Monthly Archives: January 2018

Hilton Magic

Tonight the Ankeny Kramers’ season-long “We love basketball” tour brought us to Hilton Coliseum for Iowa State vs West Virginia men.

The Cyclones pulled off the upset 93 to 77. We had a blast.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 31, 2018 in Uncategorized


Time to update my Dodger games

It’s always fun to read through this and remember the good times we had watching the Bums. ūüôā

1989: Dad, Mom, Dan and I attended. Dodgers lost to Cubs at Wrigley Field. Highlights were Eddie Murray’s home run and seeing Fernando pitch a bullpen session before the game.

1997: Dad, brother Steve and I went to County Stadium in Milwaukee to see the Dodgers lose to the Brewers. Highlight: Before the game , I went down to the Dodger dugout and asked third-base coach Joe Amalfitano if Mike Piazza was going to be in the lineup. Joe responded: “He better be. Or else I’m going home.”

2000: Dad and I watched three Dodger-Brewer games in Milwaukee. Dodgers won the first two and lost the third one. Highlight was just being with my Dad all that time.

2001: Brother Tom and I went to Dodger Stadium. Dodgers beat the Angels in walk-off fashion. Highlight: I got a Kirk Gibson bobblehead doll, but someone stole Tom’s (no joke).

2001: I went to a game by myself after Tom went back to Phoenix. The Dodgers beat the Rangers. Highlight: Had great seats about 30 rows behind the plate and toured L.A. Times building with my buddy Jay after the game.

2004: Buddy Al and I went to Dodger Stadium and saw the Dodgers beat the Cubs. Highlight: Alex Cora’s 18-pitch at-bat, which ended with a home run off Matt Clement.

2005: Jill and I attended two games at Kansas City. The Dodgers lost both. Highlight: Throwing back a couple of beverages after the game with a sportswriter from one of the Los Angeles newspapers.

2006: Jill and I saw three Dodger games in Minnesota (all losses). Dad, Mom, Dan, Steve, Carie and Joseph also attended, so I guess the highlight was being around family for all that time.

2006: Jill and I took the Amtrak to Denver to watch the Dodgers sweep the Rockies in the season’s final week. Highlight: Sitting in the second row behind the Dodger dugout for the series finale (Jill cozied up to one of the Coors Field ushers, and he set us up). James Loney gave Jill a game ball.

2007: Jill and I saw the second and third games of the year at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Dodgers lost the first and won the second. Highlight: We stayed in the Dodgers’ team hotel and briefly spoke to Vin Scully and several players.

2007: Jill and I flew to L.A. to watch an entire series with the Cardinals. Dodgers took two of three. Highlight: After the first game, which the Cardinals won, we ran into St. Louis general manager Walt Jocketty. I said, “Hi Walt. … Jill, this is Walt Jocketty, the Cardinals’ GM.” Jill then responded, “Oh, nice to meet you. Good game!”

2008: Two games at spring training, Vero Beach, Fla. I think the Dodgers lost both, but I can’t remember. Highlight: I briefly spoke to Tommy Lasorda and got his autograph.

2012: Lost 10-0 to the Rockies as Jill, Maisa, Gramma and Grampa¬†joined me at Coors Field. Highlight: Maisa’s¬†first game. She received a ball from Dodger infielder Juan Uribe during batting practice.

2013: The Dodgers lost to the Brewers 5-2 at Miller Park before winning 9-2 the next day. Jill and I attended the games with Mom, Dan, Steve, uncle Hub and aunt Doris, cousin Molly and her husband Matt and son Eric.

2014: Jill, Maisa, Gramma, Grampa and I attended two games in Kansas City. Clayton Kershaw pitched a gem in the first game, a 2-0 win. Then the Dodgers won 5-4 in the series finale after A.J. Ellis took a based-loaded hit-by-pitch. Scott Van Slyke saved our bacon in the bottom of the ninth with a nifty spear of a line drive that turned into a game-ending double play.

2017: Jill, Maisa, Gramma, Grampa and I saw the Bums lose in Phoenix, then split a pair of games in Los Angeles. The Saturday night game was the loudest I’ve ever screamed at a Dodger game after Corey Seager plated three runs with a hit and a come-from-behind victory.

Dodgers’ record when I’m in attendance: 15-14 (I’m not counting the spring training games) … 6-3 at Dodger Stadium, 9-11 elsewhere

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


Happy to pay a little more for something better

I sure wish they would have raised everybody’s taxes by 10 or 20 cents to pay for a bigger gym at Ankeny Centennial.

Tonight we attended the basketball doubleheader there, and all the fans were packed in like sardines. It’s ridiculous.

A town this size (60,000+) should have a much larger facility. This is Ankeny, for goodness sake, not Monticello.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 27, 2018 in Uncategorized



I recently stumbled upon this baseball card on the internet. Brought back a lot of memories.

John Ackerman grew up in Cassville, Wis., near Dubuque. He pitched in the minor leagues for a few years and then joined the Farley Hawks.

Screenshot 2018-01-25 at 9.54.23 PM

John Ackerman played in the San Francisco Giants’ minor-league system.

Ack instantly turned Farley into one of the nation’s top semi-pro teams. He was a dominant force from 1986 till about 1990.

In 1987, Ack won 20 games and lost once. Farley finished the year with a 50-5 record, winning practically every tournament in eastern Iowa.

(A wise man once told me that the Farley Hawks considered playing in the national tournament in those years but decided against it because the event coincided with the Dyersville Tournament, which they considered more prestigious).

Ack threw extremely hard and mixed in a nasty breaking pitch. He also had a swagger that made him pretty intimidating; he knew he was the best player on the field. (He was a hell of a hitter for Farley, too, typically batting fourth or fifth in the lineup).

Watching a player of that caliber compete for my hometown team was a real thrill for me as a kid. I’ll never forget how Ack would mow down the opposing batters night after night.

The night that changed it all for me was the championship of the 1986 Dyersville Tournament. Ack was fresh out of the minors and completely overmatched the other team’s hitters on a hot and steamy Saturday in Dyersville. I remember Dad saying to me: “This new guy is striking out everyone tonight.” Ack was named MVP of the tournament in front of a huge crowd. I’ve been hooked on the Farley Hawks ever since.

Once Ack arrived on the scene, the Hawks had everything they needed to play winning baseball all summer long.

  • Catcher/manager Paul Scherrman was a former professional player, a feared hitter and the smartest baseball man in Dubuque County.
  • Marty Till was the best defensive first baseman I’ve ever seen and a powerful home run threat.
  • Wise, old Loras Simon was probably the second smartest baseball man in Dubuque County and as clutch a hitter as you could find.
  • Scott Harris was a line-drive machine who cared about one thing and one thing only: winning.
  • Dean Steffen caught everything in the outfield and was the area’s best leadoff hitter.
  • Terry Steffen hit 30 homers in that magical 1987 season.
  • Paul Boffeli was an excellent No. 2 starting pitcher and usually was assigned the semifinal game in tournaments, setting up Ack for the final.

My goodness, what a team. It was a great time to be a baseball-loving kid in Farley.


Leave a comment

Posted by on January 25, 2018 in Uncategorized


Wednesday morning

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 24, 2018 in Uncategorized


America needs journalists

Former sports doctor Larry Nassar likely still would be sexually assaulting girls if not for the work of an Indiana newspaper that helped to expose the abuse, a Michigan prosecutor said Wednesday.

The Indianapolis Star is owned by Gannett, the same company that owns the Des Moines Register.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 24, 2018 in Uncategorized


Videos from the Divas’ fifth straight win

The shots were falling today and Maisa finished with six baskets. Here are two of them (the second one was a heave that even Maisa admitted was a lucky shot).

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Uncategorized