“Oz” and The Wizards of (HDL) Baseball (Corrections: 11-6-13)

For Those who were there and those who weren’t:

I was excited to see the great crowd who attended last night’s HDL Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet.  Each banquet that I have ever attended has been unique.  Last night was no exception.  I am not going to list the full attendee list but I ask all who attended the event to tell stories to your fellow players who were unable to attend. Let them know what they missed.

OPENING Act:

Last year one of the HDL’s former officers and supporters announced he would take a year off from HDL competition to concentrate on a weight reduction procedure. Well last night he made an impressive entrance when he walked through the Butcher Shop Ballroom entry.  Prior to his debut, I played a short intro video to illustrate his transformation.  When the video popped up, everyone recognized his robustness. This time last year he weighed 405 pounds and was struggling with a variety of health issues.  But when Terry Terrell walked in the door showing his new physique weighing in at 297 pounds, he was met with a standing ovation.  Well done Mr Terrell!  I think everyone is pleased to see someone who has made a life changing commitment to improve their long-term future. We applaud you. Baseball was not Terry’s primary reason for shedding unneeded pounds, but I am sure Baseball helped push Terry’s dream of once again playing the game he loves.  We look forward to seeing Terry added to a HDL Team roster in 2014.  Yea for Terry!  

VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT

While everyone was waiting for their food order to be cooked, Larry Rutledge showed about a 20 minute video that had music overlay and a live video inserted at the end that showed the post-game congratulations when Lomax Orange held off an action packed 9th inning rally attempt by Peterbilt Red.  Assorted slides were setup in chronological order with titles and tags that enhanced many of the slide photo’s.  This is a video that will be edited and re-mastered for many Banquets in the future.

Coach Schoenrock hits a Home Run!

When it was time to introduce our guest speaker, the HDL crowd was warmed up and looking forward to hear some “baseball related” talk.  Coach Schoenrock recapped his ascension into Div. 1 Baseball coaching.  Coach Schoenrock talked about: Memphis being a hotbed for quality baseball players, U of M team changes, analogy of baseball critical success factors that are illustrated in the book/movie, Wizard of Oz. 

The last topic (Wizard of Oz) encouraged many in audience to recall their knowledge of the characters in Wizard of Oz.  The Scarecrow needed a “Brain”, just like any baseball team needs to understand their challenges and devise a plan of how success can be achieved.  The Lion stood for Courage. On the baseball field a player has to step up to the plate and take initiative & courage to put the game plan into action.  The Tinman needed a heart like a baseball team needs players who play with emotion because they love the game. The “Wicked Witch of the West” was that opposing force that is challenging your goal of being successful. “That could be a team, an opposing pitcher, or anyone on the other team who wants to spoil your ultimate satisfaction. So who is “Dorothy”?  She represents “Home”.  Coach “Rock”  commented that sometimes he will ask an on-deck batter, “What does he want to do when he goes to the plate?”  The player who says, “I want to score” has it figured out. The batter who just wants to “Hit the Ball” is missing the point.

In closing, Coach Schoenrock fielded several questions from the crowd.  “How did he handle being Head Coach and his son playing on his team?” Easy answer, “let assistant coaches do their job and treat son like other players.” Q2, “How did you meet Jason Motte?” A.:  Jason dropped by one day looking for a place to workout and immediately became a friend of U of M baseball players because of his genuine personality.

Hall of Fame Inductees:

Two former HDL Players were inducted into the HDL Hall of Fame.  First inductee, James Sloan, was actually announced as an Inductee last year.  For past several years, James Sloan has been constantly recommended for induction. So last year the committee decided to announce his induction, but forever had been unsuccessful in contacting James.  Well over the summer, Larry Rutledge ran into James Sloan at a local restaurant.  From there, contact had been established and the H of F Committee agreed to make a formal presentation to James at this year’s banquet.  James attended and made some compliments to the Committee for this honor.  James told a funny story about catching Gene Brady one Sunday and Brady threw James a curve-ball after James had signaled for a fastball.  James stopped the game and went to the mound to make sure the signals hadn’t changed.  Brady said he saw the original signal but when he went into the windup he “Changed his mind” and decided to throw a curve down & away.  Needless to say, James pitch signals for remainder of game consisted of only his middle finger.

Our last inductee, Paul Rickman was introduced and he also made several positive comments about the benefits of playing baseball in the HDL.  Paul admitted he misses playing but not recovering from several injuries that steadily interrupted his ability to play at the level he expected of himself.  Paul also told a funny story about playing several times for Robert Miller’s team and Robert would look at the line-up sheet and see where Paul’s name was listed as: “P. Rickman”.  Due to poor handwriting, eyesight, etc., Robert always introduced Paul as “Pitcher: Prickman.”  Chuckles could be heard throughout the room.

2013 SEASON AWARDS

All SPONSORS were presented a plaque expressing our appreciation. Next all Managers were asked to come up to accept their plaque and take a group photo.  Attended:  Peterbilt and CDS;  Absent:  MetLife and Lomax Insulation

GOLD GLOVE WINNERS:

Outfield:       Charles Mister, Jeff Allen, Otis Edwards, Kevin Nilsen and Brian Nilsen

Utility:           Travis Hill

Catcher:        Adam Wasson

Pitcher:         Andrew Waddell

First Base:     DJ Clark

Second base:  Jose Ortiz

Third Base:   Cory Morgan

Shortstop:    Cesar Roman

Rookie of Year:  Adam Wasson

Ray Reinhart Hustle AwardBrian Nilsen

Team MVP’s:      Andrew Waddell (Orange), Nick Harris (Red), Travis Hill (Blue), PW Burnett & Glenn Coombs (Green – Co-MVP’s)

Batting Champ Runner-up:   Brian Nilsen – .500 Avg

Multiple Categories:  Batting Champion(.519 Avg), League MVP, Best Pitcher – ANDREW WADDELL

Congratulations to all players who were recognized by their peers as “The Best”. And for those players who posted best category statistics for all earned awards.

The evening ended with a stand-up comedy routine performed, impromptu, by HDL’s, Johnny Birkenstock.  For 10-15 minutes, Johnny had players and wives in stitches.  It was all “in fun” and that is what being around your friends is all about.

Stay tuned for frequent stories and news as they happen during the off-season.

116 Days Until first official HDL Workout for 2014 Season!

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