Oct 29, 2012

Early Sixties Mets Pitcher: Grover Powell (1963)

Grover David Powell was born October 10th 1940 in Sayre, Pennsylvania. The five foot ten left handed pitcher attended the University of Pennsylvania getting signed by the New York Mets in 1962. Powell went 2-6 in the New York Penn League in 1962 getting pushed up to AAA Syracuse right away. There he also went 2-6 with a 5.9 ERA. In 1963 he started out in the Carolina League at A Ball Raleigh getting near .500 at 5-6 with a solid 3.07 ERA.

It was all the Mets needed to see, giving him a chance on a bad ball club with a poor staff. Powell debuted on July 13th pitching one inning of relief in a 11-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Polo Grounds. He would make nine relief appearances & pitch well enough to earn a start. On August 20th he started the first game of a double header in Philadelphia and surprised everyone with an incredible four hit shutout, striking out six.

He was given another start on August 27th in Pittsburgh, pitching five shutout innings matching frames with the Pirates Bob Friend. He was relieved by Galen Cisco who took the heartbreaking 2-1 loss. On September 5th Powell was knocked out of the game in the 3rd inning as the Cardinals scored four runs on him, he was credited with a 9-0 loss. Powell made twenty appearances on the year going 1-1 with a 2.72 ERA striking out 39 batters in 49 innings pitched.

He had the pleasure of wearing the uniform number 41, four years before Tom Seaver ended anyone else's chance of ever using it. He is forever imortalized on a 1964 Topps baseball card with the Mets.

Powell suffered through injuries and pitched sparingly over the next three years in the minor leagues. He pitched in the minors through 1970 going 30-47 in 172 games.

Retirement: In 1966 he returned to Penn. University & got a degree in economics. At the young of age just 44 he passed away after a battle with leukemia in 1985 at Raleigh North Carolina.

Oct 15, 2012

Brief Mid Sixties Met: Lou Klimchock (1966)

Louis Stephen Klimchock was born on October 15, 1939 in Hostettler, Pennsylvania. The left hand hitting infielder would get signed out of high school as an amatuer free agent in 1957 by the Kansas City A’s.

At eighteen he made his debut playing in two games as the youngest player in the league. He spent four seasons in Kansas City with a couple of team mates who went on to be great managers, Dick Williams & Whitey Herzog. Klimchock was a career reserve player who saw action at third base, second base, outfield & one game at catcher. He won two batting titles hitting over .330 twice in the minor leagues. He also hit 19 HRs three different seasons in the minor but never carried that power over into the majors.

He moved on to the Milwaukee Braves for four seasons, spending a brief time in Washington with the Senators in 1963 as well. He spent the first part of the 1965 season with the Braves but was sent to the New York Mets in September as the player to be named later in the Billy Cowan deal. Klimchock got a chance with the 1966 Mets in April, seeing action in just five games going 0-5 with three strike outs as a pinch hitter. He played 120 games for the 1966 AAA Jacksonville Suns with future Mets Tom Seaver, Tug McGraw, Bud Harrelson & Ken Boswell. He hit 11 HRs with 20 doubles & 52 RBIs but only batted .230.

In October he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Floyd Weaver who would never play for the Mets at the big league level. Klimchock played three seasons in Cleveland having his best year in 1969 batting .287 with career highs in at bats (258) games (90) hits (74) HRs (6) doubles (13) & RBIs (26). After the 1970 season he finished his career at AAA Denver in 1971.

In a 12 season career he batted .232 with 155 hits 13 HRs 21 doubles 3 triples & 69 RBIs. He would also struggle defensively at the major league level, making 15 errors in 159 chances at third base (.906 %).

Retirement: Klimchock is currently the president for the Arizona Major League Alumni. The group promotes the game to kids with former major leaguers through community activities.

Oct 11, 2012

Led Zeppelin-Nightwish & the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour


Led Zeppelin reunited for a press conference this week to announce the release of a film of their 2007 reunion show in honor of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. The film Celebration Day will be released in theaters & on DVD this month. Zeppelin said "NO" to any chances of their being any kind of Zeppelin reunion tour or anything of the like. They seemed to be annoyed or even aggravated at any mention of a reunion.
Understandably the press can be annoying, especially with people asking questions who don't know what Zeppelin was or meant to a generation. But as far as the way Zeppelin (mainly Plant) seems to handle this kind of excitement over a reunion, is getting kind of old. I think it's better that they don't try to reunite becacuse I don't think they would be able to pull it off, especially with Robert Plant's voice. I thing the main reason they don't do it is because they know there is no way Plant could pull of any of his old singing.

His solo career has been successful in its own way, but he has never gotten back to anything like he was in Zeppelin. If he wasn't Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin I would totally dismiss anything he did solo. I am not sure if Jimmy Page can still play like he use to either & can Jason Bonham really be his dad on tour? I am a big Led Zeppelin fan grom back in those old days, don't get me wrong. And I admire them for not carrying on after the death of John Bonham, after all there was only one Bonzo. But as a music fan & one who frequents concerts I think they owe to the fans to go out & tour.
The Who have done it without Keith Moon, without  John Entwistle and have been sucessful. Yes there is something missing but if certain band members destroy their lives why should others as well as the fans be denied. If the Who stopped in 1978 would they still be as popular & as legendary today?
Same goes for the likes of Aerosmith. They have carried on & still do today, no their upcoming album in November may not be as good as what they put out in the late seventies but it will keep the Aerosmith legend going. I for one paid a ridiculous amount of money for great seats at their upcoming Madison Square Garden show. I just saw Heart last week, they are as strong as they ever were. I am going to see Crosby Stills & Nash next week. & the Who in December.
If Led Zeppelin reunited I would pay a lot (and I mean a lot) to be at the show, in a good seat. So would many of the old fans.

These groups keep coming & giving us fans the music. They may not be as young as they & they may have to make adjustments to do what they have to. But if Led Zeppelin does not want to commit to this, I think it hurts their legend. I find myself listening to less Zeppelin than I use to. The fact that they have an attitude when asked about a reunion, just turns me off.

Nightwish: After my review of Nightwish at the Beacon Theater a few weeks ago, I was devastated to find out that singer Annette Olzen is no longer in the band. In the midst of their United States tour Annette is out of the band & replaced by singer Floor Jansen. All I can say is I am so glad I got to see Nightwish with Annette at the helm.
I think Nightwish are one of the best bands in the world right now but the fact that they lost their to lead singers in the past six years is something that stands out. Whats the story?? No matter how great a band is, their lead singers are not only the voice of the band but the image as well. Nightwish cannot expect to just refilling this role. I am very upset about the departure of Annette Olzen.

Beatles: Beatles have officially re-released their 1967 Magical Mystery Tour movie on DVD / Blue Ray & in select movie theaters this week on John Lennon's 72nd birthday. Not to sound negative on everything posted today but Magical Mystery Tour was certainly not the greatest movie the Beatles made nor was it the greatest thing they did during that period. The new packaging doesn't give too much new stuff that we haven't heard or seen. Like Paul McCartney said where else can you see a video for I Am the Walrus, beyond that the movie doesn't offer too much.
Besides diehard fans like myself already have the movie on video, DVD and anything else that been availabe over the years. Where is Let it Be on film with hours upon hours of unreleased material??? Again die hard like myself have the movie on visdeo/ DVd but would love more on an official release. How about the Beatles at Shea stadium??? when????

By the way Ringo goes out on tour all the time, and he was a Beatle. The fans (myself included) will keep going to see him. Paul McCartney frequently goes out as well to keep the music alive & the Beatles music will never die no matter what. Hey Zep, get the idea?

looking forward to the new Aerosmith album, sounds good from the tiny bits I heard...............

Oct 9, 2012

Former Mets Outfielder: Jason Pridie (2011)

Jason Orville Pridie was born October 9th, 1983 in Phoenix Arizona. The six foot one left hand hitting outfielder was drafted out of high school by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the second round in 2002. He spent six years in the minors, getting drafted away by the Minesota Twins but was then sent back to Tampa.

In November 2007 he was Traded by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays along with Brendan Harris and Delmon Young to the Minnesota Twins for Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza. That season he hit .303 with 17 HRs in the minors between AA & AAA. He got a September call up playing in ten games going hitless in four at bats.

In 2009 he spent the year at AAA Rochester hitting 13 HRs batting .270 getting a chance to play in one game at the major league level. He was placed on waivers & picked up by The New York Mets in February 2010. Pridie got a chance to play for the Mets when centerfielder Angel Pagan went down with injury in 2011.

Pridie debuted on Aprill22nd going 0-3 in a 4-1 Mets win over Arizona. The next day he got his first Mets hit & then on April 24th he hit a three run HR leading the Mets to an 8-4 win. On May 6th with the Mets down 3-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field, Pridie hit a three run HR off Hiroki Kuroda leading the Mets to a 6-3 win.

He managed to squeeze himself into 101 games for Terry Collins Mets batting .231 with 48 hits 4 HRs 11 doubles 3 triples 20 RBIs & a .309 on base %.

In the outfield he played 75 games making two assists posting a .984 fielding %. He was opted to AAA Buffalo at the end of the season but chose free agency & signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

During Spring Training 2012 he was found guilty of violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention Treatment Program, getting suspended for 50 games. He saw action in nine games with the Phillies in July batting .300 (3-10). He hit a three run HR on July 8th in a game against the Atlanta Braves although the Phillies lost 4-3.

He was sent back down to AAA when many of the teams injured players returned.

Family: Pridie is married to former Arizona State professional softball player Bianca Cruz. Since her playing days she has become a successful model.

Oct 4, 2012

Concert Review: Heart at The Beacon Theater- New York City 10/3/12


There is a lot going on with Heart these days, their latest album Fanatic was released this week, a biography of their lives also just came out in a spectacular book, all fans must have.
The audio book; Kicking & Screaming: A Story of Heart Soul & Rock & Roll, is even more special since it is narrated by Ann & Nancy themselves, as well as former band members & important figures in their lives as well. They just recently got a star on Hollywood Boulevard & for what its worth, were elected to the so called Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This week began another leg of their 2012 Tour, landing in the New York area for four shows this week with the first stop in Manhattan at the Beacon Theater.

Nancy Wilson is looking as beautiful as she ever has.
I have been a fan of hers since the 1970's, as she & Stevie Nicks were my female rock goddesses. I will never forget seeing Heart at Radio City Music Hall in 1985, as she walked up the ledge on the side of the concert hall playing her guitar. I was lucky enough to meet her backstage at the Bottom Line during her acoustic show in the late 1990's, thanks to DJ Darren Devivo. Putting aside her beauty that I admire, she is one hell of a guitarist in which I have share another love for her musical abilities.
On stage as well as on record, Her guitar work always so underrated is fantastic. She is in the fore front, carrying all the songs with the band following behind her, a true band leader if you will. Her vocals are as sweet &  soft as ever, incredible melodies that lay behind Ann's strong voice. He lead vocals on These Dreams as soft as ever & lead on the new song Walking Good is almost destined to be a Heart classic. 
 
Ann Wilson has the most powerful female singing voice in rock & roll. Possibly the most powerful female vocalist since Janis Joplin. The only other female rock singer as great is Stevie Nicks but it's a completely different style of singing. Ann sings the old classics with the same power she had as a young singer, now maybe even better since she's a better singer than when she started.
She makes the transitions to the eighties ballads like What About Love & slower tunes with the same kind of power. There as a melodic yet still powerful flow to songs like Dog & Butterfly & of course Alone. Alone has become a Heart mega live classic, mainly due to the incredible vocals Ann Wilson belts out. Its a moment where you  just stop, and watch how talented an artist is, almost bringing tears to your eyes, as crazy as that sounds. As I have been a Heart fan since the beginning, it was Ann's voice (as well as Stevie Nicks) that warmed me with female vocals in the rock world, usually dominated by men in those days.

If there were any complaints with the show, it was too short. I timed it around am a hour & forty minutes. Since they are promoting a new album, they played a lot of new songs; five to be exact. The new songs are good; they are hard, bluesy rock & roll. It's a great album, in my opinion much better than the two previous releases (Jupiter's Darling &  Red Velvet Car). Some of the more lighter tunes remind me of the Heartmongers projst they did in the late nineties, which I thought was fantastic.
 
The songs are good live & are a great promotion for the new album. I was prepared, an immediate download & devouring myself in the new album since Tuesdays release. After seeing Heart so many times, it's also nice to see the versatility of the new songs. But although not realistic, another hour of classics would have been great. But I guess you have to satisfy with keeping them wanting more!!!!

A special mention for the other band members, who certainly get unnoticed in the background of The Wilson Sisters. With the band since 2004 are Craig Bartock on lead guitar & Debbie Shair on keyboards & backing vocals.

Ben Smith has been on drums since 1998 with the exception of 1999-2001. The new bass player is Dan Rothchild. As a band these folks were tight & a perfect support for the Wilsons.
It was a great show, Heart never disappoints, definitely one of my favorites & certainly one of the most underrated bands of all time. Ann & Nancy rock!

 
 
Beacon Theater- Fanatic Tour: Set List

Fanatic

Heartless

What About Love

59 Crunch

Mashallah

Even It Up

Straight On

Dog & Butterfly

Walking Good

These Dreams

Alone

Dear Old America

Crazy On You

Barracuda

encore:

Magic Man

Misty Mountain Hop
 
 

Oct 3, 2012

Former Seventies Italian / American Player: Bob Coluccio (1973-1978)

Robert Pasquali Coluccio was born to Italian immigrants on October 2, 1951 in Centralia Washington. The five foot eleven right hand hitting outfielder starred in two sports getting offered both college football & baseball contracts. In 1969 he chose baseball signing with his home state baseball team the Seattle Pilots in their only year of existence.

Coluccio hit .277 at A ball Clinton in 1970. In 1971 he went between A & AA ball but only hit .214. The Pilots moved to Milwaukee by 1973 & Coluccio beat out a young Gorman Thomas for their regular outfielder position in his rookie season. Coluccio was a speedy outfielder labeled “The Macaroni Pony” by the Brewers announcers. He only hit .224 but hit 15 HRs showing the most power he had until that point of his career. He also hit 21 doubles & drove in 58 runs.

The next year he played in a few more games but got fewer at bats and his numbers fell off. He hit six HRs with 18 doubles & 31 RBIs. His 1975 baseball card showed him looking at a called strike, although it was a kool action shot. That year he was traded to the Chicago White Sox and only hit .205 overall in 83 games. He missed all of the bicentennial year playing at AAA Iowa batting .244.

In 1977 he spent most of the years in the minors, appearing in 20 games at the major league level hitting .270. He was released by the White Sox & got picked up by the Houston Astros but was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals by 1978. He went 0-4 for the Cardinals in 1978 before being traded to the New York Mets for Paul Siebert after the last day of the regular season.

Retirement: Unfortunately Coluccio didn't make the club. In the 1980’s he moved to Southern California and became a real estate agent in Newport Beach, California. In his five year career, he hit .220 with 241 hits 26 HRs 38 doubles 114 RBIs & a .305 on base % in 370 career games. Coluccio will always be remembered for his famous late seventies thick moustache.