Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This past week, I had the opportunity to meet Cleveland Indians legend LEN BARKER. I met him at the HANK AARON dinner in Solon. Not only was it a pleasure to hear INDIANS broadcaster TOM HAMILTON interview AARON, it was cool being able to talk with LEN for a minute. He's clearly a nice guy who enjoys meeting fans.

BARKER threw his PERFECT GAME on May 15, 1981 in a 3-0 win over Toronto. Instantly, he became part of an elite group of baseball pitchers. He will always be a bright spot in Cleveland sports history.

NOTE: The format for the evening included a one-on-one sit-down interview with TOM HAMILTON and HANK AARON. In that conversation, it was interesting to learn how AARON looked at his homerun chase as a rough time in his life. As a black man challenging for the HR title, he faced death threats in a very hostile environment. He often would spend his non-baseball time in his hotel room. He said that time was very tough on him and his family. He also reminded us that during his time as a player, he had to spend the off-season doing another job just to make a living. The salaries today vs back then are
much bigger. AARON says that today's athlete needs to use their down time doing more to give back to their communities. It truly was a gift to spend an evening listening to a baseball legend and meeting another.

No comments: