Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jam-packed July Meeting

Last night's Harrisburg Senators Fan Club meeting offered three rings of fun. No death-defying or animal acts, but lots of dugout chatter, roster moves and show-and-tell with CBS21 Sports Director, Jason Bristol.

As your elected ringleader, I called our meeting to order at 6:30. Following our traditional recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence to honor those killed in recent violence around the US, we got down to baseball.

We discussed our planned bus trips through the end of the MLB regular season, recognized our recent Eastern League Pitchers of the Week (Lucas Giolito and Tyler Mapes), and recounted Neftali Soto's huge accomplishments back in May. That's when he was named EL Player of the Week for a pair of 6-RBI games. Larry Kmetz presented Neftali with a Fan Club plaque to remember his achievement.

Neftali Soto & Larry Kmetz

Tyler Mapes celebrated his 25th birthday earlier this week by twirling a CG 4-hitter, winning 5-1, and allowing just a solo homer in Erie. He could win another league-wide award as we present his plaque for June 13-19 before Thursday's start to the homestand.

We connected the dots on a series of roster moves that ultimately got Reynaldo Lopez onto the Nats' 40-man roster and the Nationals Park mound for his Major League debut last night. The organization also made Senators roster moves, unfortunately sending two pitchers (Greg Ross and Boone Whiting) to the DL.

More celebratory news: Fan Club member and baseball historian, Ted Knorr, received the Fay Vincent MVP Award. Since Ted could be with us last evening, we recognized his accomplishments and dedication to Negro Leagues research.

As our featured guest speaker, Jason Bristol talked about his rubbing elbows with former Expos players in Montreal this spring, minor league baseball salaries, and even his baseball bucket list. (He and I share wanting to attend the Midnight Sun Game during the summer solstice in Alaska!)

CBS21 Sports Director, Jason Bristol

Jason is a great advocate for the Fan Club. He and CBS21 tweeted about his appearance, his photographer joined us for a while, and Jason mentioned us on the air both Monday and Tuesday evenings. Thank you, Jason, for always presenting initiating interesting baseball conversation and for your friendship with the members of the Senators Fan Club!

Brian Williams, President

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Missed a Good One

Whenever I have the opportunity to go to a baseball game, I go. I never know what I may miss.

We’re sorry if you missed last night’s Harrisburg Senators Fan Club meeting. Guest speaker Andrew Linker kicked his usual humor and baseball knowledge into high gear.

Of course, we recognized Andy’s recent election into the Capital Area Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. What an accomplishment!

Andrew Linker - Guest Speaker

After starting with thoughtful baseball history, Andy pulled back the curtain on his new position as official scorer at FNB Field as only he can. The stories we shared during dinner after we adjourned our meeting were just as interesting.

Thanks again to Andy Linker – a great friend of the Senators Fan Club – for sharing details about his new position in the press box! You never know what you’ll miss at a baseball game … or when Andy speaks.

Brian Williams, President

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Joan A. Prediger, 1941-2016 - Fan Club Member

Joan Amelia Dickson (Beavers) Prediger, RN was born on June 10, 1941 to Alan and Amelia Dickson in Washington, D.C. She grew up in Forestville, Maryland, graduated from Suitland High School, and received her Nursing Education at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C.

She was married to Maurice Beavers in 1961, until his death in 1990. She gave birth to Jeffrey and then to Robert. She served a combined 44 years at Georgetown University and then Sibley Hospital.

She met Walter David Prediger at a Psychology 101 class at Prince George’s Community College where Joan received a degree in English and Psychology. They were married at a Picnic Wedding on July 4, 2008. It was catered by the famous “Spot” Restaurant. It took place in their yard looking down upon the beautiful Susquehanna River. Joan was very religious, belonging first to Trinity Episcopal Church in Forestville, and eventually joining Salem United Church of Christ in Harrisburg, and then joining First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lemoyne, PA.

She certainly enjoyed living in Wormleysburg, PA for the past nine years. Joan was a member of Easter Star Chapter 61, Centennial Lodge No. 174 in Upper Marlboro, MD. She also was a hospice volunteer with Heartland Hospice in Carlisle, PA. She was also very fond of wearing hats to Church; you might say that hats were her trademark. In fact she was a member of the Red Hat Society. Her favorite passion was photography and she assembled dozens of photo-filled binders. She became a weaver of used plastic grocery bags, which were then made into "plarn" or yarn, and then crocheted into beautiful sleeping mats for the homeless. She also made handbags and pillows.

She was truly a helper to anyone who was in need. She was very proud of her two sons who became Prince George’s County Firemen. Also, her granddaughter, Brandi, who became a dental assistant, and her grandson, Joe who is still in high school. Her stepdaughter, Jennifer lives in Los Angeles, CA, and is in the independent movie business.

Joan liked dining out, Harrisburg baseball games, bird watching and was particularly fond
of her cats, Licorice and Scuder. Her favorite musical was the “Phantom of the Opera” featuring soloist Michael Crawford; and, her favorite singer was Enya.

When we left Maryland, she helped to donate a home for less fortunate known as “The House of David”, which has sheltered many people. Since she moved here, we have met numerous friends who have graced us with their presence.

She is survived by her husband, Walter David Prediger of Wormleysburg, PA; brother and sister-in-law John and Sharon Dickson of Winchester, VA; son, Jeffrey and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Beavers; son, Robert of Upper Marlboro, MD; two grandchildren, Brandi and Joseph in Upper Marlboro, MD; and daughter, Jennifer Prediger of Los Angeles, CA.

Joan was certainly a bright shining light in this troubled world. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, a check to First Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), Lemoyne, PA, for Community Outreach Programs will be greatly appreciated.
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
442 Hummel Avenue

Lemoyne, PA 17043

Saturday, April 2, 2016
Viewing at Church from 9:00 am to 10:45 am
Funeral Service 11:00
Celebration Banquet in Church Fellowship Hall
Joan will be interred at the Cheltenham Veteran’s Cemetery in Cheltenham, Maryland at a later date.

Rest in Peace, Precious Child, Sister, Mother, Wife, Nurse, Friend and Christian.

Submitted by Joan's loving husband, Dave Prediger

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Spirit, with a Side of Baseball

The Harrisburg Senators Fan Club isn't just about baseball. Every December, we forego our monthly business meeting to gather in the spirit of the season.

The 2015 Fan Club Christmas Party begins as any other. Members arriving, adding neatly wrapped presents of all sizes and shapes to our gift table. Decorative poinsettias positioned as centerpieces. Drinks and snacks act as precursors to our annual Christmas dinner.

Following grace, the first table begins to gather from the feast before us. Dinner conversation is light and festive.

Before all tables are served, there arose such a clatter. The room turned toward the entrance to see what was the matter.

Two late-arriving guests appear: Santa and Mrs. Claus, (but no tiny reindeer)!

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrival 
Not surprisingly, they came bearing gifts. The brightly dressed couple visited with every guest.

After our satisfying dinner and cake for dessert, the reindeer games began. Through bursts of laughter, we awarded prizes for the winners of the Christmas-themed crossword, Christmas movie trivia and a challenging Christmas song title-lyric match.

Our gift exchange allowed everyone to select a present from the table. Members also had the option to choose a known gift: one of the vibrant poinsettia plants. Many of the wrapped gifts (surprisingly) possess a baseball theme, which is perfectly fine for this group.

Finally, our special guests offer photos by the Christmas tree. Many attendees accept the invitation and even sit on Santa's lap.

Fan Club Vice-President Jeanne Jacobs with our special guests
I'd like to thank the Clauses for taking time to join us. We all know how busy they must be this time of year.

I also want to thank the Fan Club board for their efforts to make this event special for all of us. I tip my Senators cap to the front office attendees, Blair Jewel and Todd Matthews, while several of their workmates were traveling to the Winter Meetings.

Although we all pine for baseball to return, gathering together like this in the spirit of Christmas provides a huge booster shot in getting us through the off-season. Thanks to all who attended.

Enjoy a safe, peaceful Christmas season!

Brian Williams

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Erie Homecoming

When Christopher Bostick was drafted by Oakland, his family's opportunity to see the Rochester, NY native play immediately became limited. A few years, two trades and an Eastern League stadium less than 2.5 hours from home later, Christopher's uncle and grandmother enjoy a sun-soaked game with Christopher playing 2nd for the Harrisburg Senators at Erie's Jerry Uht Park over the weekend, August 7-9.

Christopher Bostick's Uncle & Grandmother - Jerry Uht Park, Erie, PA
Fan Club Membership Secretary, Ruth Patrick reports that Christopher and his grandmother exchanged hugs both pre- and post-game. "Truly a nice and loving family. She was so excited to see her grandson playing ball."

Christopher's parents, sister and brother also made the trek for all of last weekend's games against the SeaWolves.

Of course, this was to be our Fan Club trip to Erie weekend, but we couldn't generate enough members with open schedules to commit. That's why we're trying again.

The Senators visit Erie one more time at the end of the month. If we can make this trip work, we'll cheer on the Senators Saturday, August 29th at 7:05, stay overnight at the same hotel as the team. After a $5 hot breakfast at the hotel, we'll check out and head for Sunday's 1:35 series-ending game.We'll leave from the ballpark to return home late Sunday, August 30th.

This time, we have different folks with weekend conflicts; however, Vice-President Jeanne Jacobs will accept your reservations to join us through Saturday, August 15th. The $125 cost covers your Wolf's Bus Lines transportation and tickets to attend both games.

The Fan Club will reserve your room at the Clarion Hotel Lake Erie, yet you can pay upon checkout. We will receive a discounted rate of $152 (plus tax and fees).

To learn more, please call Jeanne this week (717-774-2730). If we can make it work this time, we'd love for you to join us!

Brian Williams

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Special Guests

Not only did the Senators prevent Top-10 prospect Tyler Glasnow from earning a win at Metro Bank Park last night, they squeezed the most of their seven hits, three walks and an errant throw. That concoction mustered just enough offense to support fine pitching against a powerful lineup to sweep 2nd place Altoona.

As Glasnow tossed 70 pitches and then handed the ball to Tom Prince, he received much more than the polite applause visiting performances usually receive on City Island. In fact, many fans in Section 106 stood and cheered their prized Pirates pitching prospect, showing their appreciation for his 2-hit, 7-K performance.

About 40 of those baseball fans are members of the Altoona Curve Booster Club. They chose to visit Metro Bank Park on a beautiful late June evening to enjoy cheering their Curve and the Pirates #1 prospect on the road.

Altoona Curve Booster ClubBetween innings, I welcomed the group and spoke briefly with Carol Henrie. She and her husband visit Metro Bank Park annually to support the Curve. This time, they were able to hitch a ride with the booster club, which was formed in 2010.

In our brief conversation, she mentioned multiple times how much they enjoy our renovated ballpark. I countered that I believe both Altoona and Harrisburg are fortunate in that regard.

Although the Altoona fans didn't receive the results they wanted, they seemed to enjoy their stay during an entertaining game. They even cheered our now-famous (and very talented) all-male dance revue!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fan Club Hits the Road Again

Although we missed a second consecutive no-hitter at Nationals Park by less than 24 hours, Fan Club attendees (even the Pirates' fans) enjoyed a convincing victory Father's Day to sweep the Bucs. We followed our usual route, stopping for breakfast on the way, getting to the ballpark just before the gates opened, and enjoying a leisurely dinner on the way home.

Section 133 could not have been more convenient. We sat straight across the concourse from the 1st base gate. Our seats remained in the shade until the 7th inning, when the sun began to creep onto our laps.

Matt LeCroy appeared on the field before the game to toss several baseballs into the crowd and sign a few autographs. Ian Desmond also signed for a few fans after loosening up just before the National Anthem.

Two new members from Lebanon came along for the first time. We also had a father-son duo celebrate Father's Day on this trip, as Abby and I did.

Our next road trip will cheer on the Senators in their away greys. We're arranging a weekend in Erie against the SeaWolves, Saturday and Sunday, August 8th & 9th. Because of the distance, a single game wouldn't be practical, so we may as well back our team twice (Saturday at 7:05 and Sunday at 1:35) with an overnight stay.

As always, we're looking at creative ways we can keep the cost to a minimum and still enjoy a fun weekend series. If interested in learning more, please call Vice-President Jeanne Jacobs at 717-774-2730.

Brian Williams