Uncle Charlie Yakker's Baseball Rants

A look into the mind of baseball fanatic.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Billy Boyer, Mark Trumbo, Stephen Marek

Today, along with two of my personal autograph hounds (15 year old son and 11 year old daughter), I went to the Orem Owlz batting practice.

The pitchers and catchers take the field about 2:30 pm, while the rest of the players filter in over the next 30 minutes. They work out pretty much until the game starts at 7:05.

We sat on the grass berm, even with third base bag down the left field line. As the guys filtered down to the bullpen, my daughter commented on how young the players are these days. Though this is not her first game, I remember saying that the first time I saw the Padres in 1986, one of my first games. I explained that many of these guys are just out of high school.

Sitting on a green plastic chair in the bullpen was #18, Stephen Marek. Immediately we went over to speak with him. He was very friendly and polite. I think its great when I get a chance to talk to ballplayers who don't have that "big league" attitude. I told Marek about FutureAngels.com and how there are mamy chattering on the internet about his recent signing. He seemed very happy about that, didn't react as if he was our "savior". He just smiled and continued the small talk. I asked him to sign a couple of baseballs. He promptly put his name onto the sweet spot of both Official Pioneer League baseballs.

After that I waited for Billy Boyer, to come out of the clubhouse. We talked for a second and I congratulated him on his hit for the CYCLE in the second game of the season. He said that he had just watched the feat on FutureAngels.com. That's a great compliment to Stephen, the owner of the site! Just then, I heard coach Kotchman in the growling in the background. I told Billy that we'd see him another day and then we let him go before the coach growled at him for chirping with the fans and not concentrating on baseball. Boyer commented that the coach was not too scary, just a coach.

The next player I really wanted to see came out into the afternoon air. Mark Trumbo, a big, strong first-baseman, slid his lumber into the wooden box in the corner of the dugout then sat down on the dugout bench. A few minutes later he grabbed his mit came up the stairs. We called him over and asked for a couple signatures. He obliged and chatted with the me and the kids for about 5 minutes. We wished him luck and praised him on the two homers the night before. I told him that after that performance, I had to get his auto quick because he may not be here much longer. He smiled and said that he's very young and doesn't expect that "they" would move him anytime soon. I don't consider myself a great judge of talent, but through the early part of the season, it's as if he's a man among boys.

He won't be here too much longer.

Good luck Owlz! Thanks for the treat. Days like this will be long remembered.