For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stadiums, Interviews and Seeing the Family

Ned Skeldon Stadium near sunset in November 2011.

I raced the sun, kind of.

Headed home to see my family in Iowa, I looked at the map and the time. The sun was going down at about 5 p.m. It was also possible for me to make Toledo by then.

I needed the sun to still be up because I wanted a picture of the Toledo Mud Hens' old field, Ned Skeldon Stadium. Though the Mud Hens hadn't played there since 2001, the stadium was still up and in use.

The reason I wanted a picture of the stadium was because I was looking forward to the second half of my trip, the trip home. That's when I was scheduled to meet and interview the Mud Hens' old trainer, Steve McInerney.

While I was going home to see my family, I also took the trip as an excuse to look up some old CMC set members. And I succeeded in catching up with four, one on the way to Iowa and three more on the way home.

You can watch for those in the coming weeks. I'm hoping to have the first interview up this week, with parts on former minor leaguer Tony Ariola.

In all, watch for interviews with Ariola, McInerney, Mike DeButch and Paul Noce.

Ariola was the only interview set up for the trip to Iowa. So, on the way, I picked up some stadium shots, pictures that I might use in the posts, if I run out of other shots.

Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium in South Bend, Ind., home to the South Bend Silver Hawks.

The first one was the old Toledo stadium. The second was South Bend's Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium.

For "The Cove," built in 1988, I had to actually wait for the sun. I stayed over in South Bend. But, when I got up, the sun wasn't up. But I got a few shots.

One of the reasons I wanted to snap a picture of the South Bend stadium was because it played a central role in the August 2010 feature on Jimmy Roso.

It was there that Roso and four other players snuck in overnight and pulled the tarp off the field in the middle of a rainstorm, in an apparent attempt to cause a rain out.

Bradley University's Shea Stadium, home to the school's soccer team.

And then there was Peoria. The old Chiefs stadium is cool because my dad and I went to a game there back in 1995. The stadium's still up. But, it's no longer used for baseball. It's the Bradley University soccer stadium.

By the way, while I was home, my dad pulled out this. It's a ticket stub from a trip that never happened.

My favorite player as a kid, Andre Dawson, was playing for the Red Sox and, as I recall, there was a possibility that his career might end that year.

So my dad and I got tickets for the final game - in Fenway. I don't know if the trip would have ever happened. We were in Iowa, after all. But that's academic. The game itself never happened.

The contest was to take place Oct. 2, 1994, deep into the strike that wouldn't be settled until the next year.

So I don't have a picture of Fenway from 1994. For that, I had to wait 10 years, when I went there in 2004, with my now-wife.


  1. Did you ask Noce about the picture of him getting pegged in the butt by a baseball?

  2. Yes, yes I did. It's a good story, too. But I'll get to that.