Friday, July 15, 2011

ESPN’s E:60 Features Yankees Star Curtis Granderson

July 15, 2011

ESPN’s E:60 Features Yankees Star Curtis Granderson   

ESPN's award-winning primetime newsmagazine E:60 will feature a heartwarming story involving New York Yankees star Curtis Granderson in the episode airing Tuesday, July 19, at 7 p.m. ET.

Granderson could get away with living the bling lifestyle – after all, he’s got a loud contract on the proudest team in baseball. But that’s not who Granderson is. Exemplifying this, as E:60’s Rachel Nichols discovered, is his bond with the family of Brian Bluhm, a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan who was gunned down in the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.
Launched in October 2007, ESPN’s E:60 combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent meetings.

A preview clip of the Granderson feature can be viewed here.

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Media Contact:  Andy Hall

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Metropolitan Collegiate Summer Baseball of Illinois to Host First-Ever All Star Game on July 17, 2011

On Sunday, July 17th the MCSBI (Metropolitan Collegiate Summer Baseball of Illinois) will host our first ever All-Star Game at Trout Park in Elgin, IL.  The game is comprised of 5 players from each of the 8 teams in the league (3 position players & 2 pitchers).

These players are the future of the game and deserve to play in front of a large crowd on that evening.  There is no admission fee, and the quality of baseball will be top notch.  The official rosters will be posted on Friday morning at

This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a ball game with family or friends at an awesome venue on a summer night.

In addition, we are also trying to reach out to as many professional baseball scouts as we can to evaluate at the event, so if you are one (or know of one) please be in attendance on that night.

For more information, please contact Nelson Gord at:

Professionally in baseball,

-Nelson Gord

Tuesday, July 5, 2011



2011 American League All-Star Game Starting Lineup
First Base:                 Adrian Gonzalez
Second Base:            Robinson Cano
Shortstop:                 Asdrubal Cabrera

Third Base:               Alex Rodriguez
Catcher:                    Alex Avila
Outfield:                   Jose Bautista
Curtis Granderson

Oufield:                    Jacoby Ellsbury

DH:                           David Ortiz

2011 American League Midseason Awards
MVP:                         Adrian Gonzalez.
Cy Young:                 Justin Verlander
Rookie:                      Michael Pineda
Manager:                    Manny Acta

2011 National League All-Star Game Starting Lineup:
First Base:                  Prince Fielder
Second Base:             Rickie Weeks
Shortstop:                  Jose Reyes
Third Base:                Placido Polanco
Catcher:                     Brian McCann                              
Outfield:                    Lance Berkman
Outfield:                    Ryan Braun
Outfield:                    Matt Kemp  

2011 National League Midseason Awards
MVP:                         Prince Fielder
Cy Young:                 Roy Halladay
Rookie                       Craig Kimbrel
Manager:                    Kirk Gibson

Howard Cole
Director, IBWAA

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 1939 -- ALS, Lou Gehrig and Me

July 4, 1939 -- ALS, Lou Gehrig and Me

By Fay Vincent

On July 4, 1939, at Yankee Stadium, before a full house, Lou Gehrig stood in front of a microphone and announced he was “the luckiest man alive.” His somber teammates were lined up behind their captain and stellar first baseman. One of them, Tommy Henrich told me Gehrig had not planned to speak but changed his mind and broke the hearts of all who heard him. Henrich never forgot seeing Babe Ruth crying openly when he came over to hug Lou after the brief talk.
Just a few months earlier Gehrig had been forced to break his remarkable record of consecutive games when his powerful frame began to fail. His speech is still well known as the defining act of a remarkable baseball legend. Gehrig’s talk was emotional because everyone knew he was seriously ill—fans were told he had a form of “polio”-- and though his disease was then not as well understood as it is today, the public and his teammates knew he was not ever going to play again.
When he died a few years later, the disease-- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-- was named and is still known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” Ever since then, baseball and that debilitating disease have been closely linked.]
My school classmate and friend Franz Opper was born on that Fourth of July in 1939 and many years later, in the midst of a busy career in Washington as an official at the SEC and on the staff of Congress, he learned he had ALS.
He and his wife Barbara stoutly confronted the illness and for many years Franz kept up a lively correspondence with me in which his letters never betrayed his declining health. When I was elected baseball Commissioner the letters took on a baseball flavor as Franz began to give me baseball advice. The letters were fun to read, full of wit and wry comments. And then came one with a serious request.
Franz asked me to try to arrange for him to come to Yankee Stadium for one final baseball game. He and Barbara knew their request was a challenge in light of what had become by then his complete disability. He was totally inert on a respirator unable to move any part of his body. He could only blink. He was able to communicate as his nurse help up the alphabet and pointed to the letters in turn until he blinked at the one he wanted to use to spell out a word. His letters were the product of determined and tedious effort.
I agreed to try to help and turned to George Steinbrenner the owner of the Yankees for assistance. And here comes a story about George that is witness to his generosity to those with acute needs. When I explained what Franz had asked and the many complexities the Yankees organization and I would have to face if we were to proceed, George was immediately supportive. “It is not going to be easy for us and him,” he responded, “ but we will help all we can.”
That was all I needed and with the deft cooperation of the Yankees, we brought Franz to a final game at the Stadium. His bed had to be tilted so he could see the field from the owner’s office Steinbrenner had made available but somehow we managed. The logistics effort was considerable but the touching letter I later received from Franz made it all worthwhile.
When I called George to thank him, he shrugged off my profuse appreciation –“I am glad it worked out for him.” I had the sense he was a bit embarrassed by letting me see his gentle side. This was not as well-known as the tough guy side. But I never forgot what he had made possible for my friend Franz.
Not long after the baseball visit, Franz died. He had endured many years of total paralysis, but never lost his good cheer.
It is impossible not to think of Franz when I see a tape of that memorable Gehrig speech at Yankee Stadium on the day he was born.
Interestingly, George Steinbrenner was born on the fourth of July as well.
It is often said baseball brings generations together. In baseball, Franz, George and I came together briefly. On this Fourth of July I will remember them and Gehrig and ALS. Presinding from the poet-- Life like baseball is a series of tragedies separated by times of sheer joy.
Fay Vincent is a former CEO of Columbia Pictures Industries and from 1989-92 served as the Commissioner of Baseball.

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