Monday, September 26, 2016

Coaches Center Part 11: 1999 Topps #498 Rick Williams Coach

Rick Williams never made it to the Majors as a player, but he did as a pitching coach. Rick, who is the son of Hall of Fame Manager Dick Williams, was the pitching coach for the Florida Marlins from 1995 to 1996. After his time in Florida, he became the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their first season in 1998. He held the position until the end of the 2000 season.

Rick doesn't appear on any Topps cards, so he needs ones in the 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2001 sets. This custom for his first year with the Rays knocks out his 1999 Topps card.

Our softball team lost again tonight, 15-5. I went 1-2 at the plate, hitting a bloop single in between third base and the pitcher in my first At-Bat. I got to second when the next hitter singled, but was thrown out on a close play to 3rd on the next play. In my 2nd At-Bat, I hit lefthanded (I normally hit righty, but we had a runner on 1st, and I wanted to pull the ball towards first so I could try to at least advance the runner). I fouled off 2 pitches, so I was in the hole 1 ball and 2 strikes with no fouls left. The pitch came in and looked a tad high, and inside, and I froze and decided not to swing. The pitch nicked the corner of the plate, and the ump called me out on strikes. It may have been a ball, and the ump didn't give very distinct strike calls, so I was unsure if I was out or still alive for a second. A few of my teammates thought the pitch was a ball, but the ump didn't, and I am no longer batting 1.000. I still haven't scored a run, and have only come to bat once with a runner on base. Clearly we need to hit better.
I also played an inning in Right Field. A lefty came up in the 1st Inning, and hit it to me. I started drifting back towards the fence, and the ball kept carrying and I couldn't see it very well in the lights, and it went over my head a few feet. Don't know if I could've caught it if I ran faster, but it did allow a run to score. That was the only inning I played the field, and I was ok with that. We needed our best guys out there. A few guys made some nice catches, but we also had some close calls that were missed, and ended up giving up a Grand Slam because of 2 of them.

My wife and I are both off tomorrow, and I hope to pack the last of our stuff tomorrow afternoon and evening, maybe give the dogs a bath, and load up our van with as many boxes as will fit. That way, late Wednesday when the house finally closes, we can get right to dropping boxes off, and maybe even getting the U-Haul and starting on furniture. If not, Thursday and Friday will hopefully have enough time to do that.  We also have a 3-D ultrasound on Wednesday, and I'm excited to see what our first son will look like hopefully. We toured the hospital where my wife will give birth today, and it seemed pretty nice. Not exactly what I expected, but what do I know, I'm not a doctor or anything.
On a kind of sad note, I'm sure all of you know that Arnold Palmer passed away on Sunday. The hospital we will be delivering at is Winnie Palmer Hospital, and Arnold Palmer Hospital is right next to it. It was kind of eerie going there and knowing that the person who the main part is named after passed away yesterday. I expected to see flags at half mass, and maybe something about it on the random TV screens that we passed by, but for some reason, we didn't see anything. I didn't see any flags, and I'm sure they were half mast. Maybe the hospital didn't want to dwell on the sadness that Arnold had passed and were trying to keep it low key. It is sad to see such a legend go, and also sad to see a young life like Jose Fernandez snatched away too quickly. You never know when your last day is, so don't hesitate to be at peace with your Maker and be at peace with those in your lives.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

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