Podcast Stockton versus California Rays

originally published on Podcast Stockton, August 10, 2013

This morning, the Podcast Stockton team challenged the California Rays Beep Baseball team. The home team has a new name (they were formerly known as the Stockton Stingrays) but the result was exactly the same as every other time these two teams have squared off. In case you don't know about beep baseball, here's a brief primer: Beep baseball is an adaptive version of baseball played by athletes that are visually impaired where all players wear blindfolds.

We started off with a two-run lead in the first inning with runs from Shawn (our most consistent hitter and scorer) and me (yes, Matt actually scored a run, his first one ever). The Rays blanked out in the bottom of the first inning and we all thought this was our year!

But then, fresh off her trip to the 2013 NBBA World Series in Columbus, Georgia, team captain Jennifer Boylan connected on her second pitch and had no problem scoring.

Jennifer scored another run and Luke came out of retirement to add two runs as well. Rays rookie, Miguel, who has shown incredible skills during practice this year, scored his first run.

The final score was 2-5. But for those that have heard us talk about beep baseball before you know that is not the end of the story.

In the sixth and final inning, the Rays allowed us to hit sighted (did I mention that we play with blindfolds) . This tradition of allowing the sighted team to hit without blindfolds has yet to change the result of the game, but this year we felt different. Although our first three batters were able to connect with the ball, none were able to get to the base before being fielded out by our opponents. Shawn even knocked the BEEP out of the ball, and I'm not censoring, he literally knocked the BEEP out of the ball! They even gave us go through our entire rotation and still, none of us were able to score. Eric, who also played in the 2013 NBBA World Series, made a few putouts look easy. Jennifer and Terrence also helped ensure we'd score no more runs, and Miguel, gets his first putout!

Stay up to date on the California Rays by liking them on Facebook at facebook.com/blindbaseball.

Thank you to the California Rays for taking the field with us: Jennifer, Eric, Luke, David, Miguel, and Terrence. And thank you to the wonderful volunteers: Robert, Rosemary, Josie, Araceli, and Terrence Jr.

And thank you to the rest of our team: Manny, Greg, Missy, Rod, Shawn, Shawn Jr., and to everyone that came out and watched us.

Check out the pictures at Facebook.com/PodcastStockton.





From 26 Years to 26.2 Miles

Earlier today, my twin brother, Mike, completed The San Francisco Marathon.

For those of you that know Mike, I am going to pause there for just a second.




Mike smoked cigarettes for 26 years, two-thirds of his life. On March 13, he smoked his last one.

On his third tobacco-free day, he started feeling anxious and realized he needed something to get him through the craving, something to replace the few minutes he "used to spend with the Marlboro man".

That something was running.

After work on that third day, he wandered into the mall, purchased a pair of  running shoes and shorts. When he got home, he ventured out on his first run.

"I ran ONE MILE.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot.  I was out of breath and my legs hurt.  With that said, I certainly didn't feel like having a cigarette then.  The next morning I woke up at 5 am and ran ONE MORE MILE before work.  Yes, it still hurt, but again, it made me stop thinking about cigarettes."

From that point, Mike was hooked on running. He quickly went from running a few days a week to running nearly every day. With every additional mile, he realized he wanted more and more. His leisure 5k evening runs turned into 5 miles and then 10 miles. In just after a couple of months, he was already amassing 300-mile months. Three hundred miles in a month! As a cyclist myself, I am in awe that he is putting in those kind of miles. Running.

"It became my way to stay a non-smoker.  It then became bigger than smoking ever was."

Mike spends a lot of time on the road for work. Well, to be more precise, he spend a fair amount of time up in the air as well, but you get my point. Recently he was in Manila, just as he has been many other times. This time was different. This time he was in Manila as a non-smoker. That was new. Everyone in Manila smokes. Not Mike, not anymore. Mike runs. Recently, Mike was in Indiana and he called me late in the day. He said he went out for a run at 6 AM. It was 80 degrees and the humidity was somewhere north of 95%.

The thought of running a marathon, although seemingly an impossible feat, was something Mike started thinking of pretty early in his running days. Can I say early in his running days? It's still early in his running days. The marathon was a long-term goal. He was more focused on his first "half-mary". Yes, he quickly started speaking a new language, too.

"I ran my first half marathon in June.  It was the Pillar Point half marathon in Half Moon Bay.  Right along the coast.  It was so awesome!!  While I've never tried to be "fast", I felt great for my first half marathon.  I had no time goal set, but was able to complete it in less than 2 hours.  13.1 miles.  For me, that was quite an accomplishment.  Ok, how much below 2 hours?  Fine.  It was 20 seconds below. I finished in 1:59:40. One of the proudest personal days of my life."  

After his successful half-mary, he continued to escalate his miles. Distances quickly moved from challenging to easy; what was nearly impossible only a week or two before, became a simple warm-up. A few weeks ago we were all meeting in Manteca for an afternoon of swimming, volleyball and BBQ. He ran. To Manteca. Twenty two miles. Solo.

That was his longest run. Until today.

Mike completed The San Francisco Marathon, his first marathon, in 4:28:52.

I couldn't be prouder.

Way to go bro!

Check out the pictures I took, here.

Sadly, we missed seeing Mike cross the finish. See, Mike crossed a millisecond after the green guy crossed... and our eyes (and cameras) were fixed on him. I didn't even realize that Mike was in this shot until well after we met up him. Ooops.


Kansas City Chiefs Win The AFC West

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Today, the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West (just as the Bleacher Report predicted in May). To get into the playoffs, the Chiefs controlled their own destiny. Win the last two games of the season and they’re in. They destroyed the Tennessee Titans, and remained undefeated at home this year, and as luck would have it, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the San Diego Chargers. Since we were two games ahead of the Chargers, we took the division one week early.

I had a feeling this season was going to be special when we opened up at home against the Chargers on Monday Night Football. What a great feeling to return to MNF and man-handle San Diego the way they did!

Now, they have to beat Oakland at home next week and get ready for the playoffs. Of course, I’m already dreaming of a Chiefs-Eagles Superbowl (my twin brother is an Eagles fan).

Why I think we can do it:

1. Matt Cassel is amazing! This guy has an emergency appendectomy and returns in less than two weeks! 2. The Class of 2010 - Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Asamoah, Moeaki (didn’t we used to have another TE named Tony? I can’t remember.) 3. The running game! Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles have combined for over 2,000 rushing yards and have helped give the Chiefs the best running attack in the NFL. 4. Dwayne Bowe. With 15 TDs, this guy is a big play maker. 5. Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel

For now, number one sure looks great!

Go Chiefs!

http://www.kcchiefs.com/... http://arrowheadaddict.com/... http://espn.go.com/... http://bleacherreport.com/...

Stockton Stingrays Golf Tournament

This year, we brought 2 foursomes to the annual Stockton Stingrays golf tournament. With the Lyons closure, this year the tourney was held at Oakmoore Golf Course. The players

The Stingrays don't play golf, but they do drive the carts :-)

We took last and second-to-last place. But, with best-ball, we still did very well!

More pictures.


Beep Baseball

Today, we took the field again to challenge the Stockton Stingrays in a game of beep baseball (also known as blind baseball).

The game is similar to America's favorite pastime. All players,except the pitcher and catcher, wear blindfolds. Also, the pitcher and catcher are offensive, not defensive, players. The pitcher counts down the underhand pitch and tries to time, and place, the pitch based on the batter.

The batter gets 4 strikes and 1 ball (a non swing). If the ball is hit, they must run to toward first or third base, depending on which one starts to buzz. The batter must run and touch the base before a defensive player grabs the ball, maintaining control, and holds it away from their body.

We lost again this year. And we even hit without blindfolds during our last at-bat.

Playing against these blind athletes is amazing. Being sighted, I can't help but overly rely on my vision, so playing with blindfolds is challenging to say the least.

More pictures here.

Next time, Stingrays, next time!

National Beep Ball World Series Comes To Stockton

Thanks to the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Stockton Sports Commission headed by Don Miller, the Beep Ball World Series in being played in Stockton! This is great news for our city and we are very proud to share Stockton with the other 13 teams that have travelled from all over the US and Taiwan.

Tonight, we went to the opening ceremony at the Hilton Hotel. After an address by David Smolka, the NBBA President and Don Miller, Mayor Ann Johnston took the stage. She welcomed all of the players and thanked the Commission, CCBVI and the volunteers for helping to bring this event to Stockton. Mrs. Johnston encouraged everyone to spend some time throughout the city taking in local entertainment.

After a few more remarks by Mr. Smolka, each of the teams were introduced. Most of the teams had their own cheer but the Taiwanese team had the coolest!

To learn more about the NBBA, visit them online athttp://www.nbba.org. For more information on the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Stockton Stingrays, check out http://www.communitycenterfortheblind.org/ and read the recent article on The Record. To watch live coverage, visit The Valley Sports Network at http://valleysportsnetwork.com/

Best of luck to all the teams!

Tour of California

This morning we drove out to Davis to catch the start of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California. It was horribly windy and cold in Stockton and the weather only got worse as we got into Davis. We arrived at the Mondavi center about 10 o’clock and took the double decker bus downtown. Even though it was raining and cold, the atmosphere was great with cycling fans everywhere. I can’t believe we live this close to Davis and have never been there. There were tons of people on bikes, even a parade of people riding penny-farthings. I was really wishing I would’ve brought mine.

The girls got a chance to write chalk messages for Lance and each scored a box of yellow Livestrong chalk.


We stood in the rain for an hour and a half until the race started. Unlike when the race started in Stockton, we did not actually see any of the big named riders until they took off out of the gate.

The weather made it difficult to take many pictures although we did manage to snap a few. Check them out here.

I Do... Again

Tonight, Dawn and I renewed our wedding vows in front of thousands of screaming fans. Well, we weren’t the only ones. The Stockton Thunder and KATM 103.3 had a promotion tonight where DJ Walker, a licensed minister, performed another mass wedding on the ice after the first period. Although most were there to renew their wedding vows, there were quite a few couple actually getting married. What did we wear for this occasion? Well, I wore the same Stockton Thunder shirts I wear to every game, along with a black suit coat. Dawn wore her Thunder shirt along with a beautiful veil. We were at a hockey game getting married (again) after all.


page1_blog_entry284-picture-21 We watched the first period on TV in the large banquet room and then made our way out on to the ice. With a fight in the first couple of minutes and a 3-0 lead, the Thunder had done more than there share getting the crowd excited.

After we were re-married we went to our seats and joined the friends and family that had come out to watch us (and a hockey game).

The rest of the game did not go so well for the Thunder and we eventually lost 5-4. The Thunder remained scoreless in the second period and only scored the 4th goal on the very last second of the game.

We also tried, along with some people sitting near us, to start a wave. We never really got it going but Mike went down near the glass and got a lot of people to start doing it.

page1_blog_entry284-picture-19 Thanks to Tony, Mike, Shauna, Christian, Rachel, Emily, Makenzy, Jack, Rita, Ken, Megen, Kenny, Missy, Dad, Angela, Tom, Tom, and Justin for coming out and sharing our special night with us.

I love you Dawn!

Check out the pictures from tonight here.

Also, Ken took a video of the fight between Stockton’s Adam Huxley and Bakersfield’s Hank