“I’ve tried to work hard. Not trying to show anybody up or do something spectacular for attention.”

Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay pitched in the Major Leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays (1998-2009) and the Philadelphia Phillies (2010-2013). Halladay is one of six pitchers to win the Cy Young award in both Major Leagues (2003 A.L., 2010 N.L.). Roy Halladay was the Toronto Blue Jays first round selection in Major League Baseball’s 1995 Amateur Draft. Halladay reached the Major Leagues in 1998; became an eight-time All-Star and won 20 games in a season on three occasions. Roy Halladay died on November 7, 2017, when the plane he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Roy Halladay was a terrific pitcher, a great competitor, a fine man, and I feel he earned his way into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. After more than a year in the Major Leagues, Roy Halladay struggled so much that not only did he go back to the Minor Leagues, but he had to go all the way back to Class A Ball. With the help of Mel Queen, Halladay made some major adjustments to his style of pitching. He dropped his arm angle a bit (over the top to three quarters) and that gave him some deception. His four-seam fastball was straight so he changed to a two-seam fastball, which gave his ball sink. With those changes, in a few years Halladay became a great pitcher. He threw a perfect game and then pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the Post-Season in 2010.

Roy Halladay was such a fine competitor that he led his League in complete games on seven occasions. Halladay was so dedicated to his craft that he attributed a lot of his confidence to preparation. Roy Halladay was giving of his time and dedicated himself to helping underprivileged children. Halladay won over 200 games, died much too young, and always will be remembered for what he stood for both on and off the field.

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“To go what I went through in NY, made me a better player and better person.”
Justin Turner

Justin Turner is the 32 year-old third baseman of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Turner attended Cal State Fullerton and was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. Turner was traded from the Reds to the Baltimore Orioles. Turner has played in the Major Leagues with the Orioles, New York Mets, and Dodgers. Justin Turner became an All-Star for the first time in 2017.

Justin Turner’s rise to stardom is a great story! He has gone from utility man to All-Star to Post Season hero. Turner was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 National League Championship Series. Justin Turner held his own with the Mets, but they released him. Turner met Marlon Byrd at the end of Turner’s final season (2013) with the Mets. Their conversations helped change Turner’s career! Byrd pushed Turner to change his approach to hitting. Turner ultimately “bought in” and added a leg kick, lowered his hands, and started to drive the ball instead of just trying to make contact. Turner got more “loft” into his swing and the results were incredible! Turner, who never had doubledigit home run totals, has hit 16, 27, and 21 home runs the last three seasons! Launch angle!
A. It’s never too late to change your approach.
B. If you are having some success (Turner was a Major League player for several years) be open minded on how you can improve.
C. There’s no substitute for hard work, provided you are working smart! Justin Turner has a great work ethic and is now a star!

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“It feels good to get 200 hits, but I just want to help my team win.”
Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve is the Houston Astros second baseman. Altuve is 27 years old and in 2017 he made the All Star team for the fifth time. Altuve won his third batting title this season. He also led the American League in hits for the fourth consecutive season. Altuve has won a Gold Glove and is a three-time Silver Slugger award winner. The American League MVP will be announced in the next few weeks, and Altuve is a strong candidate to win it. Jose Altuve also has led the American League in stolen bases on two occasions.

Jose Altuve is 5’6″ tall and the size of his heart is incredible! Altuve is from Venezuela and teams shied away from signing him because he is so small. Finally, the Houston Astros gave him $15,000 to sign with them. Once Jose Altuve signed a professional contract there was no stopping him! Altuve is the shortest active player in Major League Baseball and he is one of the game’s best players. Jose Altuve has added power to his game; he has hit more than 20 home runs in each of the last two seasons. He started off the 2017 Post Season by belting three home runs in Game One of the Divisional Series vs. Boston.  Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto stood 5’6″. The lesson here is that in Baseball you can still succeed even if you are a little guy.

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Cradle of Coaches

“There is nothing like Miami, nothing like the Cradle of Coaches.”
John Harbaugh

Bob Kurz,Newhouse was the Sports Information Director at Miami University, coined the phrase “Cradle of Coaches” in 1959. Miami University then unofficially was known as the, “Cradle of Coaches” until 2012 when it was officially trademarked.

The number of college and professional football coaches with roots to Miami University is incredible! Some of these men played football at Miami; some were assistant coaches there; and others were the head coach at Miami and then went on to more prestigious jobs. Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh played at Miami and was recently inducted into the Cradle of Coaches and given a statue in his honor. Paul Brown was one of the greatest football coaches of all-time; not only did he attend Miami University, but he also succeeded Weeb Ewbank at quarterback there. Ewbank led the Baltimore Colts to two NFL titles and was the New York Jets Head Coach when they defeated the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl.

Among the “greats” who coached at Miami and then had a great deal of success elsewhere, was Sid Gillman. Gillman popularized the “deep downfield pass”. I well remember that from his days of coaching the San Diego Chargers of the AFL.

Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian and Bo Schembechler are three of the greatest College Football Coaches of all-time. All three were the head coach at Miami before moving on to bigger programs. John Pont coached at Miami and then led Indiana University to its only Rose Bowl appearance (1968) There are others, too. A tip of the cap to not only Miami University but also to the great State of Ohio for its rich football heritage.

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“A good coach makes his players see what they can be, rather than what they are.”
Ara Parseghian

Ara Parseghian recently passed away at age 94. Ara Parseghian was the head football coach at Miami (five seasons), Northwestern (eight seasons) and Notre Dame (11 seasons). Parseghian led Notre Dame to National Championships in 1966 and 1973. Ara Parseghian was inducted into the College football Hall of Fame in 1980. He retired from coaching at age 51 and then embarked on a broadcasting career.

Ara Parseghian was a great man and an outstanding coach! At Miami, the cradle of coaches, Ara had success and raised his profile Nationally. Ara then went to Northwestern at age 32 and brought the Wildcats back to respectability. Notre Dame was Parseghian’s next stop and he returned the Fighting Irish to prominence!  Ara Parseghian was fiercely determined and also paid great attention to details. Another of Ara’s strengths was that he moved players to other positions where they flourished. One example was he moved Jack Snow from running back to wide receiver. Parseghian gave Quarterback John Huarte an opportunity, and Huarte went on to win the Heisman Trophy.

Ara Parseghian was a “down to earth” guy whose Notre Dame teams never lost consecutive games during his tenure. I met Ara at a Notre Dame game in South Bend that he was broadcasting. I spoke to him at length and Ara could not have been nicer.

When Ara Parseghian got the Notre Dame job, he realized he had to reinstill confidence in his players. He did just that and as Jack Snow said, “He made us believe in ourselves.” The “Era of Ara” ended after the 1974 season when Parseghian resigned saying, “He was physically exhausted and emotionally drained.” Ara Parseghian started the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation in 1974. Three of his grandchildren died of Niemann-Pick disease. Ara Parseghian will be missed.

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“You go through stretches where you get lucky hits.”
Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger is in his rookie season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bellinger was taken out of high school (Chandler, Arizona) by the Dodgers in the fourth round of Baseball’s Amateur Draft in 2013. In 2007, Cody Bellinger played in the Little League World Series. Cody’s father, Clay, was a utility player in the Major Leagues and played on a couple of World Championship New York Yankee teams. Cody Bellinger rose through the Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League System very quickly and got to the Major Leagues in late April of 2017, at age 21.

Cody Bellinger was being very modest when he made this statement about getting lucky hits! Cody Bellinger is the Dodgers answer to Aaron Judge! Both are rookies, All-Stars and MVP candidates. Bellinger, who turned 22 on July 13, is three years younger than Judge. Bellinger was promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City to the Dodgers on April 25th and has been “tearing up” Major League pitching. He belted nine homers in May and became the first rookie ever to hit 10 home runs in a stretch of 10 games! Bellinger already has five multi-homer games and has hit more than 20 home runs this season. Cody Bellinger runs well but when you hit home runs you trot around the bases! It is a joy to watch Cody Bellinger swing the bat. He has terrific wrists and an explosive swing. Whether it is Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve, and many others, it is great to see so many excellent, young players in Major League Baseball!

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6,000 Games!

On Friday, I will be privileged to broadcast my 6,000th Indianapolis Indians game! it has been a labor of love! My thanks to the Indians and to all the wonderful people I have met along the way!

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