Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.


The latest received from near and far on subjects recently posted on Press Pros:  TBDBITL…the value of dreams…attacks on football…and “Big Wes”.

Ironically, our August 28th question and answer column with Dr. Paul Droste and questions pertaining to the Ohio State marching band brought more response than our typical issues about sports, themselves. People were very passionate in the nearly 30 emails received, and left no doubt as to their loyalty to the band:

“Very interesting read. I really enjoyed the history you covered and the context of your questions. Your personal experience with the band was a great asset to the story. Great job.” … John Tighe

“Your story brought up some very painful reminders of the Jon Waters firing, and thanks to Dr. Droste for sharing the perspective that like Watergate, and Nixon, someone had to take the fall when they were all guilty. This incident still reflects poorly on Ohio State.” … Pat (Pataskala, Oh)

“A sad reminder of the power and influence misused by places like Ohio State University.  Jon Waters deserved better.”  …  Thomas King

“I often wonder (by reading you) if there’s any progress you appreciate, with anything?” … Jack Riess

“Only an —hole like you would question anything to do with the best damn band in the land. So what if they changed the drums and the trombones. Get a life. Go Bucks!” … Jack (Pickerington)

“Personally, I never knew there were things called tromboniums, and I played the trombone in my high school band for four years. Neat article.” … Tony Henson (Circleville)

“The fact that you questioned whether women in the band was a good thing after 45 years led me to believe that you were against it in the first place. Why?” … Carol Schnitker

(Ed. Note: It was a simple question, that’s all, and one that in 1973 was front page news in Columbus. I guess you would have had to have been there. And thanks for the ‘fake’ concern.)

“As an old army bandsman I appreciated the mention of marches like the Chicago Tribune. Incidentally, I have had the original recording of Volume 2 from the 50s for years, and still play the CD version. In my opinion the band struggled to play Chicago Tribune (and some others) back then, and I’m sure they would struggle with it now.” … Lee Kruetzer (Cincinnati)

“Marching band and starting pitcher for the baseball team? You, my friend, have had quite a life.” … Craig Charles (Columbus)

(Ed. Note: But it would never happen like that today. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but there were a number of people in the School of Music who didn’t see the uniqueness of doing both. I actually had instructors who dropped me from their class because they felt I wasn’t committed to Music Education. Of course today, if you didn’t go to fall baseball practice you wouldn’t even be considered. Back then, if you could pitch and get people out that’s all that mattered.)

On the subject of having a dream, and pursuing it, a surprising number of people shared their own like experiences:

“Sonny, thanks for sharing your story about umpiring, and having the rug pulled out from under you. That happens to a lot of people, I know, but the way you tell about it made for a very enjoyable read.” … Joe B (Sarasota)

“A person who does not dream cannot know success. They (dreams) are the foundation of a superior life. Wonderful article.” … Richard Rinker

“Jim Leyland, huh? Great story about your dream to umpire in the major leagues. I liked it.” … Doug Harris

“A lot of people would struggle to tell that story. You did not. Great job.” … Tom Lovejoy

Our September 7 story on former NFL player Ed Cunningham and his criticism (not ours) of football brought this:

“Leave it to you guys to find something negative to write about football. Why does it matter what Ed Cunningham thinks?” … Dick Morris

“I always appreciate the perspective of one who has played, and is willing to speak out. When he said, ‘It’s not a hypothesis anymore’, it says a lot.  Football is like everything else in life.  All things must change in time.” … Jonathan (Westerville)

“You have written about this before and frequently say that if it were heart disease or cancer people would want to know more.  I agree that there’s nothing wrong with asking tough questions about football in the face of science and evidence.” … Tom Killilea

And finally, West Milton native Wes Martin has fans from home proud to read about him on Press Pros:

“Thanks for a wonderful story about Wes Martin, from West Milton, Ohio. It’s great to see an old Bulldog making his way in the big time.” Steve Thompson (Indianapolis, and formerly of West Milton)

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