Paints Give Chillicothe Two Decades of Good Baseball, Greater Entertainment
By: Doug Kimsey, Team Historian
Dr. Chris Hanners and his people built it, and they came.
The disembodied voice that wafted mysteriously from Ray Kinsella's Iowa cornfield in the classic 1988 baseball movie “Field of Dreams” may not have been the inspiration for Chillicothe Paints independent baseball some two decades ago, but it is easy to draw parallels.
For the record and more precisely, the “Field of Dreams” voice said “If you build it, he will come.” “He” referred to Shoeless Joe Jackson, who invited teammates from his famously disgraced 1919 Chicago
Black Sox team to play ball on the new field of dreams that sprang capriciously from an Iowa cornfield. At the movie's end, the “he” in “he will come” turns out to be Ray Kinsella's father, who returns as a ghost to mend his troubled relationship with his son, played by Kevin Costner in the movie. If you haven't seen this film, do so... immediately.
Dr. Hanners and his organization, the Chillicothe Paints, celebrate 20 years of operation this season. I cannot help but think back to my days of covering the Paints, from 1994 to 2000, for the Chillicothe Gazette and recognize a remarkable parallelism that existed between Ray Kinsella and his father in “Field of Dreams” and Dr. Hanners and his father, Roger, with the Paints.
Chris built it, and Roger came.
As owner and founder of the ball club, Chris made his “old man” a front office type in the beginning, during the run-up to the inaugural 1993 campaign. Roger, still spry and energetic when he was around the game he loved, answered phones, recruited ballplayers, sold advertising, sold merchandise, politicked,
whatever Chris needed him to do.
Roger Hanners, the paterfamilias of the Hanners' family, had spent the first 62 years of his life immersed in the game of baseball. A youth and prep star at Canal Winchester, he was good enough to sign out of high school to play professionally, and was a teammate of Mickey Mantle in the Yankees' minor league camps in early 1950s. The elder Hanners' won 19 games in the Sooner State League in 1951 for the McAlester Rockets. An arm injury ended his playing career at age 21.
Fast forward a lifetime, and in the spring of 1993, son hired father to help him nurture this strange new breed of cat – Independent Professional Baseball.
The Frontier League was born. Hardscrabble fields in such outposts as Portsmouth, Lancaster and Newark, Ohio; Parkersburg, W. Va. and Pikeville, Ky. hosted games. But those communities, apparently lacking the business acumen, support of town leaders and passion of fans, soon fell by the wayside, victims of indifference. The scrap heap of Frontier League history is piled high with Bison, Rifles, Scouts and Explorers. But something clicked in Chillicothe in those seminal days of the Frontier League. Blessed with a fine ballpark that the first-year players helped refurbish, doubly blessed with tireless front office workers and most importantly blessed with a community that opened its hearts and pocketbooks, the Paints not only survived, but thrived. Chillicothe, noted league-wide for a remarkable generosity of fans and host families of players, as well as superb local media coverage, become the official capital of the Frontier League. And it remained so for many seasons in the early years.
Reigning for years – and reigning is really not the proper word since he is a man of the people – was FL President Chris Hanners, the visionary who knew in his heart that small “town ball” could flourish if packaged properly, if managed meticulously, and if supported sufficiently. Certainly less lofty than Martin Luther King's, Hanners nonetheless had a dream of his own.
Today, the Frontier League is considered the nation's most successful independent league with thriving franchises from the suburbs of St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, to the lake shores of northern Michigan, to the hillsides of southern Indiana, and even to the banks of the Thames, in London, Ontario, Canada.
Not many people knew what to make of it back in 1993, this concept of independent baseball. In fact, in those days, few gave the “indies” a snowball's chance in Hades of ever making a successful run of it. Life without Papa – without the parent Major League organization to help meet payroll, pay stadium expenses, hire staff and lead the way – was a crazy man's dream.
Right, Bryan Wickline?
I remember attending a game that first year, as a spectator,” said Paints General Manager Wickline, who has worked in the organization for 19 years. “I remember watching guys play on the team that I played with in high school and college and thought this wasn’t going to last three years.”
Wickline's skepticism was misplaced. “Twenty years later, I’m privileged to say it not only lasted three years, the Paints have brought Chillicothe and Southern Ohio a recognition of prominence in the baseball world that other towns its size can only dream of obtaining.”
Wickline hitched his professional career wagon to the Paints' train early, serving as an intern and then earning assignments with greater responsibilities in the beginning.
“I remember the early bus rides to Pikeville, Parkersburg, Newark and Zanesville. Those were some of the best times of my life. I’ve met so many people through this industry that I wouldn't have ever met otherwise,” he said. “You obviously remember the likes of Ken Griffey Sr. and Marty Brennaman and Johnny Bench and the list goes on and on, but I have made life-long relationships with a baseball network that is immeasurable.”.
“Chris Hanners and (team president) Shirley Bandy kept this franchise alive and successful for these past 20 years. Our fans and the good people of southern Ohio need to know that. Without those two brilliant and persevering individuals, this thing we call 'The Paints' does not exist five years, let alone 20.”
“Chris and Shirley not only kept the Paints going, they had an integral part in keeping the Frontier League alive,” Wickline said
“Everything Happens In Chillicothe”
In 2004, colorful Frontier League umpire Max McLeary teammed with noted Cincinnati-based baseball writer Mike Shannon to write a book about his experiences in the league. The title was “Everything Happens In Chillicothe” The tag line to the title is classic, “A summer in the Frontier League with Max McLeary, the one-eyed umpire.” McLeary’s book title could also double as the headline for the early years of the Frontier League.
Just how crucial and how vital was the work of Hanners and his Chillicothe organization to keeping the league viable? Bill Lee, longtime Frontier League commissioner, put it as simply as this.
“Without a doubt, there would be no Frontier League today if not for Chris Hanners. Period,” Lee said. “The league folds in maybe two or three years if not for the work that Chris did in those early years.
Chris and Shirley – and the entire Chillicothe organization – made sure players around the league were paid; made sure bills were paid; made sure the product on the field was top notch and made sure the fans wanted to come back for more.”
Lee, who was hired in 1994, recalls his first interview with the Frontier League, conducted by a team owner – NOT Hanners – in Portland, Ore. who asked Lee, “Why do you want a job as commissioner of a league that won’t survive more than a year?”
Lee’s response, “Well that better not be the case. And then I came to Chillicothe and met with Chris and some other owners and I saw their passion, their dedication, their drive to succeed and I knew the league was in good hands.”
Chillicothe was the heart of Frontier League baseball for many seasons in the 1990s and set the tone for the league’s incredible growth and success, Lee said.
“For example, we have 14 stadiums now in the league and seven of them have FieldTurf,” Lee said. “And Chillicothe led the way. They were the first.”
Another example came in 2000 when Richmond’s Morgan Burkhart and Chillicothe’s Brian Tollberg became the first Frontier League products to make it to the majors.
Lee credits Hanners and everyone associated with the Paints’ organization – front office, fans, booster club, local news media, the business community – with helping set a shining example for the Frontier League to follow in those early years.
Johnstown, Pa. – A Great FL City
In July, 1997 as a cub beat writer for the Gazette, I took my first road trip with the ball club, traveling to the scenic Frontier League outpost of Johnstown, Penn. Johnstown's a quaint town with German and Swiss influences once visited by author Charles Dickens. It is known best for three historically deadly floods – in 1889, 1936 and 1977. Modern day Johnstown has a neat little Holiday Inn smack-dab in the middle of town, with a great mom 'n pop candy store right across the street. And you could even ride the inclined plane up the mountain for scenic overlooks of the town and surrounding countrysides. And, if memory serves, there were a couple of bars in town too.
But inclined plane rides and candy store visits aside, what I remember most about that four-day trip to western Pennsylvania was the return bus ride home.
After a rousing four-game sweep of the Johnstown Steal to open the second-half in 1997, Paints' slugger Mitch House and his teammates were riding on the cramped team bus back home, somewhere along the dark Interstate-70 corridor when a booming voice rang from the back of the bus... “Skip, I gotta go to the bathroom... and I ain't goin' on this bus.”
Manager Roger Hanners, jarred from an uneasy slumber, groggily, but effectively, directed driver John Hall to expedite finding the next exit. “Mitch's gotta go the bathroom, and he ain't goin' on this bus,” Hanners instructed. Posthaste. But Roger never used those words.
Please note that this is a family publication, so the language has been cleaned up.
The story had a happy ending. Mitch, much to the delight of his fellow travelers, found relief and the trip resumed uneventfully. Mitch House, all 6-foot-2, 220 pounds of him, bestrides the memory of the earliest Paints' fan as the “big bat” we needed. A prized recruit of Roger Hanners before the 1996 campaign,
24-year-old Mitch House, hailing from Dante, Va., brought his big, powerful swing to Chillicothe in June, 1996, bursting onto the scene as one of the FL's earliest superstars.
House's impact on the Paints' record book is impressive – 2nd all-time in homers (50), 4th in RBI (181), 5th in Runs (181) and 1st all-time in most Walks. And besides Paints fans, Lionel Ritchie also appreciated every time big Mitch came to the plate. “He's a Brick House...”
Nothing “Ugh-Lee” About This Gem
Three years later, in Roger Hanners' final full season of managing the ball club, a masterful pitching performance from a personable southpaw gave the eight-year old franchise an unforgettable moment.
More than 1,600 times in the 19 years of Paints baseball, a pitcher has taken the baseball to start a game. But only once in all of those starts, on June 8, 2000, did a Paints' pitcher achieve one of the greatest feats in the sport – pitching a no-hitter. That's nine innings... 27 outs... zero hits.
Left-handed Ohio State product Andrew Scott Lee tossed – at that time – only the second no-hitter in the eight-year history of the Frontier League, blanking the Richmond Roosters 8-0. Since that night 12 years ago, 13 other no-hitters have been authored in the FL.
But no other Paints' pitcher has accomplished the feat, or even come close. Uniquely, Lee's gem comes on the three-year anniversary of the very first no-hitter in the FL, recorded by Richmond's Christian Hess.
Lee – nicknamed “Ugh” – fanned 13 and walked only one in a game witnessed by 1,832 fans at V.A. Memorial. To top it all off, in that very same game, Richmond turned the first triple play in the history of the league. With the bases loaded and none out, the Paints' Mike Horning lined out to Roosters' shortstop Jason Guynn, who stepped on second base and threw to first to end the inning. Think about it – how often does a triple play happen and how often does a no-hitter happen? And how often might they both happen in the same game!
Paints Outfielder Performs The National Anthem... On His Violin!!
Later in that 2000 season, New York native Jason “Sweet Music” Baker enjoyed a very solid campaign on the field in his only summer with the Paints with a .315 batting average, a team-best 20 doubles, 17 steals and eight homers while playing a flawless outfield. He also pitched a handful of games.
But the ex-Dodgers farm-hand who spent five seasons in the minors before joining the Paints, is best known for his musical prowess, an ability to play concert-quality violin.
Picture this. A balmy, summer night in 2000, still pre-9/11 and the world is a different place, and onto the green infield grass of VA Memorial strides a trim, athletic 26-year-old Jason Baker, wearing the Paints' uniform with pride, a bow and four-stringed violin tucked under his arm. He proceeds to deliver a spell-binding rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Watching in absolute rapt silence is the Paints' crowd, not sure if this moment is really happening.
At the conclusion of his performance, Baker finishes with a flair – an energetic bow and wave to the fans. The stunned crowd erupts into a thunderous applause.
Chillicothe Goes Hollywood
As if Baker's musical virtuosity wasn't enough, about the same time, the Paints were chosen to be part of a Hollywood film. During 2000 and 2001, the independent movie “A Little Inside” told the touching tale of a professional baseball player trying single-handedly to raise his young daughter after the death of his young wife while pursuing his own dreams.
The film, shot partly at V.A. Memorial Stadium and The Dock at Water, featured many locals as extras as well as bigger parts by former Paints’ skipper Jamie Keefe, Woody Fullenkamp, Mike Cervenak and Chance Melvin. Familiar Hollywood types included Halley Kate Eisenberg (“The Pepsi Girl” in the 1990s), Benjamin King (countless TV and movie appearances) and Frankie Faison (“The Silence of the Lambs”).
The movie opened at The Majestic in February, 2002, and played for three years on HBO. It is available at many online movie sites, including www.bn.com.
You Win Some, You Lose Some, And You Lose Some More...
No retrospective of the Paints would be complete without addressing a painful legacy from the Frontier League Era – 1993 to 2008. While members of the professional FL, the Paints had an uncanny knack to get to “The Dance” but an unnerving inability to close the deal.
In 16 seasons of professional era baseball, Chillicothe fans witnessed their team making – and losing – the FL Cup Finals six times. Using the major leagues as a comparison, that would be like Cincinnati Reds fans seeing their club play in the World Series 49 TIMES in the team's 131-YEAR HISTORY and NEVER WINNING! Instead, Redleg fans have witnessed only nine trips to the Fall Classic since 1903, winning the title four times.
For those scoring at home, the Paints' played second fiddle as league runners-up in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005 and 2006. As a side note, five of those Cup-clinching wins came as crestfallen V.A. Memorial crowds looked on. FL champs to pop corks at the V.A. include '96 and '98 Springfield Capitals, '01 Richmond Roosters, '05 Kalamazoo Kings and '06 Evansville Otters.
FieldTurf Rescues Franchise
While you may not consider granulated white sand and a mountain of pulverized used tennis shoes and car tires very romantic or appealing, the truth is, FieldTurf saved the Chillicothe Paints in the spring of 2006. The very existence of Paints' baseball hinged on a community decision for a $1 million renovation to the playing surface at V.A. Memorial. Thirteen seasons of constant use and pounding during spring and summer finally rendered the playing field withered and timeworn. Not even groundskeepers extraordinaire Jimmy Miner could save the V.A. playing surface. The Grand Dame of the Frontier League, V.A. Memorial, circa 1954, quivered on Death Row.
Ultimately, Ross County Commissioners and the Convention Facility Authority took on the FieldTurf project and once again, as the Paints' organization is known for, a cutting edge approach to doing business became reality. V.A. Memorial got its 11th-hour reprieve.
FieldTurf has transformed V.A, Memorial into a nearly year-round venue, hosting hundreds of youth, high school, college and professional baseball games each year, not to mention concerts, a fall softball league and numerous soccer games.
Tollberg, Cervenak Make The Show
Since the Paints took the diamond for their inaugural game on June 30, 1993, more than 500 young men have worn the Chillicothe uniform. Of that total, more than 30 have earned a chance to pursue Big League Dreams by signing with a Major League Baseball affiliate. The first signee was infielder Beck Wells in 1993, the last was slugging first baseman Jeff Holm in 2011.
But only two down through the ages – pitcher Brian Tollberg and infielder Mike Cervenak – ever made “The Show.” Tollberg, a skinny right-hander who played the 1994 summer with the Paints, winning seven games; and Cervenak, a hard-hitting shortstop who posted a career .324 batting average as a Paint in 1999 and 2000, hold a special place in the hearts of Paints' fans as sons who made it big.
In fact, it is Tollberg who holds the distinction of being the very first FL alum to perform in a big league game, on June 20, 2000 when he pitched seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball to earn the win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Tampa, Fla. native toiled for four seasons with the San Diego Padres before a career-ending arm injury. His big league numbers: 15-16 W-L, 4.48 ERA, 307.1 Innings, 182 Strikeouts in 53 appearances. Attempting a comeback at age 35, Tollberg in 2008 pitched in the independent Atlantic League.
Cervy, a native of New Boston, Mich. and still the all-time hits leader at the University of Michigan, holds the distinction of playing for the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, debuting in the majors that year on July 11. He owns a World Championship ring. His is a story of perseverance.
When Cervenak (along with teammate Joe Colameco) signed professionally one hot July evening in 2000, could he have known that his climb to the
“The Show” would take eight long years? Cervenak was 31 years, 10 months and 25 days old when he officially became a big league “Rookie.” He was used sparingly by manager Charlie Manuel his rookie season, going 2-for-13 with an RBI in 10 games.
Pinoni – Chillicothe's First True Superstar
Any 20-year Paints' historical piece simply must include Scott Pinoni, The Duke Dandy. Pinoni is the only player in 19 FL seasons to win two league batting titles, hitting .384 in 1996, the highest average in the then four-year history of the FL, and repeating with a .377 mark in 1999. The Columbus native stands tall as the team's all-time leader in homers (58) and owns a .355 career batting average, fourth best all-time in the league and second best for the Paints.
Pinoni also is the club's all-time RBI leader with 237. If you needed a run, Pinoni was the man you wanted at the dish. Pinoni smashed 82 home runs while in independent ball from 1996 to 2000. Along with teammate Mitch House, Pinoni teamed to turn perhaps the most memorable double play in team history during a late-season 1998 game after the Paints had clinched the Eastern Division title.
Pinoni – playing shortstop – flipped to House – playing second base – who fired to first to complete the twin-killing. Consider this – Pinoni and House are ranked No. 4 and No. 8 all-time on the FL home run list. That is like Willie Mays and Frank Robinson turning a double play!
Do The Gator Chomp!
And if I write about House and Pinoni, I simply have to write about Charles Elliott McBride. Charles Elliott McBride? Don't know the name? How about Gator McBride? McBride was, simply put, the greatest hitter in Paints history, the Ted Williams of V.A. Memorial, the Pete Rose of the Paints.
McBride, born the son of a proud United States Marine father who dubbed his son with the colorful moniker, hit .456 with 15 homers, 48 RBI and an unbelievable slugging percentage of .837 in 39 games before being signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1999.
He closed his Frontier League career with a .423 average, 43 points higher than any other player in league history. It can be argued that the Paints were never the same team after Gator departed.
When Gator took batting practice, you knew it. The sound of bat meeting horsehide sounded very different. Compiling a .311 career minor league average, McBride, who played for the Atlanta Braves' organization before joining the Paints, was on the fast track to his second shot at the big leagues after leaving Chillicothe in 1999, but suffered a terrible knee injury in a two-car crash on State Route 104 in Pickaway County. Another driver went left-of-center and crashed into McBride's vehicle, effectively ending his playing days.
“Hey There Fella, With Your Hair Colored Yella”
Two decades of Paints' baseball provides so much material, I don't know what to put in and what to leave out. But this next story is a must.
Two words – Josh Ury.
Two more words – Grand Slam.
Still, two more words – Season Changer.
On July 26, 2005, a steamy Tuesday night at VA Memorial, one of the biggest home runs in Paints history left the yard, sailing over the right field wall in the late night gloom, clearing the bases and saving a season. Ury's walk-off grand-slam, coming on a full-count pitch, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for a fading Chillicothe team and sparked perhaps the finest five-week stretch in club history. “I think I'm going to throw up,” Ury told the bat boy after the wild celebration died down.
At 26-30, tied for fifth place and eight games out in the standings, Ury's blow ignited the club, spurring it to a 27-9 (.750) spurt, good enough to clinch the Wild Card.
The bleach-blond Ury, who aged out after his only season in town, put up rock-solid stats – .299, 15 doubles, 10 homers, 58 runs, 58 RBI and nine steals. He remains the only player in team history whose last name begins with “U”.
The Paints advanced to the 2005 FL Cup Finals, coming within one game of winning it all, before losing to Kalamazoo.
As a side note, 2005 was the year of the Grand Slam. Ten times that season, Paints players crushed slammers, including three by Noah Peery (remember the guns on that guy!?), two by Scott Leffler, and one each by Ury, Doug Dreher, Juan Downing, Steve Martin and Andrew Kasparek.
The Death of a Ballplayer
Ah, Steve Martin. Paints fans awoke on the morning of July 6, 2006 shocked to learn of the tragic death of talented 24-year-old outfielder Steve Martin in an early-morning single-car crash on County Road 550, near his host family's home in Frankfort. Martin left behind grieving parents and siblings and countless admirers who followed his Frontier League career.
The previous season, his first as a Paint, Martin batted .376 with four homers and six steals in 100 at bats after being traded from Evansville. Overall, he batted .312, slugged 12 homers and stole 23 bases in an all-star campaign.
Martin, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, was memorialized in an emotion-racked ceremony 10 days later at V.A. Memorial, attended by hundreds. League-wide, FL cities observed a moment of silence to remember Martin.
DK and PC – Models of Consistency, Class Acts On, Off The Field
Dr. Hanners and his dad, Roger, had one guiding principle for putting Paints players in a uniform – they wanted men of character, men of integrity, men who know how to play the game and how to carry themselves in all walks of life.
Direct from central casting, ladies and gentlemen, we give you two such young men. Darin Kinsolving and Perry Cunningham. Doubtlessly, hundreds of others could be listed here, but if only two could be Poster Boys of the Paints – DK and PC get our nod.
Kinsolving, an easy-going, slow-talking southern Missourian, ranks in the Paints' Top Ten in eight offensive categories career wise. Further, DK is in the Top 5 in four of them – 3rd in HR with 40; 3rd in RBI 196; 5th in hits 282; and 5th in doubles with 54.
At his retirement, Kinsolving ranked No. 6 all-time in the FL with 56 homers and 7th all-time with 248 RBI. His defensive work around first base was often overlooked. Plus, Kinsolving was durable, once playing in more than 120 straight games over two seasons. After his playing days ended in 2005, DK re-invented himself as a coach, working for friend and ex-Paints teammate Phil Warren for the Gateway Grizzlies. He remains a class act.
Perry Cunningham, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, is the closet thing the Paints have to Cy Young in terms of a career body of work. At his retirement, PC ranked second all-time in the FL with 37 victories and 497.2 innings and was 11th all-time in the loop with 325 strikeouts. He and Rick Blanc are the only Paints pitchers to appear in four different seasons. Cunningham leads all Paints pitchers in history in wins (37), innings (497.2) and starts (78). He is 2nd all-time in whiffs, 325, trailing leader Rick Blanc with 334.
The rock-steady right-hander never missed a start in four seasons.
From The Frontier To The Prospect – AND THE CROWN!
The last remaining original franchise of the Frontier League, the Chillicothe Paints' pro era went dark at the end of the 2008 season. The pro baseball business model no longer fit for the organization and it was time to move on.
All things considered, the Paints' 16-season professional era was a rousing success and there was little reason to suspect that the amateur era would not follow suit. And after three seasons of entertainment, Prospect League-style, fans continue to support the team by their attendance and enjoy the on-field product.
It's great family entertainment, just with a different twist.
Paints' fans, after more than 1,600 games and 18 seasons, finally relished rallying around a league champion in 2010. A collection of two dozen, fresh-faced, young college players led by manager Brian Mannino, pitching coach Pat Schmidt and assistant Marty Dunn ended the title drought, winning the Prospect League crown 7-6 in front of a partisan crowd at V.A. Memorial on Aug. 11. It was the 49th post-season game in franchise history, and only the second time in 11 tries that the Paints won a championship game in front of a home crowd.
At 10:17 p.m., on a pleasant 70-degree night after a muggy morning, the Paints' slugging first baseman, 20-year-old Ian Nielsen out of Ball State University, drove an Andrew Walter 2-ball, 2-strike fastball over the wall in left-center for a walk-off, two-run homer. While there have been dozens of memorable home runs down through the ages of Paints' baseball, none was bigger than Nielsen's blast.
Paints’ iconic public address announcer John Wend - a hidden legend and treasure among all other P.A. announcers in baseball - delivered his signature “PAINTS WIN!!! PAINTS WIN!!!” to put an exclamation point on the evening. When Hollywood makes the next movie featuring the Almighty, John Wend will play the voice of God.
The come-from-behind Paints' win completed a dominating wire-to-wire championship drive in which Chillicothe was never anywhere in the standings except first place. From Opening Day on June 3 when they beat the Richmond RiverRats and for the next 70 days, the Paints were the gold standard of the Prospect League, raising the bar of excellence to new heights even for a highly successful franchise whose history spans nearly two decades.
For once, the best team won it all. And if anyone wants to debate it, consider these accomplishments of the 2010 Prospect League champion Paints:
◦ 41-17 (.707 win pct.)
◦ Projected over a Major League season of 162 games, that equals a 115-47 finish.
◦ League-best offensive stats in batting average (.279); runs (381); home runs (36); stolen bases (113); doubles (113); triples (31); hits (538); slugging pct. (.426); on-base pct. (.388).
◦ Blazing hot W-L marks, including June 18-6; July 17-9; Aug. 6-2.
◦ Winning streaks of 8, 7, 7 and 4.
For 20 years – a generation... a score of baseball seasons – the Chillicothe Paints Baseball Club has built an entertainment institution. And the fans have come.
(Doug Kimsey attended his first Paints' game as a boy in 1994 and since has attended hundreds in 15 different FL stadiums, in 8 states and two nations. He is a former Chillicothe Gazette sportswriter and editor who works now as an Intervention Specialist for Southeastern Local Schools. He can be reached at email@example.com For those scoring at home, he does not “tweet.”)