Hello everyone,

Everyone knows me as a musician, but on this blog I want to talk about a different part of my life. Baseball has been a huge part of my life for many years. I of course played as a youngster growing up, and I played a lot in  many hot leagues over the years including the Caribe league in the Bronx NY which has had a huge amount of incredible hispanic players come through it over the years.

When my son Miles was 9 years old he said to me he wanted to play baseball well, so I put up a batting cage in my back yard in Riverdale, and I told him I would help him become a great ball player if he promised to practice hard, work hard in school , and to use the 3000 dollar batting cage I put up for him daily. As it turns out that cage became a hub for many young ballplayers around the neighborhood who would show up on my doorstep at 3:15pm after school daily. They were mostly my son’s friends and fellow players.

That year I sent my son to the Mickey Owen Baseball School that I knew about as it is one of the premiere BB schools in the country with many hot college coaches, and current pro ball players, and managers teaching there. It was there that the manager of the camp realized that I had extensive experience with the game, and that I had the ability to be a good teacher of throwing, and hitting mechanics. After a long talk with  I ended up bartering my services as a coach and instructor on the next 4 summers, and winter ball in Florida so my son could attend the school without me having to pay for it. Actually he went free and I got a small salary and all expenses paid. At Mickey Owen I worked along side of Steve Henderson(Hondo Henderson), Dave Trembley (Manager of Orioles for the last 3 years, and AAA Manager of the year several times), Steve (Doc) Watson, and many other incredible baseball guys. Anyway I learned an awful lot of drills and information about BB mechanics from all these players, as well as mastering the Mickey Owen style of running a BB camp. After 5 years of this I was asked to run the older division of the Columbia University summer BB camp in New York. I did that for 7 years and eventually started my own BB camp in Riverdale NY which has been running pretty well for the last 7 years. WIth my music committments it has been a bit difficult to manage it all in the last few years as my music career has gotten more demanding, but it’s still running in the summer for 6 weeks. We have turned out many great young players who have gone on to play high school and college ball. My son Miles after growing up playing over 100 games a year competitively from age 9-14 then got recruited by the Bayside Yankees at the recommendation of a current major league player and friend of ours named Pedro Alvarez. Pedro played for several years with my son on the Horace Mann High School varsity BB team in New York. Currently Pedro is playing 3rd base for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the major leagues(6.6 million dollar signing bonus). After an additional 140 games a year from age 14-18 my son entered Occidental College in Pasadena CA as a catcher and on a full scholarship. He played 1200 or so games before entering college. He was well prepared and had interest from all the biggest academic universities in the country. Harvard, Dartmouth, Wesleyan etc. It all worked out great for him as  player athletes who have 2100 on the SAT’S and throw the ball 83-85 MHP are in great demand, as there are not too many kids who have the grades, #’s, plus play ball well. He is a physics major , and going on to be an engineer.

These days for several reasons I umpire for the BUA(Bronx Umpires Association) when I am available. The reasons I continue to be active as an umpire is I flat out love the game. I go out and make a few bucks working for the kids, and I lose a little weight squatting 500 times in a double header behind the dish, and in Little League games run to 1rst base trailing the runner to get a better look at the play. I try really hard to get it right. Yesterday I did a doubleheader that really wore me out. The 2nd game went 2 extra innings and I’ll tell you my legs are hurting today. At 53 it is a great work out for me.

As it turns out there are several musicians I know and or have heard of that played BB in a serious way. Gus Tsillus the vibes player was a AAA pitcher, and several other guys I’ve heard of. Not a common mix BB and Music, but it does happen.

Anyway “I LOVE THIS GAME”!!!!!!!!