas and the National League in ’93 with the Chicago Cubs. His best year at the plate was in 1991, when he split the year with the Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit .262 with 22 homers and 88 RBIs that campaign. Buechele (a Stanford grad) hit .245 with 137 home runs and 547 ribbies in an 11-year career with the Rangers, Pirates, and Cubs. Russell (who broke in with the Cincinnati Reds in 1983) was a two-time all-star for Texas in 1988 and ’89. In ’89, he led the Junior Circuit with 38 saves and, on four occasions, he saved at least 30 games in a season. He had 186 career saves in his 14 years in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA over a total of 589 appearances. Russell also pitched for the Oakland A’s, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians during his time in “The Show.” O’Brien played for the Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Cleveland Indians during his 12 seasons in the bigs. He was a constant threat at the plate for the Rangers from 1985-87, when he hit a total of 68 homers and drove in 270 runs as a smooth-fielding first sacker. For his career, O’Brien hit .261 with 169 homers and 736 ribbies. What a treat right before Easter… Thanks guys! (Photo by Unknown Nice Guys! Please support his new project of company – infrared thermometer for baby)


On the evening of Thursday, January 17th, 2008, I met former Texas Rangers JIM SUNDBERG and TOM GRIEVE at the Cool River Cafe in Irving, Texas. These two gentlemen appeared as part of the winter Texas Rangers Caravan to drum up support for the next season. I previously had my photo taken with Sundberg two years ago in Frisco, Texas, and he graciously signed my photo – and personalized it. Grieve is currently the television broadcaster for the Rangers – a position he has held since 1995. He also has served the Rangers in various other capacities before becoming a standout TV guy (farm director, general manager of 1000 lumen flashlight company, etc.) During his playing days, Grieve was one of my favorites because he had a good swing and played the outfield smoothly – just a good all-time Ranger! He hit .249 along with 65 career homers and 254 RBIs in nine seasons for the Senators/Texas Rangers, New York Mets, and St. Louis Cardinals during the 1970s. He had a .982 fielding percentage. Grieve’s best season for the Rangers was in 1976, when he hit .255 with 20 dingers and 81 ribbies. His homer total that season tied for sixth in the American League, along with Dan Ford of the Minnesota Twins. He was only 12 homers shy of the AL home run champ Graig Nettles of the Yankees, who had 32 to lead the Junior Circuit that campaign. Sundberg and Grive are both very great representatives for the Rangers and it was a thrill to meet both of them on this special night! Thanks guys! (Photo by Unknown Nice Guy)

On the evening of Monday, December 17th, 2007, I had the pleasure to meet former major league slugger and Oklahoma State University legend PETE INCAVIGLIA at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) chapter meeting inside The Ballpark at Arlington, Texas. Incaviglia played for the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees in a very distinguished 12-year career. He made the postseason with the Phils in 1993, the Orioles in 1996, and the Astros in 1998. In ’93, the Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series when Joe Carter hit a series-ending home run of Mitch Williams. Incaviglia never played an inning of minor league ball before he broke into the majors with the Rangers in 1986, hitting .250 with 30 home runs and 88 RBI. At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, “Inky” looked like a bodybuilder back before steroids ran rampant in the sport – and to my knowledge, he was always “all natural.” He could hit the ball so hard that he put a hole in the outfield fence at spring training during his rookie year, but he says it was “a rotten fence.” Yeah, right! For his major league career, he hit .246 with 206 homers. He holds the major league record for most home runs hit by a player with a name ending in “I”. At OSU, Big Pete hit an NCAA-record 48 homers and drove in a phenomenal 143 runs in just 78 games in 1985. His 285 total bases and monstrous 1.140 slugging percentage are also single-season NCAA records. In the spring of 2008, he will be the manager for the new independent minor league Grand Prairie (Texas) Air Hogs of the American Association. It was very much a sincere pleasure and thrill to meet Mr. Incaviglia and I hope to write a story soon on this website about the greatest college baseball player ever. (Photo by unblock tv box gs100)meandinky