Saturday, September 27, 2014

Derek Jeter Tribute

Like Roy Hobbs in "The Natural" starting Robert Redford who played catch with his father on the farm as a kid and one day dreamed of being a super star baseball player, once in awhile another player comes along with that same dream. Today, that baseball player is Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter is a New York Yankee shortstop who as of today is playing in his 20th year and final season in Major League Baseball.

Ever since he was five years old, he wanted to be a New York Yankee baseball player. As a kid he often attended New York Yankee games where his passion for the sport grew and inspired him to seek a career in baseball. 

And rightfully so... Since 1995 to the present his achievements are amazing: 14x All-Star; 5x World Series champion; World Series MVP; 5x Gold Glove Award; 5x Silver Slugger Award; 2x AL Hank Aaron Award; Roberto Clemente Award; and New York Yankee captain. Need I say more?

And what better way to end a fabulous baseball career than in a tie game at Yankee Stadium, Jeter hits the game winning run.

Thank you Derek Jeter. Surely, you will be missed by baseball fans all over the world.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baseball Excitement

Nothing could excite me more than watching a good baseball game. Sitting with 35000 other baseball fans is exhilarating, not to mention seeing the players keep us on the edge of our seats with spectacular plays. And nothing is complete without a hot dog and some soda pop.

And why not? Jadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinal catcher, challenges the runners from home plate. Watching the great New York Yankee shortstop play in his last year brings tears to my eyes. Remembering that no hitter that Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giant, pitched on June 25th. Yes! Surely, there is lots of excitement at the old ball park.

Baseball has inspired me to write On The Road Again, now available on Amazon ( So when your not watching a game, just sit back in your easy chair and enjoy an exciting baseball story.

Whether you have a season pass to Busch Stadium like my friend does; enjoy a great baseball story; or are anxiously looking forward to the 2014 World Series; have a great day with your next baseball adventure.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kids Playing Baseball On Corner Lots

Last week I had one of the greatest times in my life. I was in Springfield, Illinois watching my son, Dennison, playing baseball on a little league team. It was fun to watch him pitch and later in the game play third base and yes, for a ten year old, he did a good job of getting the ball across the diamond to first.

Watching all those boys having fun throwing and hitting baseballs around reminded me of the good old days back when I was a kid many years go. Gee whiz, do I feel ancient.

 Little League baseball made me think about the movie Sandlot in which I recently wrote a book review for on Amazon that goes like this:

How I long for the good old days, when as a kid, I could play baseball with my friends and a tattered baseball and splintered bat. Yes! In blue jeans, sport shirt, and tennis shoes, I could play baseball all day to my heart's contend.

Now, like those good old days, a new group of kids, including three girls have ascended on the Sandlot. New challenges faced the kids with a descendent to that ferocious old dog named "The Beast." His name is "The Great Fear." and he lives beyond the left field wall where all the kids play baseball. It's a great sequel to Sandlot, the original movie.

Wow! So here it is, another action-packed, exciting, funny, intriguing baseball story for kids of all ages to see. I encourage everybody to watch it, I give it five stars, and I'm Marvin P. Ferguson, author of BOYS ON THE GOLD COAST.   


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Success: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinal Catcher

Like Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinal catcher, success comes with discipline and hard work. And that's a good thing to think about.

In today's age people often get stuck on entitlement. It's a mindset thing. They sit in their easy chair and wait for success to fall into their lap. In short, put nothing into something and you get nothing out.

Yadier Molina has a deep passion to be the best baseball player he could possibly be. And the rest of the story is history. Today, baseball fans have one of the greatest St. Louis Cardinal catcher's of all time. 

The moral to the story is you can be whatever you want to be. Just get motivated. Roll up your sleeves and go to work.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Holyt Wilhelm and The Knuckleball

Holyt Wilhelm was a major league pitcher who played on several prestigious teams during his long baseball career. Such teams included the New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians,  Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and more...

During his career he had an incredible pitching record, mostly in relief. He ranked 37th in saves, and carried throughout his pitching tenure the lowest earned run average (ERA) of 2.52 of any other pitcher.

In 1985 he was elected into the Baseball Hall of fame. Congratulations, Holyt Wilhelm. His statistics were impressive and the title is well deserved.

Holyt Wilhelm is best known for his Knuckleball. It's a pitch that not too many other pitches can attribute to their name today. His Knuckleball provided him with a long career in the baseball arena.

As a relief pitcher he holds the record for 124 wins. He is the first pitcher to save 200 games in his career.

I'll never forget the day I was sitting in Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois watching a White Sox game. In the 7th inning Holyt Wilhelm was brought into the game. However, before play could be resumed, Sherm Lollar, the White Sox catcher, hustled over to the home team dugout to get a special oversize catcher's mitt.  The Knuckleball always fluttered over home plate like a butterfly, and that made it difficult to catch. 

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, I can still recall Pop, Gold Coast Tigers manager, teaching Darrell how to throw the Knuckleball.

"The Knuckleball," he said, "is held with the tips of all four fingers touching the ball with the thumb serving as a base , thus making it look like a claw. A good Knuckleball will dip sharply at the plate when it reaches the hitter. In your delivery release the ball with a stiff wrist, giving it no snap or spin."

Just like  Tony La Russa with the St. Louis Cardinal's,  or any other great major league baseball manager, Pop led the Gold Coast Tigers to many victories using the Knuckleball along with a selection of other great pitches.  To learn more about Pop and this great success story, read Boys On The Gold Coast, now available on Amazon     

Friday, January 10, 2014

Greg Maddux Inspiring Pitcher

Greg Maddux who won four consecutive National League Cy Young Awards from 1992-95, and ranked eighth all time with 355 victories was just elected and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He got 555 of the 571 ballots cast for  97.2 %. Great! And the steroid gang is shunned. Congratulations, Greg Maddux.

Greg Maddux nicknamed "Mad Dog" and "The Professor" is best known as a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. He carries with him some impressive credentials. During his Cy Young Award reign he had a 75-29 record, a 1.98 earned run average (ERA), and allowed less than one runner per inning. In addition he is the only pitcher in MLB history to win at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons, and holds the record for most Gold Gloves with 18. And the lists of accomplishments goes on...

Greg Maddux was an inspiration to me. And after much practicing and hard work, thanks to some dear friends, I became a star pitcher on our team.

I still remember the day we played the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. I was nervous. It was my first time ever pitching before 35000 baseball fans.

When Ernie Banks stepped into the batter's box the bases were loaded. The knots in my stomach along with aching muscles didn't go away. Then, on a full count, this HOME RUN KING put the ball out of the park. My pride had just been crushed.

Playing with such baseball greats was my pride and joy. And who wouldn't jump at the chance to play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field? Probably any boy alive wished they were me.

And Greg Maddux continues to this day to be an inspiration to me. I'm Darrell McDaniel, star pitcher with the boys from the Gold Coast in Chicago. You can learn more about me in BOYS ON THE GOLD COAST, an exciting baseball story now available on Amazon.     

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good Books By The Fireplace

Today is another good day to sit by the fireplace and read a good book. And I can think of many good books to read—Grisham, Goodwin, King McCullough. You name it and the skies the limit.

John Grisham is one of my favorite authors. I've read all of his books. I can read them over and over again and never get tired of reading them.

John Grisham has a unique writing style that is easy to follow. Do you agree?

Calico Joe by John Grisham is another one of my favorite books. I'm always intrigued when the underdog succeeds. Joe Calico, baseball player, leaves the reader spellbound when he steps up to the plate and hits home runs. I love it.

Team Of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin is another good book. I learned in a recent TV interview that it took her ten years to write it. She said, "it was like having Abe Lincoln living in your house all those years. And when the book was completed it was like a big let down when he left. 

It was my privilege to get an autographed copy of her book when she was signing autograph copies in the Old Capital building in Springfield, IL during the celebration of the Lincoln Centennial. Wow! I was talking to a real live author. Hurray! 

Ever since I first saw the Chicago Cubs play ball at Wrigley Field I wanted to be a baseball player. Fate took me into a different direction later in my life even though the passion to be a Chicago Cub remained.

To compensate for my unfulfilled dream, I've been blessed to write three baseball stories now available on Amazon.

BOYS ON THE GOLD COAST has a bunch of average guys eventually playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

THE UNKNOWN BASEBALL PLAYER talks about Orville Hodge, Indiana farm boy, who is down on his luck. But able to ride above his circumstances he becomes a hero with the Cincinnati Redlegs.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN. No. This isn't country singer Willie Nelson singing a song. Instead, it's a book about a baseball success story with many hurdles to overcome along the way. A real baseball thriller. 

So what are you reading? Grisham, Goodwin, Ferguson, King, McCullough and more... You name it and the lists is endless. Cozy on up to the fire and enjoy another good book.