Ray, Don Baylor, and Jeff

Visit with Don Baylor at Rangers/Diamonbacks’ game

Earlier posts had described our trip to see Nolan Ryan before the Texas Rangers/Arizona Diamondbacks game in June and our providing cow bones to the Arizona Diamondbacks to use to bone their bats with.  After the Rangers/Diamondbacks game, we had the chance to visit with Don Baylor, the hitting coach for the D’backs.  We were in baseball heaven to meet with two great legends of baseball and see a great baseball game.  It just does not get much better.

Frank Seale, who was Don’s high school baseball coach, along with his wife, Ann, were at the game.  We met up with them and Becky, Don’s wife, and went down to the area outside of the visiting team’s locker room.  After a bit, Don came out and greeted Thomas, Ray, and me, and we had the chance to go into the locker room to see the memorabilia room that the visiting locker room attendant has assembled over the years.  I cannot describe how many autographed baseballs, photos, bats, along with other sports memorabilia were there.  I took photos of the room so I could try to process the information, but I think it was in vain!

We ended the evening leaving the ballpark with Don and his family along with the Seales.  A gate attendant asked Don to see his rings, which were quite large and impressive.  We told everyone goodnight, wished everyone well, and went our separate ways.  What a great evening of creating lifetime memories!

Group photo

Visit with Nolan Ryan at the Texas Rangers’ game

When the Texas Rangers’ schedule was released, I checked to see if the Arizona Diamondbacks were going to be playing in Arlington this season.  I found that they were playing in June and quickly put the games on my calendar so we could see about going to see Nolan Ryan and Don Baylor of the D’backs.  I have known Nolan since the 1990s when the Nolan Ryan Beef Program was first established, and I met Don last year when we provided bones for the D’Backs to bone their bats with.

I called Charlie Bradbury, CEO of Nolan Ryan Beef, to see if he could get us a meeting with Nolan.  Charlie came through and we had the opportunity to met up with him before the game. Upon arrival at the Ballpark in Arlington, Jonathan, Kaci, and Jack, Thomas, Ray and Clayton, and I were escorted to a small room near the Media Interview room to await Nolan to show up.  After about 10 minutes are so, Nolan, his security person, and her personal assistant came into the room, visited with us, had multiple photos taken, and signed a few autographs.  I told him that I was there to visit Don Baylor, too, and told him about the boning bat story.  Nolan said that early in his career there were bones laying around in the clubhouse and dugout for the hitters to rub their bats with, but that he had not seen this in recent years.  Charlie had visited with Nolan about boning bats last year and he said that the life of a bat was too short for someone to take great interest in it.  Nolan stated that someone like Josh Hamilton went through about four bats a game by usually breaking them (Josh lost the handle on one bat at our game when it slipped from his hands and went into the stands!). By the way, Nolan was very interested in Jack and spent a lot of time talking to and about him.  I guess you can tell he is a grandfather!