Tagged: Prince William Cannons

HALL OF NAME

As long as we’re talking about voting, please allow me to vent here.

The Potomac Nationals Hall of Fame has just announced its latest inductee, thanks to a month-long online vote by the FANS … and it’s … drumroll please … Magglio Ordonez.

Yes, the Magglio Ordonez who hit a robust .238 for the club back in 1995 is the latest in a list of proud members of the PNHoF, which also includes such former Prince William/Potomac/Alexandria luminaries as Barry Bonds (71 games there in 1985), Bobby Bonilla (hit .256 there in 1983), Jorge Posada (.259 there in 1993) and who could forget Prince William/Potomac superstar legend Albert Pujols who played 21 games there in 2000 …

21 games, people! That doesn’t qualify you for a team’s Hall of Fame. It barely qualifies you for the team’s Cup of Coffee.

The other members of the PNHoF are pitcher Andy Pettitte, outfielder Bernie Williams and team owner Art Silber. With the exception of Silber, the criteria is pretty obvious. Find the biggest names to ever don the uniform, no matter for how brief a time, and call them Hall of Famers.

I know it’s a “fan vote” online but I’d love to know how many of the fans voting went to games back in the late 1980s and early 1990s and even saw the other guys play (among them J.T. Snow, Brad Ausmus and Alan Mills).

I understand that obviously one wants to promote the big names to show the kind of talent that passed through on their way up. But true longtime fans of the teams should also appreciate the tiny handful of truly impact players who may not have achieved the same lasting fame once they made it to the Majors, but left the biggest impression when they were there.

So maybe I’m being overly snitty here but having been the Prince William Cannons beat writer from 1989-1991 (with a few weeks early in 1992 before I moved on to USA Today/Baseball Weekly), I have a few HUGE issues with this whole concept.

Frankly, I think that any Prince William/Potomac/Alexandria/Whatever Hall of Fame that does not include either pitcher Alan Mills or third baseman Hensley Meulens is bogus.

In the history of the franchise, the club has won exactly one Carolina League championship (and in an eight-team league that’s not a very good percentage). This title came in 1989, my first year as the team’s beat writer, and I can tell you without hesitation that were it not for Alan Mills, who joined the team as its closer in the second half, the Potomac Nationals would be heading into the playoffs this weekend looking for its first-ever championship.

When I moved down to Virginia from New York City to take the job, it was already two years after Meulens had hit .300 with 28 homers, 103 RBIs and 14 steals for the Prince William club. I can say without reservation that aside from killer numbers, “Bam Bam” was also the most popular player in club history, to the point of having a night in his honor when they raffled off the beat-up Matador he tooled around town in. He still stays in touch with friends he made among the devoted fanbase more than 20 years ago.

No Prince William Hall of Fame will ever be complete until Meulens and Mills are enshrined in it. I’ll even let them keep those Bonds and Pujols guys in there. What the hell. I’m feeling generous.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

THE PRINCE AND CINDERELLA

In my last entry, I talked about my awesome daughter, her memorable Prom Night, and how proud I am of her yadda yadda yadda. And in the entry before that, writing about White Sox outfield prospect David Cook, I shared the love for “American Idol” Ruben Studdard (still, in my opinion, the BEST “American Idol” winner to date).

This morning, over my French Market coffee, I read an article in the Washington Post that I had to share here on my blog (you may have to sign in to WaPo to read it but please do … they won’t bite, they won’t keep all your personal info, and it is TOTALLY worth reading this article!). And yes, this IS all relevant …

An awesome woman in Woodbridge, Va., named Helen McCormick and her son Todd have established a “student leadership center” called The House just minutes from where my daughter was born, minutes from where I spent my first three years as a Minor League beat writer, minutes from where I lived for five years as a fledgling reporter and young mother.

The House helps teens from the area find purpose, stay in school, work with role models.

But one of the big events of The House is sponsoring and staging the annual Cinderella Ball which is a prom for kids who are not mainstream, whether physically or developmentally. The organization, through its supporters’ donations of money, goods and/or time, creates a night to remember for everyone involved.

This year’s event was May 31 at the very snazzy Willard Interncontinental, and The Man, Ruben Studdard, himself provided the live entertainment. You can read more about the event, and the organization, at their blog

I don’t know if the Carolina League’s Potomac Nationals (my old Prince William Cannons) already have an involvement with this group but if they don’t, and they plan to perhaps hold a “Cinderella Ball” Night in honor of their PRINCE glory days of yore (can I come up with a great marketing/promotion plan or what???) I hope they’ll let me know so I can attend (hint, it’s been 20 years since they won the league title in 1989). I’ll even help man the boxes for fans to bring their prom finery to donate for the 2009 Ball!!