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Monday, June 18, 2012

Hall of Fame Classic: Three CMC Set Members

Hall of Famer Tony Perez gives five to CMC set member and former Red Sox Rick Lancellotti. Fellow CMC set member and former Yankee Brian Fisher left of Lancellotti. (G21D Photo)
Going into this year's Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, I wasn't sure which team I would root for, Team Wizard or Team Knucksies.

That's because I wasn't sure ahead of time who was playing on what team. After getting the rosters straight, though, it was Team Wizard all the way. Team Wizard had, count them, three members of the CMC set on the roster. Knucksies had none.

Going into the game, I actually only thought there would be two, the same number as last year. Last year's roster had Reggie Sanders and Rick Lancellotti. One of the two I had already interviewed, and it was a cool interview at that. The other one, Sanders, I would have loved to have interviewed, had I gotten the chance. But that chance didn't come.

Todd Haney, left, greets Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith in the infield. (G21D Photo)
This year, going in to the game, I spotted two CMC set members. There was Todd Haney, who played parts of five seasons in the majors. I featured him here in July 2011. There was also Brian Fisher, who had a longer career, playing seven years in the majors, with the Yankees, Pirates, Astros and Mariners. I featured Fisher here in December 2011.

What I didn't see on the player lists that I looked at, was there was a third set member there. Lancellotti was back. I actually caught up with him briefly after last year's classic, doing a postscript to his interview. So it was good to see Lancellotti on the field again.

As it turned out, all three happened to be on Team Wizard, the team helmed by the Wizard himself, Ozzie Smith. Haney actually played the whole game, starting at second base. When Ozzie came out of the game, Haney moved to shortstop.

Rick Lancellotti in the on-deck circle as Jon Warden (rainbow hair) attempts to interfere with the umpire. (G21D Photo)
Haney actually made some good plays, too, ranging to his left to pick up a ball. At the plate, he hit one off the fence in left. During a middle-inning interview with the announcer, Ozzie, in good fun, said that shot should have been a home run.

At another moment, Haney played grounds crew. Jesse Barfield, of Team Knucksies, lost control of his bat, the bat skipping across the infield. The skip also happened to dislodge a small patch of infield grass, sending it into the dirt. Like a good golfer, Haney grabbed the divot and replaced it.

Lancellotti got into the game mid-contest. Last year, he played first base. This year, he played left.

Fisher also got into the game late, and swung the bat a couple times. The pitcher started by playing in the field, at third base. When he moved to the mound, though, he had a rough go of it, giving up a home run on his first pitch.

Dante Bichette rocking the future Rockies uniform. (G21D Photo)
Fisher eventually took himself out, switching places with non-pitcher Dante Bichette. Bichette, by the way, was rocking his futuristic Rockies uni. Together, though, Team Wizard couldn't hold its lead. Team Knucksies won.

Elsewhere, I also picked up some cool stuff. Hopefully I'll have time to write about it in the next few days. Extra stuff I want to write about seem to pile up next to my desk and never get written about.

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