BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
I have always admired Fenway Park, or Fenway Pahk as the locals call it. Built 100 years ago, it is the oldest stadium in the American league, and along with Wrigley Field in Chi-town, one of the oldest in the league. It is one of the oldest ballparks in all of america.
There is such nostalgia about Fenway for many baseball fans. I have never even been there, yet I can't forget game six of the 1975 World Series, with Carlton Fisk waving his game winner fair. I remember Roger Clemens firing peas past Mets hitters, while dueling head to head with Dwight Gooden in the 1986 fall classic. Who can forget the Sox coming behind from a 3-0 deficit in 2004 to beat the mighty Yankees and eventually win their first World Series since the curse of the Babe? Or the second championship in a sweep over the Rockies three years later?
I was not there for ANY of those games. I have never been there once in my life. Finally, that ends this Friday. Friday, I can have a seat in the same seats down the first base line where Ray Kinsella and Terrance Mann sat when "the voice" said "go the distance" in the movie 'Field of dreams'.
Of course I will get kicked out of THOSE seats eventually, because the place is sold out every night for decades, but then I will go and take my actual seats down the right field line, right near the Pesky pole.
It is one of the "holy grails" of baseball, and I can't wait to finally check it off my bucket list of "things a sports fan has to do" in their life before they die. I have done many things on this list already. Here are some of the things that have been on my sports "bucket list" that I have accomplished:
--Played baseball on the same field where they play the Little League World Series. Yeah, actually happened, kinda by accident when I was a kid. Every spring, my folks and I would head down to Florida for a vacation. One year, they agreed to let me bring my best friend Chuck with us. The first night, we stayed in Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the City View motel. That is the motel up on the hill that overlooks the field. We woke up the next morning and saw a bunch of guys down there on the field. Turns out it was a convention of little league coaches. They had us come on the field and be examples of how to do certain drills. We were the playtoys of professional baseball instructors, which was kinda cool when you are ten and love baseball.
--Walk around vendor at major league spring training games. When I was in college, my fraternity (Sigma Phi Epsilon) got the contract to be the vendors at Detroit Tiger spring training games at Joeker Marchant stadium. I loved it! Did all the games I could. Sold coke one night, hot dogs the next, popcorn the next and so on. I got into it, and tried to be a comedian. I would yell things like, "get your free coke here....mandatory straws are a buck and a half though". Or one of my other favorites was, "Get your peanuts here....they help fight cancer!" You see, there are a lot of old folks at those games. One game, I wore a bag over my head with holes cut out and wrote "the unknown vendor" on the back. The old folks loved it.
--Made it to a Stanley Cup finals game. My buddy and I spent a memorable night at Tops in the parking lot to get tix for the Sabres-Stars cup finals. The night they won the previous round, tickets went on sale, and we agreed to go camp out. We went to the Tops on Lake near Lexington, figuring it would be the one Tops in the area with the least amount of interested fans in the area. We were right....we were second in line. We got 4 tix for game 3 and 6, and by the time we got to our car, they had sold out.
--went to one of those "pre draft NBA camps. You know the ones. Portsmouth, Chicago, Orlando. The ones where the NBA prospects go to show off their games for owners and player personnel directors. They started up the Orlando classic the year I was a senior in college, but the Orlando arena wasn't ready yet, so they held the first one at the Lakeland civic center. A buddy and I bought a four day pass and went every day. The final day, we sat right in front of Norm Sonju, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks at the time and his director of player personnel. It was very cool to hear them talk about guys games for four hours, and then watch the draft a couple months later.
--Attended a major league baseball all-star game. It was 1981, the year of the strike that wiped out almost three months of the season. The all-star game in Cleveland was the first game after the strike ended. Thanks to my aunt and uncle in Cleveland for getting the tickets for that one. Then VP George Bush threw out the first pitch.
--Watched games at Yankee stadium and Wrigley field. The other two shrines of the game were crossed off my list. I saw the Yankees play the Blue Jays in the final game before the 1994 baseball strike (I have a thing about seeing games near strikes I guess). It was my first time in NY by myself. My friend I was staying with had to work and there was a matinee game. I decided to go, and took off from Queens on the subway all the way to the South Bronx, bought a ticket and went to the game...all by myself. Then found my way back his apartment in Queens. Still proud of myself for that day. Saw the Braves play the Cubbies a few years ago, in 2006. Standing room only tix for the whole game. Not comfortable.
--Hung out and had beers with a former major league baseball all-star. My friend from college at Florida Southern, John Hudek, came to town with Syracuse to play the Red Wings in 1999. He had been an all-star in 1994 when he was the closer for the Astros. We met up after the Wings game at Jillians and sat and talked about his career for hours. Such a thrill for me (and my friend who was with me).
I also sat next to the team trainer for the Albany Patroons, right behind the bench at a CBA game once. Went down on the floor of the arena to talk to another player I knew from college before the shootaround, and no one ever kicked me off the floor. So I stayed there the whole first half. Sounds like great seats huh? Well not so much, considering coach George Karl kept standing up and yelling at the refs right in front of me the whole time. I really wanted to yell, "hey coach, down in front huh!", but couldn't risk it.
--Attended a golf major. Went with my father to the 1980 PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Almost got hit by Tom Watson's second shot at the 10th hole.
Yeah I have done quite a few things I wanted to do. Now there are just a few more that I would like to cross off. Things like:
--Attend a World Series game, Super Bowl or NBA Championship game.
--Hand feed carrots to a Kentucky Derby winning horse. Don't ask me why, I just think that would be so cool.
--Ride in the back seat of a Nascar car going at least 150 miles and hour.
--Kick a field goal on a regulation NFL field.
--Sleep with an LPGA touring pro. Well, I'm married now, so that one is a dream that will never be realized.
--Sit next to a professional athlete that I have heard of on an airplane ride somewhere. It probably wouldn't be thrilling to him, but it would to me.
--See a baseball game at Chavez Ravine. Farthest stadium I have ever been in is Coors field in Denver. I would like to see at least one west coast ballgame.
--Go fishing with one of the "bassmasters". I don't even fish, but I would love to sit on the boat, drink beer and listen to those fish tales all day.
I'm sure there are many other things I would like to do, but I will have to find my bucket list. It's around here somewhere.....
I'd love to hear some of the things YOU would like to do if you ever got the chance in sports too...Just click on the comment thing below, or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am off to Boston now for my bi-annual Choroideremia conference. Looking forward to hearing about all the exciting research that is being done to hopefully give me my sight back, or let me keep the sight that I have left. You can help as well by going to www.curechm.org and clicking the donate link.