Clubbies Arrival, Exclusive Look at New Uniforms!

Partial Season, Full Season and Group Tickets are available now at (405) 218-1000 or by visiting www.okcredhawks.com. Information regarding single-game ticket sales, tickets for the Bedlam Series (Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State) games and the Big XII Baseball Tournament will come out very, very soon… Stay tuned.

–J.P.

Tell Me Your History Update

A couple of posts back, I asked for your baseball stories and gave a long example of mine back in Alabama in order to jog your memory. The oral history of baseball in Oklahoma City is almost as important as the wins, losses and statistics. Without your memories, there is no connection. Without your connection, there is no love for the sport or event. Without your love for the sport or event, there is little motivation. Your stories are important and should be told.

I have had a few really great responses, and we are looking for more. Tell me your memories from old All Sports Stadium, your favorite moment, your first autograph or your first crush on a Diamond Girl. Tell me how you remember Sonny Jackson in 1965 and what stood out about him. When you were a kid Robo Niner shook your hand and took a photograph with you, or maybe when you were a kid Robo Niner’s head was scary as hell and made you cry.

Robo Niner with special guest Robo Cop.

Again, the best story just might get published in the PlayBall game program! Keep ’em coming.

Email: jp.shadrick@okcredhawks.com; Twitter: @okcredhawksjp

RedHawks Preseason Schedule

The Oklahoma City RedHawks will open the 2012 season on Thursday, April 5 at 7:05 p.m. against the Memphis Redbirds at RedHawks Field at Bricktown.

Word from Kissimmee is that the RedHawks will have team workouts in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4. Both practices are scheduled at night under the lights, giving time during the day for players to find housing. They will be closed to the public. There will be a Media Day event on Tuesday, April 3, though details are being decided.

High School Baseball Update

In the Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series, Enid defeated Pauls Valley 11-0 in the early game yesterday. In the night-cap, Yukon defeated Putnam City North 5-4 in eight innings. The Yukon winning run scored on a two-base throwing error on a ball thrown into the stands.

Group Sales Coordinator Matt Ramirez enjoying Putnam North vs. Yukon last night.

  •  Today’s schedule: Anadarko vs. Clinton, 4:00 p.m.; Timberlake vs. Pioneer, 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday’s schedule: Davenport vs. Stroud, 11:00 a.m.; Tulsa Edison vs. Beggs, 2:00 p.m.; Union City vs. Moss, 5:00 p.m.

All games in the Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series are free to the public.

“Baseball Saved Us”

Last night, before returning to catch the final two innings of Putnam North vs. Yukon, I was asked to be a part of “Math and Reading Night” at Little Axe Elementary in Norman, Oklahoma.

As unqualified as I am, I stuck to the reading side and read “Baseball Saved Us,” a Parents’ Choice Award-winning book by Ken Mochizuki.

"Baseball Saved Us" by Ken Mochizuki.

During World War II, Japanese-American families on the West Coast were moved to “War Relocation Camps” under the authority of the U.S. Army following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The United State Government said that they were afraid of Japanese loyalists in the United States, and moving everyone into camps secured the West Coast. None who were moved were found to be a threat. The U.S. did not formally apologize for these events until 1988, over 40 years after Japanese surrender. Japanese-Americans who were displaced and their heirs ultimately received over $1.6 billion in reparations.

“Baseball Saved Us” is told through the view of a Japanese-American kid during his family’s movement to desert camp. He describes the conditions as dry, hot during the day and cold at night, with frequent dust storms. They live in barracks and eat together in one room. When tensions rise in camp, the parents decide to build a baseball field to improve morale. Everyone works together for this goal, and the field is built under the constantly-watching guard in the tower, who was sporting mirror sunglasses and a high-powered rifle (similar to the “man with no eyes” in the movie “Cool Hand Luke).

The kid is a little fella, and at first struggles to succeed on the diamond. As time moves along, he improves and ends up hitting an inside the park home run to win the camp’s championship game. The guard in the guard tower even softens to the moment and gives a thumbs-up sign after he won the game.

If an inside the park home run cannot soften the steel gaze of the armed guard then nothing will. Remember Jose Altuve’s inside the park home run for Houston last year? After all, watching a little guy run all the way around the bases and beat a play at home is easily the most exciting play in baseball.

Once the family is allowed to return home, the kid is still subjected to racism as he often has to sit alone at lunchtime. But when he hits the baseball field, the kids realize that he is a ballplayer just like them and can relate to them. He ends up growing his confidence, overcoming adversity and winning friends in a difficult situation.

Keep in mind that I have never recommended books, so consult a higher authority for a true recommendation. It seems like a solid book for kindergarten through third or fourth grade. The kids that I read to last night seemed into the story, though some might have been a little young to truly grasp what was going on. The subject of racism and internment camps might be difficult to explain, so be ready for questions.

This is far from Dr. Seuss material, but “Baseball Saved Us” is a good read for kids learning about hard work, having confidence in yourself and overcoming adversity.

Clubbies

RedHawks clubhouse manager Hugh Staples and visiting clubhouse manager Kevin Taylor arrived at RedHawks Field at Bricktown this week in preparation for the 2012 season. New uniforms have arrived from Russell Athletic, along with new shipments of bats, balls and other items for daily use by the team. It all must be organized for distribution in the two days prior to the season after the team trickles in from Kissimmee and from the exhibition in Corpus Christi.

This is also the time that the clubbies coordinate food for the season for each homestand, as they run the kitchen in each clubhouse as well. And, yes, the washers and dryers are again up and running; they do the team laundry also. Repairs were finished on those yesterday.

Basically, these guys are like fraternity house mothers who take care of any material needs that 25-30 players might need during a baseball season. The RedHawks had over 160 individual transactions, so players are constantly coming and going. Organization is the key to flawless transitions. The foundation for that assistance begins in these next two weeks.

Pullovers, bats, jackets among equipment to organize during the clubbies' first days in OKC.

Exclusive look at the new jerseys for the 2012 season from Russell Athletic. These have not been seen by the public yet, so you are the first to place your eyes on them: alternate red, home white, batting practice navy blue and road gray.

Visiting Clubhouse Manager Kevin Taylor and RedHawks Clubhouse Manager Hugh Staples return for the 2012 season. Faces only a mother, or a ballplayer, could love.

It is Tourney Time, and yes, my bracket is already doneski. I’m still pulling for Kentucky. Go Big Blue.

Have a great week!

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