Many are on vacation, but readership and response to columns posted on Press Pros continues at the usual summer pace. Good stuff from those passionate about the Reds, high school basketball, on how to win friends and influence people at the ballparks…and the Statler Brothers.

There were several who took the time to reflect on our recent articles (and First Person interviews) regarding new coaches at schools with old struggles in basketball. Here’s a few:

“Wow. What an opportunity for Sidney basketball with Willoughby going there. Great hire.” … Mike (Sidney)

“I loved Willoughby’s comment, “What would it say about me if I didn’t take this challenge.” It remains to be seen now what it says about Sidney basketball if the kids don’t respond to the challenge. Should be interesting.” … Ken

“Really like the articles on the coaches, and as a Northridge alum I’m really impressed by Coach Jeff Lisath. He leads with a quiet but demanding composure. No chest pounding, trash talking or tantrums allowed. The last three years, all under his leadership, the basketball team has had great success. A three-peat league champ and coach Lisath has earned several honors. They have been an enjoyable team to watch and with a coach who is a joy to watch.” … Mike Mescher

“Wonderful article on Brad Francis (new coach at Houston). Wish him all the best.” … Paul H.

“They couldn’t have made a better hire at Houston. Go ‘Cats.” … Wayne

“Liked the interview with new Milton coach (Mike Piatt), but you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned it being a football school. As for community support, he’d better get off to a good start.” … Mark (Englewood)

“Long time since basketball has mattered at Milton Union.  We’ll see.” … Joe (Tipp City)


Back in early May we published a blog entitled Small Market Goes Both Ways…Suggestions For The Reds, which sparked some hot response pertinent to the Reds, small-market economics, and even…an issue wish ushers and security.

“Enjoy your Press Pros site and check it almost every day. You all do what newspapers used to do, not only give us the news but go a little bit further and tell us about the people. I love baseball and have been a Reds fans for a lot of years, but I couldn’t agree with you more about the security atmosphere at GABP, especially now. It’s damned hard to justify laying down that much money to watch such a poor team, but when the employees—ushers and security—treat you as outlaws or like you are trying to get by with something, I can’t understand why anyone goes. Recently my son got some free tickets to sit right behind home plate with friends. Except he got up to go get some beers and left his ticket at his seat. When he returned the usher told him he didn’t look like he belonged down there because he was dressed in shorts and flip flops and refused to let him by. Someone finally got out of their seat and went down to get his ticket to show the usher. He didn’t give up until he saw the ticket…and he never apologized. It would seem that when you’re this bad, you would go out of your way to please your customers, not alienate them.” … Paul S. (Mason, Oh)

Francona_thumb0705“I love to read Hal McCoy, but I disagree with his recent defense of Bryan Price for having to play the hand he was dealt. Like the title of your article, a lot of us are fed up with the Reds argument that they can’t afford to compete because they’re in a small market, and Price heads the list of examples. There was a time just four years ago when the Reds could have hired Terry Francona, who’s taken a small market team in Cleveland and somehow made them a winner. But the Castellinis went cheap, took Price instead, and in the meantime dumped a lot of the proven veterans because of salary. You stated, why own a major league team if you’re not willing to pay the price to compete? I know you didn’t mean it this way, but that does not include Bryan Price!” … David Waller

“I would not attend another Reds game as long as they charge one price to see the Cubs play and a different price to see the Padres.” … Jeanie Cox

“The Reds are no different than a lot of other big league teams, relative to your suggestions. They’re all overpriced from parking to popcorn. I laugh when MLB announces that attendance has never been higher because no one ever admits that a number of tickets go to corporations who give them away, as GM did when I was there.  Every time I give away sandwiches and beer I have a full house, too.” … Joe B.

And finally, last week’s column about baseball nostalgia and a chance meeting with the Statler Brothers brought these letters:

“Good story. You may know this, but the Nashville Sounds left Greer last year and moved into the new First Tennessee Park.  There is now a digital version of the old guitar-shaped scoreboard.” … Kent Moyer

“I loved the story about the Statler Brothers. I saw them sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s when they performed at the Darke Co. Fair.  They were amazing.” … Ruth Daily (Greenville)

Tom Sando is a friend who played at the University of Illinois during my days at Ohio State and has stayed in contact for the past 20 years. He wrote:

“I notice you didn’t share the picture. I was hoping to see the old “afro” and evidence that you were in fighting form.”  … Tom Sando, Illinois Baseball, 1975 (Phoenix, Az.)

(Ed. Note: The old newsprint wouldn’t copy, but if you’re patient I’ll find one that will. Be assured, I was playing weight.)