Friday, April 6, 2012
Let’s Get Ready For Some Base Ball!
Let’s get ready for some base ball!
Base ball has always had the honor of being the national game. It may be said without exaggeration that one half of the population of the USA is deeply interested in the game.
They may not have all played the game themselves, but they have played it one time or another in their youth, and they still like to see it played or to read about it.
As this writer can say, my pulse beats with wild excitement when I see the sponsor boards being put up at the Orwigsburg Little League field. As the weather starts getting warmer, I hear that wonderful sound of a bat hitting a ball.
As I anticipate the upcoming season, the newspapers start filling with the condition of the big leagues and their players. But putting that all aside, I get more excited waiting for the Little League season to open. I watch these young men and women, on the diamond, throwing and hitting as they put forth an effort reminiscent of the days when “Base ball Was A Passion.”
At last the opening of the season starts tomorrow April 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. with the playing of the national anthem and for, the next three months, we all become “Base Ball Cranks”
Manager Grace And The Boys
For the past several weeks this reporter has been observing the practice sessions of the Rohrer’s club held under the keen eye of the manager Ken Grace and his coaches Dave Kaunas, Josh Biever, Max Oswald and Mr. Shappell.
Grace has gained a reputation as a hard winning, no nonsense coach and a stickler for the basics as the game should be played. His value as a manager cannot be overestimated as may readily judged by the hitting and the fielding of the returning ball players from last year’s team.
Returning to this year’s team is Jakob Biever, Nate Dixon, Drew Grace, Seth Grube, Brent Kaunas, M.J. Oswald and Chase Weizer.
Grace is very popular with his team and always treats them courteously, although, at the same time, exacts thorough discipline from them.
Grace is reasonable as a manager, and therefore does not expect his coaches and boys to accomplish impossibilities. He is thoroughly versed in the rules of the game and is also known as a great “Kicker”. He will get his point across to any umpire and makes it his point not to “kick” unless he has a good cause.
Added to this year’s roster are five new ball players, coming up from the minors. As I watched the new boys practicing, I noticed one thing. There is not one inexperienced ball player. These boys will add a new dimension to the team and also some good hitting and fielding and they have easy meshed into the club’s spirit and enthusiasm. The upcoming ball players are: Dylan Biever, Dylan Grace, Blake Lipko, Todd Shappel and Easton Weizer.
Last evening I watched the final practice before the season opener on Saturday. What I witnessed was a “Heavy Stream Of Batting” from the club. Jake Biever, Drew Grace, and Brent Kaunas where hitting hard in to the outfield, and couple of times each of these boys hit one over the fence. Nate Dixon, also a power hitter, was driving liners out to right and left field. Newcomer Dylan Grace is also strong on the bat. Seth Grube and Chase Weizer are consistent hitters and will also add power to the batting line up.
As I watched the boys on the field, one thing for certain is they are fast. The base running by some of the boys is excellent . The number of times they had the opportunity to field grounders and make double plays were numerous. The fielding in the outfield especially by newcomers Todd Schappell, Blake Lipko and Dylan Grace was up to par.
All the players had a chance to hit and I was quite impressed by the batting demonstrated.
From what I can garner, the starting pitchers will probably be Big Jake Biever, Dylan Biever Drew Grace and Brent Kaunas. All three boys have strong arms and from what I heard manager Grace say, they will be alternated in and out while watching their pitch count. I do not know the starting line up as yet, I will have to wait and see what transpires tomorrow. Who ever manager Grace has on the mound will be experienced in throwing the ball. M.J. Oswald is one of the catchers and from what I seen of his play behind the plate, it is just like his batting excellent. The outfield will be run by Seth Grube, and up coming players Easton Weizer, Blake Lipko, Todd Shappel and Dylan Grace. All these have great ability and I was stunned by their speed.
Any of these boys can hold their own in batting, fielding and covering the out field.
Well, Cranks, I have high hopes for these boys and this upcoming season. I look forward to reporting the home opener this Saturday.