What’s in a Name? Returning to Myrtle Beach

First of all, welcome.  This is Springtime Sunchips with Joe(l), your inside look at the musings of my head and the 2012 Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  The ‘L’ is in parenthasis for a reason, and no, it’s not because I don’t like the last letter of my name.  In fact it’s a great letter.  Without it we wouldn’t have Leprechauns or Lea Michelle and nobody would ever graduate from Loyola or Loyola Marymount.  The reason is because this blog is written by me, Joel, but named after a guy named Joe, like Mauer…you know the Twins catcher?  In fact, it’s named after him.  Here’s why — allow me to introduce an excerpt from a blog post with my previous team — the Florida State League’s Bradenton Marauders:

When the Twins came to Bradenton it was near the end of Spring Training and Joe Mauer was making his first roadtrip.  About an hour and a half prior to first pitch I meandered down to the Twinkies clubhouse to talk to Mauer about his time in the FSL.  It was for our series on big leaguers that had been in the league.  Lucky for me Joe was at one of the first lockers when you walk in so I didn’t have to go searching around in foreign territory.  As I walked up to him he had finished a sandwich a was opening a bag of Sun Chips.

“Hey Joe.  Can you talk and eat?” I asked him.  He appeared to be on the verge of saying yes when [Twins Manager Ron] Gardenhire comes from the other side of the clubhouse.

“Hey can’t we just let the man eat!” Gardenhire bellowed as he essentially chased me away.  On the way out I quickly set up to talk with Joe after the game.  In hindsight I think this would all make for a good Sun Chips commercial.

Joel's Joe Mauer Sun Chips incident helped create the name of this blog

Mauer was a really nice guy and the blog post turned out great.  So in honor of that, this blog dons Mauer’s name…sorta.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way…to the next thing.

I couldn’t be more excited to be in Myrtle Beach.  This is actually my second tour through the Carolina League, having previously served as a broadcast intern with the Salem Avalanche in 2008.  Until last week I still had the full set of commemorative cups from that season.  The Wilmington Blue Rocks one has served valiantly as my toothbrush cup for a long time now.  I also have a stuffed Mr. Celery doll, a favorite.

I have two favorite memories from that ’08 season.  The first is my Salem Avalanche staff “Sing for Your Supper” championship.  “Sing for Your Supper” was an in-between-innings promotion and once a week we used staff instead of fans to sing on the dugouts after the fourth inning.  My title was won with a rendition of Bye-Bye-Bye in the first round and NKOTB’s Summertime in the finals.  I still carry former Kinston Indians first baseman Beau Mills’ congratulations as a badge of honor.

My second favorite memory from 2008 was taking batting practice off Roger Clemens.  The Rocket’s son, Koby, was our catcher that summer and one day in August he pitched to the staff.  I got something like 5 swings.  The first whizzed by.  The third or fouth went the other way to right for a homerun…I mean single.  Okay groundout to first.  Okay dribbler in front of the plate.  Okay I struck out.  No but really I did go to right field once.

The Avalanche front office with Roger Clemens (that’s me in the red)

So now to Myrtle Beach.  Let me preface this by saying that I have terrible memories of mini-golf in this town.  The course in Broadway at the Beach was the site of my biggest collapse ever.  I lost a seven stroke lead on the last three holes to my broadcast partner, Jason Benetti.  He is now in Triple-A with the Syracuse Cheifs, however, I have taken our last two rounds of mini-golf.  I’ll try to make it three in a row next week when he visits town (he’s the voice of High Point basketball and they play Coastal Carolina).

But outside mini-golf I love Myrtle Beach.  Having worked for another team in the league, Myrtle was always the best roadtrip to take and not only because of the beach.  The attendance at BB&T Coastal Field was always great.  The atmosphere was always fun.  You always left saying, “I had fun tonight,” even as the opposing broadcaster.  While I was in Salem I also happened to have still been in college — I was an intern.  That being said, one of the things I told myself was that if I ever got the chance to work for the Pelicans going forward, I’d jump at the opportunity.  Well I did, here I am, and I couldn’t be more excited.  On another note, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans pennant I’ve had for many years now makes a lot more sense to own.  I’d bought the thing years ago because of my Atlanta Braves fandom.

So a little bit about me…First off I love broadcasting and having a conversation with fans and listeners.  I’m looking forward to joining you all this season and providing the best insight into the Pelicans I can.  For me, a broadcast at its best describes the action and what’s going on, but also who is taking part in the game and the stories behind them.  I want fans to be able to listen every night and not only know whether or not the Pelicans won or lost, but to learn something about the teams, players, places, events, themes etc that are involved in the season as well.  And it’s all done with a little bit of whit and fun.  So hopefully we’ll all have a good time this year.

Some other essentials:

  • Hometown: Clinton, NJ
  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Hits: Not Many
  • Favorite Food: Mac and Cheese
  • Favorite TV Shows: 24, Boy Meets World, Friends, New Girl, glee
  • Favorite TV Channel: Food Network, ESPN
  • Favorite Movie: Law and Order
  • Favorite Car: Hondas
  • Favorite Broadway Show: Rent
  • Favorite Shape: Circle
  • Favorite Walk-Out Song: Barbara Streisand by Duck Sauce
  • Favorite Non-Baseball Sport: Lacrosse
  • Favorite Animal: Pig
  • Favorite Circus Act: Clowns
  • Favorite Baseball Player: Chipper Jones
  • Favorite Minor League Baseball Player: Any Pelican….and guys I covered last season – Robbie Grossman and Jarek Cunningham
  • Favorite Radio: Top 40
  • Group That Should Have Won Season 2 of  the Sing-Off: On the Rocks

So that’s me in a nutshell.  Make sure to check back here for all sorts of behind the scenes looks and stories about the Pelicans throughout thr 2012 season.

‘Til Next Time,

-Joel

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