Results tagged ‘ Randy Hundley ’
Former catcher Randy Hundley is a regular contributor to Vine Line, telling stories from his day in our alumni section, “Glory Days.” The following is from the September 2011 issue, as told to Jim McArdle. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Somebody that I should’ve hit better was Sandy Koufax. Being that he was a left-hander, you would think that I’d be comfortable against him, but it was a short day for me hitting against him.
His curveball was absolutely incredible, and he threw his fastball right over the top. The ball spun directly backward, and then when he threw the curveball, the ball was spinning forward. You couldn’t tell until the ball got on you whether it was spinning backward or forward.
He threw a four-seamer (fastball), but it had more of a rise to it than a tail. I remember the ﬁrst time I hit against him, I was playing for the Giants, and it was like my ﬁrst game in the big leagues. He threw a fastball. I thought it was going to be low, and I was going to be cool and take the pitch. I turn around and the umpire says, “Strike 1!” Holy cow! That ball was coming in ankle high, but it got up to my kneecap.
The next pitch looked like it was going to be over my head, and again, I take the pitch. I looked back as Johnny Roseboro caught it right down the middle: “Strike 2!” I stepped out of the box and got some dirt, and I looked at Roseboro. I said, “Mr. Roseboro, I’m in a heap of trouble. I need to ﬁnd myself a brown paper bag and make a lunch and go to work somewhere else.”
Lee Smith was puzzled when Joan Janssen needed to take a timeout from a bullpen session to grab something from her purse.
“Wait a minute,” Smith said. “I got a relief pitcher with a purse?”
Mutual interest between Cubs legends and everyday fans defined the inaugural Chicago Cubs Fantasy Camp that took place Aug. 8-9 at Wrigley Field. On the 8th, campers had signed one-day contracts with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.
Smith joined Randy Hundley, Billy Williams, Rick Sutcliffe and Ernie Banks to show 32 camp participants the basics of hitting, pitching and fielding before the campers split up into four teams and faced off tournament-style.
“There’s a lot of ability here,” Sutcliffe said. “There are some guys out here that are ready to get after it.”
Team Williams beat Team Banks 15-3 to take the day’s crown. Frank Cascella (below) was Team Williams MVP and Overall MVP.
Cascella, who moonlights as a Wrigley Field tour guide on the weekends and won his ticket from a radio show contest, was nevertheless blown away when he stepped “between the foul lines” on Monday morning.
“I didn’t want to say this to my wife, but it was up there with my kid being born for sure,” he said. “One of the best feelings ever… I had to fight back some emotion.”
The camp’s youngest player, 11-year-old Brian Brady (above with Hendry), was named the Defensive Player of the Day.
AJ Karstens, who hit the day’s only homer, was Team Banks MVP and the Long Ball Award winner. Josh Silver was Team Sutcliffe MVP while Chris Donaldson took the award for Team Smith.
Chatting with and learning from old pros was a treat for the campers.
“It feels so easy,” participant Chris Donaldson said. “The staff just makes us feel like we’re ballplayers. That’s all we could ask.”
Members of the triumphant Team Williams squad all were rewarded with bats engraved with their names. Tim Creed wrapped up his experience with a phrase uttered many times during the day: “It’s a dream come true.”