Gordon Rhodes Yankees
I took a trip down to Safeco Field today and was rewarded with not only a semi-sunny day and a big crowd but a decisive 6- 1 Mariners win over the visiting Oakland Athletics to win this series. Since it was Mother’s Day there are a lot of moms out with their kids enjoying the popcorn, peanuts, and baseball right here in Seattle. Of course I couldn’t help but think about my own Mom Suzanne seen in the picture above with her mother, my Grandma Leah and her sister Patsy as they too went out to the ballgame and watched their dad my Grandfather Gordon “Dusty” Rhodes play ball. Today’s post is for all you mothers out there who work year-round to raise families, support kids in various sporting activities, and be the rock for players to fall back on when the going gets tough.
But for today our Mariners looked like champs, as Joe Saunders continued his roll at Safeco Field to get the win even though he looked shaky at first against the Athletics. Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer in the first to set the tone, and as it turns out that was all the support Joe Saunders and the Mariners were going to need today even though they tacked on three more runs including a solo homer by Jason Bay in the seventh which was also his fourth dinger of the year. There isn’t much more of an American event than going to a baseball game on Mother’s Day and though it’s oftentimes awkward being a single guy around all the families and kids I thoroughly enjoyed myself down it Safeco Field today.
The Mariners get a day off tomorrow before heading to New York where the surprising Yankees have managed to put together a winning season despite the fact that a lot of their veterans are dinged up. In many ways New York is where it all started for baseball and my family as the Yankees was the team that brought my grandfather up in 1929, and my mother was born in New York City as well. As usual when the Mariners play the Yankees I root for the Mariners despite all the nostalgia involved.
The Mariners now stand a game and a half behind the Athletics in the AL West with an 18- 20 record, and our boys are playing the kind of ball we were hoping for this year, meaning competitive though perhaps not dominating the league type baseball. There was a good crowd of over 27,000 on hand today which was nice given that the Mariners are going to be on the road for much of the rest of the month and it was good to show our team that we are behind them.
In another interesting development I received an email yesterday from a distant relative that found me on the Internet due to this Mariners blog, here is what he had to say:
My name is Jeff Barker, and I think my grandfather’s sister (Louise) was Dusty’s mother. I am not much for researching family history, so here is what I know.
My father, William Barker was the son of William Barker (my grandfather). He (my grandfather) was the captain of the USS Pennsylvania, and attended a game where Dusty was with the Yankees. Apparently Dusty gave my grandfather a baseball signed by several of the Yankee players, including Babe Ruth. Other players’ signatures visible include Allen, Ruffing and Johnson which leads me to believe it was during the (early) 1932 season.
I did some online research to see about perhaps auctioning off the baseball, and ran across your blog page. If my information is correct, Dusty’s mother’s maiden name was Barker.
I hope you find this interesting and enlightening- I know I have!
Best regards, Jeff Barker..
As you can imagine I was quite excited to receive this message from Mr. Barker andhe just forwarded me his phone number so I will be calling him tonight hope to connect to reminisce about the good old days and perhaps make an offer for that baseball to complete my Dusty Rhodes collection. Baseball once again has proven why it is the Great American pastime today bringing families together to follow current teams, and sometimes even past eras of this beautiful sport. Go Mariners! Htpp://jeffsmariners.com
It has been a rough weekend for me as I attended a couple of memorials for friends of mine who passed away recently. On the way to the second one for Jack Brenner today I did manage to listen to the radio broadcast of today’s Mariners- Padres game featuring the soothing voice of young Aaron Goldsmith recently brought up from Triple A Pawtucket to call games this year with Rick Rizzs. Jack was a great baseball fan and like myself was a former jock, if he were still with us he would appreciate the photo above which includes my grandfather Gordon Rhodes in St. Petersburg Florida in the early going of spring training 1932
Life has its rhythm, birth and death, winter and eventually spring which heralds the advent of a new season of baseball our national pastime and with it the battles for jobs featuring rookies and aging veterans plays out in front of the lucky few who make the pilgrimage to Spring Training each year. As you can guess I usually root for the veterans to hang on for one more season as I gradually move into my Golden Years! So I was glad to hear that Raul Ibanez hit a three-run home run off former teammate Freddy Garcia in the first inning today in the Mariners a to three victory over the Padres. Garcia made his debut with the Mariners in 1999 when Ibanez was enjoying his first stint with the Mariners, and the old warhorse is struggling to find a home with the Padres, sadly today’s outing didn’t help his case much as he gave up five runs four of them earned and also hit a batter. But at lbanez had a good day going two for three as he like veteran Jason Bay who homered this weekend try to rekindle the magic in their swings in order to make the 25 man roster. Young right-hander Erasmo Ramirez made his first start of the spring, throwing one inning of one-hit ball; Ramirez saw limited action and only threw 15 pitches today.
Left-hander James Paxton also gave up a lone single his one inning of work in the second. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen topped out it 96 mph on the radar gun when he threw a hitless third inning. The Mariners ended up taken two of three from the Padres and will play the Angels tomorrow at 12:05 PM Peoria in a game that will feature veteran right-hander Jeremy Bonderman who hasn’t pitched since 2010 when he was with the Tigers, Bonderman is coming back from shoulder and elbow injuries and is another interesting guy to watch as he tries to make the club.
In other news apparently the Seattle Times is going to begin charging for online news beginning next month. As we all know with the advent of the Internet lots of newspapers have either gone under or like the Times begun to charge for subscriptions. It is kind of sad to watch Seattle go from a two newspaper town down to one, and now we will have to pay to read about the Mariners on Geoff Baker’s Blog. I suppose on the upside it may drive a little traffic my way to Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog, where in this case creating and publishing this blog may cost me a few bucks but it is certainly a labor of love. Thanks for the memories Jack…. Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: Aaron Goldsmith Mariners announcer, Freddy Garicia Padres, Gordon Rhodes Yankees, Historical Baseball, Jeff's Mariners Fan Blog, Raul Ibanez Home run, Seattle Times Geoff Baker, Spring 2013, Yankees St. Petersburg Spring Training
Hi Sports fans and greetings from New York City where I just returned from a day game at Yankee Stadium where the Bron Bombers prevailed 6-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays to win the series and stay on top of the tight AL East Division race on a beautiful day in the Bronx.
I know some of you are wondering what the heck this has to do with our Seattle Mariners who are down in Texas trying to win that series, well the truth is absolutely nothing….Of course the fact that I got to see A-Rod, Raul Ibanez and Ichiro play could be of interest for you die-hard Mariners fans who are still following baseball as the season winds-down and football becomes the main focus in Seattle.
Actually I’m on my way to Casablanca Morocco and decided to spend a couple of days in New York to catch a game and a few sites before heading over to the Middle east where Baseball, hot dogs and apple pie are not high on anyone’s list these days….Yikes!….
My experience today was wonderful though I think the new Yankee Stadium lacks some of the character of the old one, even though it was a pleasure to mingle with the fans and talk baseball wearing my Felix Hernandez commemorative T-shirt from his perfect game and my old-school Mariners hat as pictured above. The fans in New York have taken to Ichiro in a big way although I couldn’t get them involved in an I-CHI-RO chant when our former star came to the plate in the eighth inning outside of a handful sitting around me who were quite friendly to me as I guess the mariners are no threat to the Yankee dynasty…..go figure….
Part of the reason for my pilgrimage back to Yankee stadium was to honor my Grandfather Gordon “Dusty” Rhodes who played for the Yankees from 1929-32 as part of his eight year career in the “Show”. As you can see above I took a little photo of him with me and took this shot with the diamond in the background.Unlike in Seattle where baseball is still sort of new, the Yankees fans love tradition and history and upon hearing I was a relative of a former player my treatment by the local fans was very friendly despite my Mariners gear on!
Life is short and yo never know what could happen so I’m glad my Higher Power has allowed me to live 54 years and that baseball has been the one constant through it all. The reverence for the game and its glorious past were on full display today though sadly I wasn’t able to get into the area set aside with trophies and monuments to all the past greats despite my pleading with a young Yankees organization staffer. If you ever go make sure you come early to get into the sacred belly of Yankee stadium to see all the relics from the past.
Despite all this I’m still not sure if the Yankees are going to be my Bandwagon team for the playoffs this year or if I’m going to jump on the Oakland A’s caravan as we move into October where the real history is made. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
I took a break from the summer Olympics this morning to watch Felix Hernandez turn-in a Gold Medal performance in his brilliant 1-0 shut out of the Yankees in what looked like his best performance of the year to me. I guess I haven’t been giving the King his due on this Mariners Blog in the past so I just want to say that I agree with Mike Blowers who said that King Felix is the best in the game. And today he proved it holding the powerful Yankees lineup to only two hits by setting-up hitters, moving the ball around at will and doing it all with a composed yet commanding style.
Our Mariners needed this win after having their seven-game win streak snapped last night as they try to go .500 or better on this tough road trip. The only negative of this game was watching Brendan Ryan get plunked on the elbow in the seventh inning perhaps out of retaliation for the three Yankees (including A-Rod) we beaned here at Safeco a week or so ago. Hopefully the slick fielding Ryan will be ok and we wish him well.
But this day belonged to Felix Hernandez who has been hot lately, in his past 10 starts he has gone 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings. His ERA has dropped from 3.70 to 2.63 in that span. One has to wonder how many wins the King could put together in a season once the young hitters mature, 20? 25? ……
I’m fortunate to have been able to visit the old Yankee stadium where my Grandfather Gordon Rhodes pitched for the Yankees from 29-32 and I’m looking forward to visiting the new stadium on Sept. 16th when I’ll be in NY on business for a Rays game. I always root for the Mariners when they are playing the Yankees, but I am not one of those who hate the Yankees as I respect the organization and the way they go about things. I’m sure there will be renewed cries coming out of the East Coast media for the Mariners to trade Felix Hernandez to the Yankees after today’s stellar performance in front of almost 48,000 fans. But alas Felix Hernandez is ours and we are indeed lucky to have the King of the hill on our team as today’s Gold Medal performance proved! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
I was lucky to have an old friend call me earlier this week to see if I wanted to head down to the Safe for yesterday’s game with the Yankees. At the time neither of us knew that Ichiro would be getting traded that same day so as it turns out I was able to observe a little piece of history which I shared with you above in what quite possibly was the last time Ichiro Suzuki would play at Safeco field in any uniform.
As usual the Mariners couldn’t put together any offense yesterday and lost 5-2 in front of a lively crowd on a beautiful sunny afternoon. As I scanned the Mariners lineup yesterday minus Ichiro, I was stunned with the sheer magnitude of the youth-movement that somehow didn’t seem so obvious with Ichiro out there every day. Our lineup was also a stark contrast to the first-place Yankees veteran-packed lineup filled with future Hall of Famers including Ichiro now.
I also mentioned to my friend how any one of the Yankees starters would be a much-needed addition in the middle of our order as I suddenly realized that our whole lineup lacked anyone that could qualify as a slugger or someone the opposing side needed to pitch around.
It was actually more comforting to see the familiar faces of Jeter and the gang out there than our awkward and gangly youths trying to act as if they belonged on the same field as Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Ichiro and Mark Teixeira. So it looks like we are back to square one of this franchise 35 years after we started, with only a band of young unproven players to show for it and no World Series. I kinda wish I could have gotten my fandom traded to the Yankees along with Ichiro, but even though my grandfather Gordon Rhodes came up with the Yankees in 1929 I can’t seem to root for them when they are playing our guys. I will however be in Yankees stadium on Sept. 16th and it may be a different story then! http://jeffsmariners.com