Photos: Baltimore City

January 17, 2022 (Asheville, NC) — A recent visit to Baltimore for USA Lacrosse’s annual convention also provided me with an opportunity to visit of few of the many spots that give the city its depth of character and history. Above is the city’s National Katyn Memorial in the evening and below clockwise from upper left includes:

  • The National Katyn Memorial in the city’s Harbor East area, this time earlier in the day.
  • Baltimore’s Museum of Industry on the south side of the Inner Harbor.
  • The hull of the sunken Gov. R.M. McLane (1884) jutting up from the waterline, also at the city’s museum of industry.
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. acknowledging the crowd as they acknowledge him on the night of his 2,131st consecutive game. The image adorns a storage tank in South Baltimore’s Locust Point.

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Gracious Food. Southern Roots.

Tupelo Honey Three

Asheville History: Charlie Justice

Charlie Justice finds daylight while an undergrad at Chapel Hill

Asheville native Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice first received his nickname in the Navy, after he was drafted in 1943 to serve during the Second World War. While seeing him dodge a host of would-be tacklers for the Bainbridge Naval Training Center (Maryland) team, an officer commented, “He looks like a runaway train. We ought to call him “Choo Choo.”

Following the war, Justice attended the University of North Carolina although many college and professional teams competed for his talents. While at Chapel Hill from 1946-1949, UNC compiled a 39-9-2 record, went to three bowl games (Sugar Bowl 1946 and 1948, Cotton Bowl 1948) and hit #1 in the AP Top Ten in 1948, still their highest ranking to date.

Justice was named the national player of the year in 1948, was a runner-up for the Heisman trophy in both 1948 and 1949, and his legacy remains in the Tar Heels record books. He registered 4,883 total yards and had a combined 53 touchdowns ( 28 rushing, 25 passing) and also boasted a 42.6 yard punting average.

Following college, Justice played for the NFL’s Washington Redskins in 1950 and then again from 1952-1954, before retiring. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1963 and died at the age of 79 in 2003 in his home state.

Asheville Running: River Arts District

Over a decade ago, I compiled a photo history of baseball in Baltimore entitled, fittingly, Baseball in Baltimore. While doing so, I sifted through 1,000’s of picture of the Orioles and their predecessors. So while out on a recent run in Asheville’s River Arts District, I immediately recognized the painted rendering of an iconic photo of Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson making a diving catch in game three of the 1970 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

His stellar fielding helped the O’s to a series win in just five games, and prompted Reds’ manager Sparky Anderson to comment, “I’m beginning to see Brooks (Robinson) in my sleep. If I dropped a paper plate, he’d pick it up on one hop and throw me out at first.”

Asheville’s artistic take on Robinson can be found by turning from Lyman Street onto Old Lyman Street and looking left to the mural-laden warehouse as you run past.

Photos: Savannah Revisited

 

November 18, 2021 (Savannah, Ga.) After never having been to Savannah in my 55 years, chance would have it that I was there for the second time in two weeks. This time, the weather was much improved and I worked in an early run before heading back to Asheville. The challenge with running in Savannah is not stopping every 10 feet for all the spots meriting a photo.

Although both visits were short, the best locale that I found for running unimpeded by traffic was the city’s picturesque Forsyth Park (first and fourth photos), Savannah’s oldest and largest park.

 

Photos: Savannah’s Grayson Stadium

November 6, 2021 (Savannah, Ga.) — Savannah’s Grayson Stadium is one of the lesser-known architectural gems of a city replete with them. On a recent trip there to run in a planned race (that was sidelined by a N’oreaster) I ventured to the grand old ballpark originally built in 1926. As impressive as the stadium was, the nearly half-mile-long promenade of Spanish moss marking its approach in the city’s Daffin Park was its equal.

Grayson is home to the Savannah Bananas of the Coastal Plain League (CPL), a wooden bat collegiate summer league, and in 2021 captured the CPL title in the sixth year of the franchise’s history.

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Fieldhouse Report, 07.21.2021

July 21, 2021 (Asheville, N.C.) — The Tourists are 28-37 and currently in sixth place in the High-A East’s South Division. On Tuesday night, they were handed a 15-2 home loss by the visiting Hickory Crawdads who sit one game above the Tourists in the division as a result of the lopsided win.

First baseman/OF Scott Schreiber has proven the top hitter to appear in a Tourists’ uniform in 2021. The University of Nebraska product posted a .319 average, 10 homers, and 29 RBIs in the team’s first 41 games. Schreiber was then promoted to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks on July 3. The right-hander is currently batting .325 through 12 games for the Hooks.

Asheville City Soccer – The Asheville City SC men’s side finished their inaugural season in the USL2 with a 6-6-2 mark. Their 2021 campaign concluded with a 1-0 loss to Dalton Red Wolves SC on July 13 at UNCA’s Greenwood Field.

The women’s side competed in the WPSL’s Carolinas Conference and finished second in its Southern Division with a 5-1 record in their return to play in 2021 after a 2020 season sidelined by Covid-19.

The Blues’ campaign concluded with a 2-0 postseason loss to the Charlotte Eagles on July 14 in Charlotte. The outcome was a reversal of a match between the two earlier in the season, when Asheville City enjoyed one of the biggest wins in its short history when it upset the perennially strong Eagles at Greenwood Field.

UNCA assistant coach Molly Dwyer led all Blues’ scorers with three goals and an assist on the year. For Asheville City, it was their third campaign overall and in the WPSL, which continues to solidify its competitive place just below the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in women’s professional soccer in the US. (Photos: ACSC – @tatemacqueenphoto)

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Parting Shot: Swannanoa River, Warren Wilson College

Tourists Remain Home as Summer Arrives

Asheville Tourists shortstop Freudis Nova (7) throws the ball to second base during a game against the Aberdeen IronBirds on June 18. (Tony Farlow/Four Seam Images)

June 22, 2021 (Asheville, N.C.) — As the calendar officially turns to summer, the Tourists will be in town all week to host the Winston-Salem Dash (formerly of the Carolina League) starting tonight at 6:35 p.m. at McCormick Field. Asheville is coming off a six-game home series split with the Aberdeen IronBirds. The IronBirds, along with Winston-Salem and Asheville, joined the newly-created “High-A East” this spring as part of the re-organization of MiLB.

Through 41 games the Tourists are 18-23 and in sixth place in the circuit’s South Division. Winston-Salem arrives in Asheville with a 20-22 mark and 1.5 games ahead of the Tourists. Included on the roster of the Dash is leftfielder Alex Destino. Destino is a native of nearby Weaverville and was selected in the 14th round of the 2017 draft by the Dash’s parent, the Chicago White Sox. He is a career .270 hitter in the minors and has started 40 of 42 games this year for the visitors.

Fieldhouse Report, 07.14.2020

MiLB: JUN 08 South Atlantic League - Asheville Tourists at Charleston RiverDogs
Due to COVID-19, MiLB cancelled its 2020 season (photo – Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

July 14, 2020 (Asheville, N.C.) With so much uncertainty at the major league level on the resumption of play, it seemed increasingly inevitable in June that any affiliated minor league baseball season would need to be scuttled. That inevitability became a reality on June 30 when MiLB announced that it was canceling the 2020 season.

Locally, that translates into the Tourists being sidelined for the summer. In the past week, the team made the most of an empty stadium and a challenging situation when they announced the opening of McCormick’s Summer Grill at McCormick Field. Fans can enjoy the rare opportunity to eat on a minor league baseball field without dodging liners and the team will offer a portion of its ballpark menu for diners.

College Football —  Area college football (including Western Carolina, Mars Hill, and Brevard) will likely make initial decisions on the conference level as to fall play this season. Nationally, there’s been a steady stream of updates on anticipated play, including the cancellation of the Ivy League fall sports seasons. The PAC-12 and Big-10 have announced conference-only seasons, with that still subject to change. The New York Times recently ran an excellent article on the probability, or lack thereof, of college football this fall. 

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00001 Pandemic 1918
Parting Shot: Fans watch Georgia Tech football during the 1918 pandemic. (photo – Georgia Tech)

 

 

Bulldogs’ Brown Inks With Phillies

Blake Brown UNCA Asheville Bulldogs UNCA UNC Asheville
Blake Brown (photo – UNCA Athletics)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 22, 2020) — While its season ended in March, there is still good news coming from the UNCA baseball team, as senior right-hander Blake Brown signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies last Thursday. “We are very excited and happy for Blake and his family,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Scott Friedholm in a press release announcing the signing. “He has worked extremely hard over the past few years to put himself in this position. The Phillies are getting an extremely smart and competitive young man.”

Brown is the first Bulldog to sign a contract with an MLB team since pitcher Ryan Dull was selected by the Oakland A’s in the 32nd round in 2012.

The righty from Dallas, North Carolina, made four appearances in 2020, all as a starter, and posted a 1-0 record, with a 1.89 ERA. He struck out 26 and held opposing batters to a .141 average. Brown struck out a combined 17 batters in his final two starts of the shortened campaign.

Brown will strive to become the fourth Bulldog to make the bigs as a player, following Ty Wigginton, Dull, and Kevin Mattison. Former Bulldog Mike Schildt is currently the skipper of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Parting Shot: Historic Berkeley Mills Ballpark, Hendersonville (photo/T. Flynn)