On July 7th, the heat wave that New York had been experiencing for quite some time finally decided to calm. McDonough Park and the Geneva Redwings hosted Military Appreciation night. All veterans and those men and women still serving were admitted in free to the game. Recruiters set themselves up outside the park to answer questions and also gather donations in the name of Blue Star Mothers. Fans were treated to a fun exhibition game between the hometown Red Wings and the Syracuse Salt Cats and prior to the game, I sat down with utility man, #22 Ben Griffin.
Ben comes to Geneva by way of the bright lights of Los Angeles, California and attends UC Davis. Family is very important to Ben, saying that when he’s not playing baseball, he’s with them. You can find him on the golf course often with his brother and father, as well as spending time with his little sister. He considers himself a big gamer, preferring games such as 2K, MLB The Show, and Fortnite. For a young man, I was very impressed when he told me his favorite movie. The perfect movie to him has a little bit of action along with a touch of Romance. Braveheart, to him, is the perfect mix of the two genres. Music was another interesting topic as Ben openly admitted to growing up with the music of Justin Bieber, however he also loves Post Malone as he’s gotten older.
Being that he is from Cali, Ben is a huge Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Ben however is a big fan of Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees, also holding the distinction of going to the same high school as Stanton. Stantons swing is what Ben enjoys watching most and he tries his best to emulate it.
Like most of his teammates, Bens life is currently taken over by baseball and again like most, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’d like to one day play in the major leagues either for his hometown Dodgers or any team. Thank you for taking the time and joining me for this edition of Charlie’s Corner.
The Red Wings looked to rebound from a couple of close losses at the beginning of the week as they played host to the Auburn Doubledays on Saturday night. The future stars of baseball and softball were out to support their hometown team, the Wings, and McDonough park presented “Little League Night.” The support must have helped because the Wings soared to a decisive 10-0 victory.
Among the pregame festivities of this special event was a walk on the field by members of baseball and softball teams representing much of the Finger Lakes. Pictures were also taken and after the game, the kids were able to collect autographs from the Red Wings. One such player that was no doubt sought after was my guest this week on “Charlie’s Corner.” That player was a third baseman, Thomas Latham.
Latham comes to the Red Wings from Chantilly, Virginia, an area in the western part of Fairfax County. He attends the College of the Holy Cross and is currently a freshman. As a kid, he was a big fan of the Washington Nationals and looked up to star player, Ryan Zimmerman. It was clear from speaking to him that baseball wasn’t a sport that his parents pushed on him, his father really only played hockey at the high school level. However, he is a very dedicated individual who spends most of his free time on the diamond perfecting his position or in the weight room with teammates.
Being so dedicated to the sport as he is, Thomas doesn’t have much free time to do anything us, chucking as he said the small town of Geneva doesn’t provide much entertainment. On those rare occasions of downtime, Thomas likes to watch comedy movies and fancies himself a huge Adam Sandler fan, his favorite being Happy Gilmore. His musical tastes are centered on country music, specifically George Strait and Alan Jackson of the 90’s era. With the dedication he shows to the sport, Thomas could not imagine a future without baseball. He hopes to have a long career and then maybe to coach someday. It was a pleasure to speak to a man that has so much love for the sport of baseball. I’d like to thank Mr. Latham for being my guest this week.
This is the Chazman coming to you on a beautiful, hot and humid, Sunday night. The Geneva Red Wings play host to the Utica Blue Sox at 5pm. The Wings are coming off of a sweep of the Auburn Doubledays 2-1 in the first game, and 1-0 in the second. Both games featured pitchers duels between teams with little offense.
One bright spot of that offense was number thirty, a pitcher and catcher, Jackson DeJohn. DeJohn was my guest prior to the game for a sit down interview. DeJohn hails from the town of Irondeqouit just on the outskirts of Rochester. Currently he is a sophomore at St. Bonaventure. Being a dual threat of pitcher and catcher, one could liken his skills to talented Shoei Ohtani, pitcher and power hitter for the Anaheim Angels.
DeJohn was then asked a few “just for fun” questions. He mentioned that he likes and typically enjoys comedies. However, his favorite movie of all time is the baseball classic, “Field of Dreams.” How appropriate. On the subject of music, Jackson prefers the genre of country music, and more importantly, the musical stylings of Morgan Wallen. He smiled as he remembered the many times he shared with his father just listening to those tunes.
Jackson did attempt to be a dual sports threat in high school, participating in basketball. However, injuries or the threat of, forced him to make the ultimate decision of sticking with baseball. He is very happy with that decision as he cannot picture his future without baseball in it. I’d like to thank Mr. DeJohn for taking his time for a small conversation.
Stay tuned for future guests on “Charlie’s Corner” with the Chazman.
Prior to Monday, June 14th game against the Newark Pilots, I had the chance to sit down Geneva Red Wings Centerfielder, Lachlan Charles. Lachlan was a very pleasant young man who even shook my hand and addressed me by name.
Lachlan is currently a Junior at Cornell University. Some of you readers may know Lachlan’s father, who is regularly on the MLB and NFL network. Lachlan was born in the state of New Jersey but said that he had moved around quite a bit as a kid, even going as far as Florida and Los Angeles. He attended Englewood High School in New Jersey where he shared time as an outfielder and a pitcher for the school team. Also, Charles was a member of his high school football team, playing the positions of wide receiver, running back, safety, and even kicker. It’s safe to say that although Lachlan may have ultimately chose baseball, he’s a man of many talents.
When Lachlan isn’t playing sports, he says that he enjoys the rap music of Kid Cudi. He went on to mention that although Cudi has some great songs, his favorite is Mr. Rager. He chuckled when he was asked what his favorite food was and of all amazing food, he said pancakes. Breakfast for any meal of the day is indeed perfect. I then asked what movies he liked, his number one favorite being Momento, but then he said that overall he was a big fan of the film director, Christopher Nolan.
Being that he lived in Los Angeles for some time, I was not surprised to learn that he is a Dodgers fan, also modeling his game from Mookie Betts.
Finally, Lachlan was asked the big important question of where he saw life taking him in the future. Lachlan is doing the pre-law track at Cornell University and hopes to get into Law School.
Thank you to Lachlan Charles for taking the time to speak to us.
Join the Geneva Red Wings for Veteran & Military Appreciation Night on Wednesday, July 7th! Veteran & Military Night includes special ceremonies, a supply drive for Blue Star Mothers, and more! Appreciation Nights show support and recognize these individuals for the dedication, commitment, and sacrifices they have made for our nation.
All veterans and active military members will receive free admission into the game. Game time is 7:05 pm and military recruiters will be available beginning at 6:00 pm outside of McDonough Park. The field is located at 180 Lyceum Street in Geneva, NY.
The Red Wings will be hosting a Blue Star Mother Supply Drive in conjunction with the game. Boxes will be set up for offerings in the front of the ballpark and fans are encouraged to donate razors, shampoo, soap, sunblock with SPF 40+, lip balm, deodorant, white socks, shaving cream, body wash, unscented or masculine lotions, and foot powder.
The mission of the Blue Star Mothers of NY #1 is to support our deployed troops, our veterans, and the military families on the homefront.
Before last night’s game, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Geneva Red Wings infielder, Brady Slinger. My first impression of him was that he was very tall, standing 6 feet 3 inches. He took some time before warm-ups to speak to me and answer some questions.
Brady was born in Chicago, Illinois but has spent most of his life in Nashville, Tennessee. I asked him what drew him to the sport of baseball and he said that his brother and father both played in high school and college, so it was a natural choice for him. At this point of the season, Brady is one of Geneva’s hottest hitters. He is currently a senior at Hamilton college and when I asked him where he saw himself in 10 years, surprisingly Brady said that he would probably be a chemist. He is applying to graduate school and majoring in Chemistry.
Then I decided to lighten the mood with a couple of random questions. I asked him what his favorite genre of music was, and despite being from the country music capital of the world, he enjoys rock music most often. He then added that he enjoys sci-fi movies. This is just the first of many interviews I intend to conduct during the course of the season, and I would like to thank Brady for taking some time to talk with me.
It is with sadness, but a recognition of the health reality we face as a state and a nation, that the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League will not commence or play its 2020 season. We recognize this is a great disappointment to our collegiate players, to our fans, our host communities, and the dedicated staff and owners who have spent so much of their lives making the league a vibrant part of collegiate baseball and the American baseball fabric. The dynamic of this crisis requires cancellation.