Monday, May 4, 2009

Baseball and the USO

I don't believe I have shared how much I enjoy America's favorite past-time, BASEBALL!


I'm an Oriole Fan.

I am a fan of the American League. (except for the NY Yankees; no offence,NY Readers)

John and I sat in Camden Yards when Cal Ripken, Jr. played his final game at the yard.

Hubster and I sat in Safeco Field in Seattle, when Rafael Palmeiro hit his 3000th hit(yep... a couple weeks later he met trouble named, Steroids!)

I own a BJ Surhoff baseball jersey and wear it to every game I attend (in every city).

My "Bucket List" includes watching the O's play in every AL stadium across the country. (side note, that is THE only item on my Bucket List)

Next month, Hubster and I will watch the O's squash the Phillies in their brand new stadium, sitting in seats a few rows back from home plate. (I may be in trouble on this one, since Hubster is from Philly and his brother is hosting us)

Have I mentioned.... I. Love. Baseball.

OK...back on track. This is not a post solely of my absolute and undying love of baseball, it is also regarding the USO. I learned that Tommy Lasorda visited our Troops on a recent trip with the USO. When I think of Tommy Lasorda, I think Baseball. Now granted, Mr. Lasorda met his fame by way of the National League...I can forgive him, since he did serve our country in the United States Armed Forces in 1946-1947. Please read his story here.
Mr. Lasorda, I thank you for visiting our troops!

As long as I am typing of Baseball and heroes, allow me to share the story of a gentleman by the name of Jack Lohrke. On April 29th, Mr. Lohrke passed away following a stroke. This man appeared to have escaped death at least six times by the age of 22, he became known as Lucky Lohrke.

"As a member of the 35th Infantry Division, he fought in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. On four occasions, soldiers on both sides of him were killed in combat yet he emerged unscathed.

On his way home from the war in 1945, he was bumped from a military transport plane in Ohio to make room "for some big-shot," Lohrke told The Times in 1990.

The plane crashed 45 minutes later, killing all on board.

In 1946, he was traveling with his minor-league teammates, the Spokane Indians, when he received orders during a restaurant stop to report immediately to the San Diego Padres, then a minor-league club.

Soon afterward, the bus careened off a cliff in the Cascade Mountains, killing nine of the 15 players aboard."

Mr. Lohrke, I thank you for your service. May God Bless you!


jojo said...

God Bless Mr. Lohrke...what a wonderful story!

We are HUGE Red Sox fans here but have to tip our hats to our home town team the Mariners. I love seeing a game at Safeco. Our bucket list wish is to see a game in all the A.L. stadiums minus the Yanks...maybe we'll see you there someday...;D

Kanani said...

I love Tommy. Always have. He lives nearby. Also, Robin Williams who did 4 tours with the USO recently had heart surgery. We're thinking of him as well and hope he comes back.

AirmanMom said...

jojo...Safeco is a great arena, we were there early enough to watch the ceiling open. BJ Surhoff was warming up and tossed me a ball from the field...amazing day!
It would be great to meet you at a game one day!

AirmanMom said... prayers are lifted for Robin William's recovery, it's always good to hear of people doing good deeds for our troops!

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Lasorda is a pretty awesome dude....
An Oriole fan??????? Why bless you darlin heart girl.
My Atlanta Braves are my heart. I've watched them all of my life. I watched them with my darling grandmother who raise me even when she was in a nursing home for her final days.
Left you some love on my blog today dear lady :)
And it is YOU who is a blessing to ME my friend. Thank you sor that kind comment. You're the tops gal.....

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Sarge Charlie said...

I just had a feeling there is something special about you, Orioles Baseball, how many times did I see Frank Robinson in horizontal to the ground catching that hot ball down the 3rd base line. I was there to watch Jim Palmer pitch and the “Baby Birds” come up form the minors, “Eddy, Eddy” Who was the guy in the upper deck 1st base side that led the O R I O L E S cheer.

During my 26 years in the army I was stationed a Aberdeen Proving Grounds three times, starting in 1967. We bought our first house in Edgewood, Md. I love the birds. I have not been to Camden Yard but that is on my too-do list.

Sarge Charlie said...

Sucks, I know you know I ment Brooks Robinson...... I was there for Frank Robinson also, Earl Weaver could kick more dirt that any manager

coffeypot said...

I gave up on baseball when they went on strike. I have not been to a game or watched one on TV sine, but I use to be a Braves fan and I worked for the minor league team in the 60’s, the Atlanta Crackers, a farm team for the Milwaukee Braves (one year for the LA Dodgers). I did not know about Tommy Lasorda being a veteran, but I should have. Lucky Lohrke truly earned his nick-name.

I recomend you to look up the actor Charles Durning, a Ranger who hit the beach in Normandy on D-Day. He has three purple hearts, was captured by the Germans at the battle of the bulge and was one of the men who escaped the murder of the American prisoners by the Germans (the sceen in the Great Escape). He only talks about his experience, which is rarely, in the third person. He, too, is one of my heroes. God I love our vets and loathe those who put them down.

Maybe when ALL the players who were active when they went on strike are out of baseball I might go back. I actually prefer watching the minor league teams better, though. They are not as perfect and is more like the baseball I use to play.

AirmanMom said...

rg...thanks for the love at your blog, so kind of you! BJ Surhoff played for Atlanta in 2000...I remember crying while watching he news conference. Fortunately (for me) he returned to Baltimore for the remainder of his career.

AirmanMom said...

sarge...I watched a game last year at Cal Ripken's Stadium in Aberdeen (Aberdeen IronBirds). You MUST let me know when you plan to attend a game at the Yard! Camden Yards is an awesome stadium, Ripken's stadium is a miniature version...very nicely done!

AirmanMom said...'s all good, I knew what you meant!

AirmanMom said...

coffeypot...I understand where you are coming from regarding the strike, it was a dark time for baseball. I will say, I have been to a ton of minor league games and find them to be a lot of fun. I used to coach my oldest son's tee ball team, when he was just a little guy and it was a blast! Nothing like teaching children to play baseball! Which hand the mitt goes on and the proper direction to run around the bases...great memories!
I'll check out the book you mentioned...I've actually toyed with the idea of doing a blog book group. Do you think it could work? I was thinking of inviting readers to read a book, then designate a post full of comments/discussion. Just tossing it around in my head(figuring out the logistics). Right now I am reading the book, 'Long Time Passing' by Susan Galleymore. I also picked up the book you mentioned before, "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" Please give me some feedback on this idea!

coffeypot said...

As long as it isn't a chick book like a Harlequin Romance I'm willing to give it a try. It's funny but right now I am reading four books. One in the bathroom, White Fang by Jack London, that I read a page or two (depending on the flow of movement), one I take with me when I go to the Waffle House, Chancellorsville by Ernest Furgurson, US Grant's autobiography, and my Western history and Civil War magazines - not to mention the bogs. So I guess I could work in another one for the group - as long as it isn’t like homework. Email me with any instructions.

Just Be Real said...

Airmon, loved ths story! Thank you for sharing, and what a great many T.L. is! Enjoyed this post! Blessings.

AirmanMom said...

coffeypot...I thank you for the positive feedback on this idea! Until work settles down a bit, I won't be able to commit to this venture...Perhaps the first of July? I'll keep you posted.
Fear not, chick books will NOT be on our reading list...unless you truly wish to discuss the Twilight series; what did you think of Edward? ;)

AirmanMom said...

JBR...I was pleasantly surprised to learn that TL served our nation! It is so good to read of 'celebs' doing good things for our troops! In my eye, the true men and women to look up to, are our soldiers!!! I personally, would rather shake the hand of a soldier, than a 'star" any day of the week!