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Originally posted on Gotham Nation:
Appropriate to share today, which would have been Jackie Robinson’s 95th birthday, a archived podcast on which I talk about the roles that Negro League Legend Buck O’ Neil — including excerpts from my one-on-one interview with him just a few months before he passed away — and “Black Aces” author Jim “Mudcat” Grant played in the African-American journey to Major League Baseball.
My good friend Gary Armida asked me Five Goood Questions. I hope I gave five good answers.
Originally posted on Finding Avalon And Derry:
Welcome to Five Good Questions. 5GQ is a quick chat that won’t really have a focus other than to simply entertain, inform, and maybe spark some conversation.
The first person up for Five Good Questions is Mark Healey, who has been an editor, writer and broadcaster since 1996 for a variety of media outlets. Currently, he is the Managing Editor of The Wave newspaper in Rockaway, NY.
He is also the founding editor of Gotham Baseball magazine, which was named Best New Sports Magazine by Amazon.com in 2005., and is part of the permanent archive at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center in Cooperstown, NY.
As Editor-in-Chief of “Going 9 Baseball” , he spent 2010-2014 as the host of “Going 9 Fantasy Baseball” on SiriusXM’s Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). He also served as the first-ever Online Editor for Baseball Digest magazine (Dec 2009 – Feb…
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When the Mets decided to enter into the Kaz Matsui sweepstakes, a lot of things had to happen. They had to engage the help of the other Wilpon son — Bruce, married to the daughter of Japanese billionare Kenshin Oshima — and Leon Lee, the father of then-All Star first baseman Derrek Lee.
As a thank you, Lee was hired to manage the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones in 2004. Jeff Wilpon ran the Cyclones then, and when Fred Wilpon’s pride and joy was faced with a tough situation, he dealt with it swiftly.
On April 8, Lee was arrested for indecent exposure in a hotel after seeking to quiet a noisy late-night crowd that was disturbing his team.
The NY Times’ Lee Jenkins detailed the way in which he was treated here – http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/02/sports/baseball/02lee.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&ei=5090&en=063dccf0be18fe8f&ex=1267419600&partner=rssuserland
Another version of the story is here, including a description — which I can confirm because I was covering the Brooklyn Cyclones at the time — of how Jeff Wilpon handled the situation.
Lee pressed for more than a year, costing him thousands of dollars and his baseball good name, just to get a court date to clear his name. The charges were dropped in 2005.
It’s a good thing for Jeff Wilpon that he doesn’t work for Jeff Wilpon…
I’ve had the pleasure of covering big league baseball and being involved in youth coaching the last several years, and I have often wondered why the “New York Game” as we call it here at Gotham Baseball, isn’t as well-represented in MLB as are other parts of the country. Part of the problem is how MLB teams look for talent, as there seems to be very few MLB scouts on hand in NYC for even the best of programs.
Despite the obvious weather-related reasons why most kids playing baseball in New York don’t get as much attention as their warm-weather counterparts, we decided to look closer at the problem.
First we sat down with Jordan Baltimore, who runs a top grade teaching academy in NYC called New York Baseball Empire, which spends as much time training older kids to coach, as teaching younger ones to play.
So, you may have noticed the cobwebs around the Gotham network of sites and podcasts lately, the bad news is they may stay that way for awhile, but the good news is, I have a new job.
That’s right. A real newspaper, one that’s been around since 1893, making it one of the longest continuously published newspapers in the country. I’ve been there since May 9, and am having the time of my life. Busy, but happier than I have been in my career since leaving Associated Press in 2006.
So bear with me for awhile, let me get my feet wet in Jamaica Bay, take a few walks on the rebuilding boardwalk, and have a few pops at Healy’s Pub (hey, it’s ok, they lost their “e” somewhere, maybe I’ll help them find it), and before you know it, things will be back to normal.
Until then, you can read The Stoop, my new sports column in The Wave.
I can’t predict what’s going to happen, he’s a different guy. He has the strongest desire I’ve ever heard about not ending his career without making it in New York. That’s motivation. I have high regard for what he has left. I think he will be an important addition to this club. He has one wonderful, smart and strong-willed wife, she loves Greenwich, where they live. She’s ecstatic. She wants to be here. They want to be here. It makes a difference. He’s going to live in Greenwich when he’s through playing. So he has a lot of motivation.” – Fred Wilpon, on the return of Bobby Bonilla to the Mets in 1999.
Last year, I opined that the New York Mets were doing their fans a disservice by not holding a FanFest, Winter Caravan or similar promotion to gets fans excited about the upcoming year.
There is NO reason for not trying to do this with the Mets fan. With all of the aforementioned ability to support and promote their own product, especially with tickets sales being down every year since Citi Field opened, the idea that the Mets don’t have an annual Fan Fest is incredibly short-sighted.
Well, many Mets fans agreed, and the folks from MetsPolice.com and The7Line.com have banded together to throw their own FanFest; The Queens Baseball Convention, or QBC as it is referred to in social media.
Shannon “Shark” Prior and Keith Blacknick, the pair behind blog site Metspolice.com, have teamed up with Darren Meenan of The 7 Line clothing brand to bring the first ever Queens Baseball Convention (QBC) to McFadden’s bar in Citi Field on January 18.
The event is a fan fest for Mets fans of all ages to enjoy and meet team legends, including Ron Darling, who was on the 1986 World Series team, and Ed Kranepool, who was on 1969 championship squad.
“Even if I wasn’t involved in it I was going to be there,” Meenan said. “It’s something that will bring fans together, whether you’re a young kid or someone who just likes jerseys. There’s something for everybody.”
Meenan is correct; as in addition to the appearances of Kranepool and Darling, there is a full schedule of events.
The New Media roundtable will kick off the QBC, moderated by yours truly, and features a collection of some of the biggest names in the Mets blogging and podcasting world; Matt Cerrone (MetsBlog.com), Greg Prince and Jason Fry (FaithandFearinFlushing.com), Kerel Cooper (OnTheBlack.com), Steve Keane (KranepoolSociety.com), Mike Silva (ESPN LI 107.1/96.9FM), Taryn Cooper (KinersKorner.com), and Ed Ryan (MetsFever.com).
For tickets, info and special deals, please visit QueensBaseballConvention.com