Ones That Got Away – Dolly Niemiec-Konwinski

Dolly played in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League as an infielder from 1948 through 1952, playing for teams out of Chicago, Springfield, Battle Creek, and Grand Rapids, and then played on barnstorming teams that toured the southeast and up the East Coast during the off-season. She retired after the 1952 season, not because she wanted to retire, but because of an auto accident. After retirement, Dolly became a professional bowler, coached her son’s baseball teams and umpired high school baseball and softball.

Jim Zapp – The Slugger from Nashville

Jim showed me a wall of pictures from his days playing baseball. I enjoyed both seeing these pictures and hearing his stories of each team, when he said to me, “There’s only a few of us left, dog-gone-it.” It was a brief statement he made under his breath, but a statement that was very powerful in its meaning

Lou Piniella – Sweet Swinging in the Sunshine State

As a player, Lou was dominating, but one thing he couldn’t dominate was a mountain; obviously, the confidence of a kid that grew up in the flatlands of Florida couldn’t overcome the power of Mount Baldy, although Lou fought back best he could. Lou teaches us how to size baseball cleats, the “pitching pennies” way of trading baseball cards, and the pick-up games he played with his friends.

Phil Roof – Catcher from Paducah

Phil, his brothers, and friends had many adventures that you will enjoy reading. How many high school baseball teams will load the entire team into a pickup truck to travel to an away game? What happened to the truck, the team, and Phil during this trip is something you’ve got to read; I even had other Pros mention they had heard this story before and admitted they never experienced something like this. Phil talks about his first experience with pizza, learning how to throw a fastball with one finger (obviously not the best method), and Phil’s tendency to break his friend’s equipment.

How Bourbon & Barney, Paducah & Louisville brought in the Modern Era of Baseball!

How Bourbon & Barney, Paducah & Louisville brought in the Modern Era of Baseball!

If you’ve read anything about the early days of baseball, you know there were a lot of shady, under-the-table deals made, and the 1899 National League season was no exception. To get the Louisville ballclub out of the league, several of the team owners had colluded to change up the league schedule, eliminating the Colonels Sunday games and costing the team over twenty thousand dollars in revenue, a large enough sum that would financially cripple the team. Through some shrewd negotiating, Barney survived the uprising brought against him by the other team owners.

Boog Powell – Little League World Series & A Famous Fade-away Hook Slide

It’s game night; I’m in line to meet Boog, I’ve got my elevator pitch prepped, and I’m ready to go. By this time, Mrs. Kelly had headed for the hills, too afraid to watch me elevator pitch Boog (by the way, if I haven’t mentioned this already, yes, we have the same first name, and yes it’s spelled the same too). I’m up next, and as I approach, Boog’s looking for me to hand him something to sign or for someone behind me to take a picture when … I gave him the elevator pitch of the year, the Ralphie Red Ryder full proof pitch, and what happened next would go down in the annuals of Just Like Me.