Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Okay, for the past four years now I have been very frustrated with the Brett Favre Files. Like many other Green Bay Packers fans, I was begging for some sort of end to what we believed to be Favre’s story book career. It never came, and now we are forced to endure another season of Favre in a non-green-and-gold jersey.

Although it is very difficult to see Favre in a Vikings jersey, the legend has finally won me over again. I realize admitting this on my blog might cause Wisconsin readers to question my sanity, but please hear me out.

Brett Favre ’09 is Rocky VI. Both Favre and Rocky have heart. They’re passionate about their sports. Football and boxing are pretty much all they know and what they do best. It appears both will play and fight as long as they remain vertical. Neither age nor injuries can stop them from competing and giving it all they’ve got.

Brett Favre is not Michael Jordan, and that’s a good thing. Jordan’s retirements seemed calculated for attention and marketing purposes. Favre just doesn’t go that deep. He doesn’t think that way. Pretty much all he thinks is grab ball and chuck ball, hoping to throw more touchdown passes than interceptions to help his team win more games than they lose for a chance at the playoffs and a shot at another Super Bowl appearance.

Brett Favre is the epitome of my all-time favorite quote: “You don’t stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing.”—George Bernard Shaw
As long as Favre continues to throw a uniform on—no matter what colors—and competitively plays the game he loves so deeply, he will remain young at heart.

Bo knows; Favre doesn’t. See, Favre doesn’t know who he is without football. Without it, he’s a starving, homeless orphan. Let the man have his football, so he can eat, drink, and be merry. You don’t have to root for him, but don’t root against him. Just watch him and respect his passion for the game.

He’s not the only sports legend who has hung on long enough to receive their AARP card. Rickey Henderson played independent minor league ball clinging to his dream of another Major League contract in his late forties. At the age of 49, Julio Franco’s exotic batting stance continued to grace Major League batters boxes. And only God knows exactly how old Satchel Paige was when he pitched his last professional baseball game. There is something magical about these men and their quests for the fountain of youth in their sports. Although we know their bodies will eventually fade, their boyhood innocence and contagious spirit is eternal.

Read the poem below and try to recall other sports legends who embody the Satchel Paige timelessness of sports? (Feel free to comment below.)

“To Satch”
by Samuel Washington Allen

Sometimes I feel like I will never stop
Just go on forever
Till one fine mornin
I'm gonna reach up and grab me a handfulla stars
Swing out my long lean leg
And whip three hot strikes burnin down the heavens
And look over at God and say
How about that!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It’s back to school for me. Therefore, I posted the following tweets:

1) I start school Thursday. I'll be doing far less twittering; however, I'll continue to update my blog at

2) Please continue to tweet me your favorite baseball experiences. I will add them to my blog and consider using them for a future book project.

3) Also, please tweet me some of your favorite Milwaukee Brewers tidbits. I'm thinking of using them as trivia questions for a future blog post. (You can simply write the trivia question in the comment section after this post.)

4) Know that by no means is this me giving up on the Brew Crew. As crazy as it is, the kid in me still believes COUNSELL '09 WS MVP!

5) Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me with my book. I will tweet you when excerpts are posted on my blog and when the book is available.

6) Thank you all very much!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have heard from some County Stadium Kid readers about a few experiences with players who “snubbed” them. However, it seems for the most part, people reading this blog have had great experiences with Major League Baseball players. In fact, some have mentioned how players have gone out of their way to make their fan experiences even more memorable. Read my first three blog posts and you’ll see 80 or more comments about favorite baseball experiences like:

@averygoodyear Toronto, Jays vs Sox, Big Papi rolls a ball over dugout to me - someone snatches it. He points at me, smiles, and rolls another.TatianaToronto area

(I am glad I could sneak in a little positive PR for Big Papi, especially since the recent discovery of his use of performance enhancing drugs is another bad hop to the groin for baseball.)

Baseball blogger Siobhan M, of , and I recently had an interesting discussion about “snubbing” and “autograph hounds.” She wrote a good read related to these issues on her blog that I would encourage you to check out.

I admit it has been 17 years since I chased an autograph at a ballpark, and I know how rude some fans were and how aggressive some autograph hounds were then already, and that was pre-eBay! I can only imagine what it is like today. I also wonder with all the new stadium construction if fans even enjoy the same kind of access to players entering and exiting the ballpark like I enjoyed at County Stadium.

Although I had a couple of “snubbing” experiences at County Stadium, I enjoyed hundreds of positive interactions with ballplayers, managers, and even with former Milwaukee Brewers owner and current MLB commissioner Bud Selig (He always humored me when I told him what minor league prospects deserved to be called up). These positive experiences inspired me and made me fall in love with the game even more. In fact, I recently commented on a New York baseball radio show that the few bad player experiences I had actually motivated me to work even harder as a ballplayer so that someday I could make it to the Big Show and give fans the same kind of amazing experiences I enjoyed as a kid.

My Rickey Henderson experience, as you can tell by my last blog’s title “Rickey is the Greatest, the Greatest Disappointment I Encountered at County Stadium” was like a sucker punch that knocked the wind out of me. I idolized Rickey and to be one-on-one with him for a few moments and have him not even acknowledge my existence certainly fits the definition of a “snub.” Never have I ever encountered such arrogance and contempt from a human being. After this blog post you will find my first excerpt from COUNTY STADIUM KID, a couple of pages describing the moment I met Rickey.

I hope Major League Baseball players today continue to go out of their way to make fan experiences very memorable. I agree that players do not owe fans anything extra, but when they do go above and beyond to win over fans, the energy and enthusiasm shared by those fans of all ages is contagious.

Today, President Obama gave the United States a pep talk. A quick glance through history and one will clearly see the positive force Major League Baseball has been to the spirit of the American people during difficult times. A recent example I will cite is the 2001 postseason after the 9 / 11 attacks. The documentary 9 Innings from Ground Zero captures the healing spirit that baseball sometimes provides, and I would encourage everyone to check it out.
(You can view Amazon description of film here: )

Given the current state of our economy, I am impressed that the Milwaukee Brewers are averaging 38,000 fans a game. They are already over the two million mark for the season.

Aren’t we lucky that MLB does give back, and aren’t they lucky that fans keep coming back?

Please continue to comment below about the positive baseball experiences you have had. Many people who have not left comments have twittered me how much they enjoy reading about other people’s experiences. I still feel I have another book here in which we compile some of these exciting baseball moments, so keep them coming and encourage others to do the same.

After only a few minutes, Rickey strutted out, nose in the air, wearing a T-shirt three sizes too small that displayed his brick-shaped triceps.
“Rickey,” I gasped, “I’m a huge fan!”
Rickey never flinched an inch. Although he and I were alone under the stands walking in the dark towards the light shining through a gate, Rickey didn’t even offer a glance in my direction.
“Rickey, I have ten of your rookie cards. I traded most of my good cards to get them. I’m a huge fan! Do you think I could get an autograph?”
Rickey continued to walk as if I didn’t exist. His rejection made me more desperate, and my pleas became more pathetic with every step. I knew I had only a few more seconds before we reached the light that would expose Rickey to a hundred autograph hounds.
“Rickey, you gotta sign my ball. It would mean the world to me and my dad.”
Rickey still didn’t provide a single acknowledgment of my existence, so I desperately dug deeper.
Still nothing.
Not once did Rickey even look at me, not even when I backpedaled right in front of him. Eventually, I gave up, stopped, and watched one of my heroes walk though the gate.
“Hey, Rickey!”
He never flinched.
An excited fan heard me yell “Rickey!” The fan turned to see Rickey emerge from the gate। The fan screamed louder, “It’s Rickey! Rickey Henderson!” Within seconds, the autograph hounds surrounded the legend, but Rickey walked through them all as if they were air. He ignored every fan as if they were unworthy to be on the same planet as him. He showed no emotion, other than a cocky smirk that telegraphed, “I’m better than you. Get out of my way.” As I watched Rickey walk away, I realized he was the greatest after all—the greatest disappointment I ever encountered at County Stadium.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Unfortunately, there are times in our lives when we find out some people are not who we thought they were. Sometimes those people are parents, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. What’s most disappointing is when the person who lets you down was once your hero.

I idolized many baseball players growing up, but other than Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Cecil Cooper, New York Yankees and Oakland A’s legend Rickey Henderson was my favorite.

I used to throw down some Frisbees for bases along with some of my mom’s flour for chalk lines in my backyard, and I’d steal second, third, and home over and over again with the same style and pizzazz that I saw Rickey do on TV.

At one point I traded almost all my good baseball cards away so that I could have ten Rickey Henderson Topps rookie cards.

I even fantasized about someday bumping into Rickey in the grocery store so I could challenge him to a race.

I attended over a hundred Brewers games from 1982 to 1993. Most days I went early for autographs as the players entered the stadium. My dad and I would then be the first ones in when the stadium gates opened, hoping to catch a few batting practice home run balls in the bleachers.

I sat behind Rickey in leftfield five times. Each time his conduct disappointed me. Milwaukee bleacher fans loved to taunt him chanting, “Rick-ey, Rick-ey” and he loved to give it right back. In between pitches, he would turn around and mouth obscenities to fans. Other times he would stick his middle finger up in our direction. Almost always he stuck out his butt and wiggled it in our direction as the pitch was delivered. Once in a while he would kiss his hand and smack his butt.

Because I loved the way he played the game with such confidence and tenacity, I tried to overlook his poor demeanor with the fans. However, after one game, I saw something in Rickey I could never get over.

I knew all the nooks and crannies in County Stadium from chasing autographs all those years. Most times I waited by the visiting players’ entrance as players came and went via taxi. After the game, I often waited by the orange and white barricades lined up leading to the team bus. Often times visiting players would stop and sign before they hopped on the bus. If there wasn’t an All-Star caliber player on the visiting team, I would then wait by the entrance where the Brewers’ players parked their cars. I even knew the spot where Robin Yount drove his corvette out of the stadium behind the bleachers. However, there was one spot where a few players exited every now and then, and when I was feeling lucky, I would stand there in hopes of being one-on-one with a legend. A few visiting players rented cars while in town, and when they did they exited a heavy aluminum door and left by some turnstiles near the Brewers’ door.

One day I had a feeling Rickey was going to leave that way, so I waited the whole time by that exit even though that meant I would give up any chance of getting autographs by the taxis, team bus, or Brewers door. After waiting about an hour after the game, Rickey walked out, and he could not have disappointed me any more than he did. It was like I did not even exist.

In the next day or so I am going to share my first excerpt from my book. It will be a few pages detailing my disappointing Rickey experience.

Last week Rickey Henderson was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. Although he gave an excellent speech and came off about as humble as he possibly could, he mentioned something in his speech that I thought was rather interesting. He told a story about as a kid he tried to get Reggie Jackson’s autograph on his way into the park, but Reggie repeatedly snubbed him. In fact, one time Reggie simply handed Rickey a pen with his name on it. During the speech, Reggie covered his head in shame with his suit coat.

Hearing Rickey’s account about his experiences with Reggie Jackson made his snubbing me even more disheartening. I can’t help but wonder if Rickey knew first hand how much it hurt to be snubbed by his hero, why on earth would he do the same thing to adoring fans throughout his career?

If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you know they tend to be quite positive. However, this post I am asking you to comment below to share your experiences when players disappointed you. I am sorry but character counts with me, and I hope in some small way this exposure makes players think twice about snubbing adoring fans.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Sunday night (8/3/09) I will be doing a radio show at 10 PM ET on with Brittany Morgan. If interested in listening, go to the site and click on the show title under upcoming shows/on-air now or simply click play on the media player at the top of the page. If you click on the title, you should be able to access the show's chat room and talk with other listeners and the hosts while listening to the show. I will likely be discussing my Gary Sheffield and Rickey Henderson experiences that are described in COUNTY STADIUM KID. If you remember from my first post, I am very new to blogs and not the most tech savvy; however, I am learning as I go here. I just started a Facebook page at . If you click this link, you should have a direct link to the radio show with some more information about the program. Plus, I started a photo album on Facebook with pictures that are being considered for publication in my book. One of the pictures features me standing next to a 19 year-old Gary Sheffield in his Mercedes-Benz.Please join me on Facebook and also for the . The show should be available to listen to even after it airs in case you missed it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Milwaukee’s ‘The Everyday Journeyman’ Takes a Detour to 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Milwaukee resident Loyal Mehnert from thousands of applications to be their People’s Magazine ALL-STAR AMONG US representative at the 2009 All-Star Game in St। Louis.

Before you read my interview with Loyal, please check out Habitat for Humanity’s feature by Teresa K. Weaver at: to learn about Loyal’s extraordinary story!

JOEL: Go ahead, Loyal, name drop for us. Who are some of the interesting people and players you have met as a result of your Major League Baseball All-Stars Among Us honor?

LOYAL: For Milwaukee Brewers fans, I was able to meet Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Trevor Hoffman. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig tracked me down at a press conference to shake my hand. We Milwaukeeans stick together. I've also been invited to take part in President Carter and his wife's Habitat for Humanity Work Project in Southeast Asia. I'll either be in Thailand or Vietnam this November.

JOEL: Of all the people you mentioned who was the most interesting?

LOYAL: Definitely the other 29 All-Stars Among Us. Our backgrounds are all completely different, from cities across North America, yet we share this incredible common bond. I expect to remain close with this group for years to come.

JOEL: Who was the funniest? Why?

LOYAL: By far, Duane Silverstein of Seacology (, an international environmental nonprofit organization that focuses on saving endangered species, habitats and cultures of islands throughout the world. Not only his work for the environment incredible and exciting, he's really, really funny. I can't wait to see him next time I visit San Francisco.

JOEL: What was the spark that lit this burning passion in you to help others?

LOYAL: I wasn't always selfless. In fact, as a teenager I think many would describe me as selfish. But as an adult, I became interested in volunteering and began work in the non-profit sector. I served as a National Media Spokesperson for the Avon Foundation's domestic violence awareness campaign (Speak Out Loud) and Habitat for Humanity (Thrivent Builds).

Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I'd been exposed to volunteerism as a teenager. I think my high school years would have certainly been more rewarding.

JOEL: What's the best way to inspire others to help those in need?

LOYAL: Lead by example. Not everyone can travel across Africa or other parts of the world or spend months hiking the Appalachian Trail. But you can find journeys in your own backyard. Run a local 5K or marathon for charity and raise money for cancer research. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or mentor a child. Find an issue that you are passionate about that's not being addressed and create your own solution. The Everyday Journeyman project is all about helping others do things they don't think are possible. Taking that leap of faith, that first step. It's risky, it can be scary but the reward is extraordinary.

Joel: You were there, Loyal, so tell me, did President Obama's pitch bounce in the dirt and how did his first pitch compare to the one you threw out at Miller Park?

LOYAL: Personally, I think my first pitch was better. Granted, President Obama is a bit taller than I am so his pitch looked better. But it was also a ball whereas mine was definitely in the strike zone. But President Obama gets style points.

JOEL: I love quotes, so I have to ask, what are some of your favorite inspirational quotes?

LOYAL: There are two that are really part of my daily philosophy.The first from Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. "The second by President Theodore Roosevelt, "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

JOEL: What are some other possible journey ideas that are currently rolling around in your head?

LOYAL: As I hike the 2000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, I didn't expect to be hit so hard by bouts of extreme loneliness. It's a major issue I hope to correct by bringing others along in the future. As for upcoming journeys, I'm looking seriously at long distance biking along the Great Divide from the Canadian border south towards Mexico. I would also like to kick-start the Seven Summits. Start with the closest and most readily accessible mountains like Denali, Kilimanjaro, and Aconcagua. A great amount of money can be raised for charities like Habitat for Humanity via these journeys. I welcome those interested in my Appalachian Trail hike and the upcoming biking and mountaineering journeys, whether they want to come along or pledge donations, to contact me at for more information.

You can follow and support Loyal at or on Facebook at He will be visiting my school to talk to my students some time this fall, and I will be sure to update you on his journeys then.

I have five award-winning children’s books A GLOVE OF THEIR OWN to give away to COUNTY STADIUM KID readers who post comments about their or someone else’s volunteerism. Who are the all-stars among you?

(To view our living Presidents tribute to the ALL-STARS AMONG US that was aired before the All-Star game, go to: )


Monday, July 27, 2009


I just sat down to write this post while listening to tonight’s Brewers game against the Washington Nationals. Ryan Braun just hit a two-run homerun bringing the Brewers to within one run and giving us Brewers fans some much needed HOPE.

Only a few minutes ago, dedicated Brewer fan Nic W (nwest33) twittered, “Boycotting Brewer games for now...still a fan, just can't watch listen or take the agony.” He’s not alone. Brewer fans everywhere are uttering sentiments similar to Nic’s.

Earlier this spring when the Brewers lost Rickie Weeks and his hot bat, I began touting, “Craig Counsell 2009 World Series MVP.” A few Brewer fans rallied behind the idea of Counsell hoisting up the MVP trophy while his Brewers teammates doused the Milwaukee native with champagne.

Milwaukee radio legend Gene Mueller (genemueller) responded to my tweet, “@joelkatte Love it! I don't think Weeks a fatal blow. Lots of faith in Melvin to find the right parts to keep things going.” (Via Twitter May 18)

Hey, I believed Counsell could win 2009 World Series MVP earlier this spring, and I still believe it now! The man is clutch! He’s a gamer. He gives every second of the ballgame his best and leaves it all on the field. He was instrumental in helping the ’97 Florida Marlins and ’01 Arizona Diamondbacks win World Series titles. In short, he’s money and deep down we know it!

Baseball is a game of statistics; everybody understands that. However, there are a few things numbers cannot account for. How do you measure a player’s heart? How do you calculate the impact a player’s quiet, lead-by-example demeanor has on an entire team? Do we have statistics for keeping track of good base running? How do we keep track of moving runners over to third with less than two outs with a selfless groundball to second?

However, one of the most important factors to a winning team is FAN ATTITUDE. Trust me, it’s huge, and you can’t keep stats on it. I’ve felt the importance of fan attitude when I played in front of as few as 25 fans as well as in front of a few thousand fans. There is an energy fans emit that drives players and motivates them to dig deeper when fatigue and slumps have set in.

Remember last year’s 2008 postseason run? Fans began touting “WE BREW-IEVE!” The slogan showed up on t-shirts, posters, and was heard in many conversations.

Well, we’re nearing the pennant race stages of 2009 and the Brewers need you. No doubt, they’ve given you plenty of reasons to give up on them. Let’s not talk about the last time we won a series this season. Let’s not dwell on the fact that we’re in fourth place. We’re going to be grateful that we are only 2.5 games back. Yeah, I agree with you; fourth place feels crummy.

However, being back 2.5 games feels pretty darn good. Remember all those losing seasons? Any one of those years, Brewers fans would have given anything to be 2.5 games back near the end of July with a weak schedule ahead of us.

Baseball is a game of highs and lows. A coach once told me, “In baseball, you gotta figure out a way to keep your highs low and your lows high.” Sure, the past few weeks Brewers fans took a bean ball in the spine, but we gotta brush ourselves off (Don’t rub it!) and jog down to first no matter how badly it stings.

Darn, I know this is a tough sell because as I finish this post, the Brewers are now losing to Major League’s worst team the Washington Nationals 14-6 in the 8th inning. We’re still in this thing and we gotta let the BREW CREW know we’re behind them. Think COMEBACK! Remember what Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” The Brewers have a chance, and wouldn’t we all love to see Milwaukee’s home grown Craig Counsell wear three World Series rings?

Drop a comment below if you’re still backing the Brewers this year and drop Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt a line at or via twitter @haudricourt saying “CRAIG COUNSELL 2009 WORLD SERIES MVP.” That way I guarantee your support will filter its way into the Brewers’ clubhouse and dugout and help boost the team’s morale. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of baseball. Players are superstitious for a reason. It’s not the unwashed socks that are magical; it’s the belief that the unwashed socks are magical.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

“The Milwaukee Brewers ‘ALL-STAR AMONG US’ 2009 All-Star game representative is now on COUNTY STADIUM KID blog!”

First, of all I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped support this blog. I am overwhelmed by its initial success. I could not have reached so many of you so quickly without the help of everyone pitching in. Please continue to read and pass on the link to others who might be interested.

Also, please continue to keep the comments coming. We have already received over 60 comments! You’ll definitely want to scroll through the previous posts to see all of the amazing baseball memories.

Here are just a few CSK blog comments I wanted to highlight:

-Jeff Montgomery, former All-Star relief hurler for the Kansas City Royals, reflects on his first MLB game for the Cincinnati Reds under manager Pete Rose who happened to be his childhood hero.

-A cancer patient vows to beat cancer so he can fulfill his dream of attending a game at Yankee Stadium.

-San Francisco Giants fan: … my kid comes up and I say, “Richie, who's your favorite ballplayer, Will Clark?” ... My son smiles and looks at me and says, "Nooo, You Are Dad!”

-“Big Papi rolls a ball over dugout to me - someone snatches it. He points at me, smiles, and rolls another.”

-“My father catching a foul ball at Tiger Stadium w/ a pizza slice in one hand & napkins in the other. He used the napkin hand.”

-“Watching the Angels win the 2002 World Series with my son while my dad was still alive.”

Lastly, I can proudly report that the Milwaukee Brewers “All-Star Among Us” representative Loyal Mehnart found this blog and posted a few comments. What an inspiration this man is! Watch the WTMJ 4 video clip to hear his story.

Also, be sure to read Mehnart’s comments in the previous CSK post “All Stars Among Us.” I will post more on Mehnart’s All-Star experience and Habitat for Humanity journey in future posts. I am very excited that Mr. Mehnart offered to visit my school to talk to my students about his experiences.

Remember Todd Civin and Bob Saloman of the award-winning children’s book A GLOVE OF THEIR OWN offered to give 5 books out to people who “PLAY IT FORWARD” by commenting below about people you believe are “ALL-STARS AMONG US” for the work they do in our communities.

Summer’s a flyin’ by, so you’ll want to catch a baseball game. Stop by a Major League stadium, minor league ball park, or Little League diamond to breathe in some baseball and slow down your summer days.


Friday, July 24, 2009


During this year’s All-Star game, my wife, daughters, and I were road-tripping across the country. As we traveled in a Chevy Chase National Lampoon’s Vacation–like manner, we listened to the game on the radio. I was fascinated by the pre-game tributes and wished I could have seen Stan “The Man” Musial’s facial expressions as the sell-out crowd honored his legacy.

I was particularly moved by the ALL-STARS AMONG US tribute that our living Presidents presented. Later, I was able to watch this inspiring tribute at: I have not stopped thinking about it. I’ve thought about how it seemed two years ago volunteerism was contagious. Remember Oprah’s THE BIG GIVE reality TV show? Around the same time, many people were reading and discussing President Clinton’s book GIVING. It seemed churches, schools, business, and neighborhoods were teaming to support those who were in need more than ever. Although some of this momentum remains, I can’t help but ask, “Can or should we be doing even more?”

With all the work I have done in schools, I have been a part of many causes that reach out to those who are struggling. No matter what the drive is, it seems many of the neediest families are the ones who donate the most food, clothing, care packages for soldiers, and money for penny wars. I once saw a single, working poor mother carry in over 10 bags of groceries to donate to our food drive! I asked other principals if they’ve noticed the phenomenon of many of the neediest families giving the most. They too have seen it. Our best conjecture is that these once barely surviving families are perhaps the most generous because they know firsthand just how critical those donations are to the survival of someone who is down and out. Therefore, at a time in their lives when they consider themselves as surviving comfortably, they want to give back to the food shelters and thrift stores who supported them back when they needed the help.

No doubt times are tough in our economy. Donating money at a time when many families are already struggling is very challenging. However, donations can come in the form of one’s time. We can help others meet their basic needs by simply volunteering some of our time and finding ways to provide words of encouragement and compassion to those around us.

I have decided that I will donate 10 percent of the royalties I receive from COUNTY STADIUM KID to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. and will blog about this decision more in the near future.

I hope you too reflect on how you might support those who are in need. Now more than ever our neighbors need us. To help each other brainstorm how our talents and resources can best be shared, please comment below or tweet to some of the ALL-STARS AMONG YOU. Also, please do not be shy to comment on the ALL-STAR WITHIN YOURSELF who might be shining bright in your community. The people you highlight or the acts of kindness that you perform could inspire other readers to go on and help others, who then may also in turn help others, and so on .… The impact that your commitment to this cause or any cause will have is infinite.

Here are my two ALL-STARS AMONG US selections:

1) THE TIME IS NOW. Simply click on any one of these letters and see how Sal and his foundation’s supporters reach out to those in need in their community.

2) The team behind the award-winning children’s book A GLOVE OF THEIR OWN is challenging people to donate used sporting equipment to boys and girls in their communities who cannot afford their own equipment. My daughters and I love reading this book! Its “Play it forward” message resonates on so many levels, well beyond the baseball field.

Please comment below to recognize your own ALL-STAR AMONG US status or to recognize some other ALL-STARS from your communities. We need at least 18 to have two starting line-ups, and 5 people who leave comments to this post will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of A GLOVE OF THEIR OWN courtesy of Todd Civin and Bob Saloman.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



To say I am ecstatic about the response I have received from my first blog entry would be an understatement. As I write this, we are at 39 comments and counting! Thank you to all who contributed to the “Twitter Favorite Baseball Moment Challenge” and to those who passed my link on to others. The link even landed in the hands of Wisconsin Governor Candidate Mark Neumann who tweeted (Dang, I told myself I wasn’t going to use those Twitter expressions!) me the following message: “@StrongWisconsin One of my all-time favorites was Dale Sveum's Easter shot: .”

Our favorite baseball experiences are fascinating snippets into defining moments of our lives. Often times these moments stick with us close enough to replay in our heads like an ESPN highlight. These memories make us feel something deeply; they take us back to important times in our lives; they’re shared with loved ones, some who may no longer be with us. Some baseball moments seem to slow us down, which we like since we can all attest that every year seems to go by just a little bit faster than the last. However, some of the best baseball memories were spent with happy strangers nudging us to share the same grandstand elbow rest. Whoever you played out your favorite baseball moments with, you were united with them as you all experienced the same thrills of the games.

Keep dusting off your favorite baseball experience memories and replay them in your minds like an ESPN Plays of the Week montage. Please continue to tweet the memories to The tweets so far have been very exciting! I must say, the idea of someday compiling a more detailed account of these recollections would make for an outstanding book project.

Please continue to spread the word about this blog and my memoir. Email this link, re-tweet, Facebook, or simply share the old-fashioned way, word-of-mouth.

(SIDENOTE: If you do not Twitter, simply share your memories with the comments below by clicking on the pencil icon. Also, feel free to share more than one response in order to provide more details.)

Best wishes,

Joel Katte

Saturday, July 18, 2009

TWITTERing baseball experiences


Okay, it’s hard to believe a 32 year-old man who listens to audio books on cassette tapes during his morning commute and who transfers home videos onto VHS tapes is starting a blog, but I am. And away we go …

“Look, Mom! No hands!”

With a little help from my friends, I imagine in a few weeks I might even be able to create podcasts and E-Books. So far about the only thing I figured out is how to TWITTER. It seems every time I pick up a newspaper or watch the news there's a story that is somehow tied to Twitter. I admit at first the name "Twitter" turned me off. In a Ralphie-like "You'll shoot your eye out" voice from the film CHRISTMAS STORY, my psyche warned "Don't do it; you'll Twitter your life away." Nonetheless, I gave it a go, and I'm glad I did.

I have connected with some pretty interesting and extraordinary people. (Don't worry, I'm not one of those guys who would have written "Tweeple" but the fact that I had to replace "people" with my first choice "tweeple," plus the fact that I am admitting this on my blog is rather concerning.)

I will start this blog with a Twitter challenge. (Don't worry I'm not selling anything and no prizes although I'd be happy to give some out if I can scrounge some up.) A few parts of my memoir COUNTY STADIUM KID describe some of my favorite experiences attending Milwaukee Brewers games as a child. Therefore, I am challenging you to “Tweet” (Dang, “write” lost out!) one of your favorite baseball experiences in 140 characters or less. Please feel free to post your responses on this blog, but be sure to send to @joelkatte at so that we can see that indeed you pulled off your description in 140 characters without having to count each character.

I look forward to reading about your experiences. Who knows, I might ask you to feature your recollections in an upcoming book. (Of course, we will be sure to use more than 140 character to fully capture the essence of your baseball experiences.)

Thanks for reading! (Sorry for all the parenthesis. I don’t know what happened. I promise I won’t use this many in my future posts.)

Best wishes,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baseball Memoir Coming Soon!

My name is Joel Katte, and my new baseball memoir THE COUNTY STADIUM KID will be available soon.

Thank you for reading.