Thanksgiving Break in California & Debut of ‘Bally’s Minute’

   Well for Thanksgiving Ashley and I went to California to be with my family and to enjoy nicer, warmer, better weather.  We got in to California on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and my buddies Joel and Hank picked us up from the John Wayne Airport (Hank Conger is a HS friend who is now with the Angels).  Let me tell you, it was really kinda weird to be home because it was the first time I was in Huntington Beach since January, so a lot of stuff had changed.  Joel and Hank dropped us off at my house and the one thing I really was looking forward to doing was seeing my best friend and next door neighbor, Sam Olivé. He has been in Paraguay on his mission for the past two years and had just gotten home three weeks prior.  I went over to his house and it was awesome to see him and catch up with him, he looked great, and a lot tanner from the last time I saw him!  So the rest of the day and night we just caught up with my parents and sister in this sweet little tiki hut thing my dad just built in the backyard. 
hbi-pipeline04102008.jpgHank Conger
So obviously the next day was Thanksgiving and our whole family was getting together at my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jay’s house in Aliso Viejo.  It’s always nice to see the whole family that you really don’t get to see too often throughout the year playing ball.  And let me tell you, I truly have the best, most fun family in the whole world.  I had a blast catching up with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandmas.  So, just like any other family does during Thanksgiving, we all huddled around a huge table and crushed food. But unlike all your typical Thanksgiving dinners, we had dancing and singing humans being loud and having a blast while serving us food, no joke.  My dad had a plate of food in his hand and acting like he was one of the penguin waiters from Mary Poppins; spinning and singing songs while serving us.  That’s why I love my family so much, you just never know what you’re going to get.  During my visit to my aunts I also got introduced to a video game called Little Big Planet, thanks to my cousin Gary (aka “G”), and I now own it.  So I stuffed my face and had fun with my family. All in all I had a great Thanksgiving.

  Some of the other things we did was go check out the place that Ashley and I are going to get married at in October ’09.  It will be at the Hyatt Regency Resort in HB, right on PCH.  It is unreal and it was an awesome feeling to actually see the place that we will be getting married at in under a year from now.  We went out in downtown HB one night too, with my sister, her boyfriend Anthony Slama (he’s ironically a pro-ball player too, with the Twins), and my buddy Joel.  We drank the famed “rainbows” from Aloha Grill.  We also went to a little high school friends get-together and wow it was crazy to see everyone, there were so many 
people that I hadn’t seen in forever and it’s always nice to see how everyone is doing… you know I miss my friends (awwww haha).  Also, if you read the Viva Las Vegas blog, you will know already how my weekend ended and just what I thought about it (haha). 
300px-Slama.JPGAnthony Slaman200003588_30812730_590.jpg


At this point of my successful blogging career I want to take this last section of each blog to just tell you what’s going through my mind.  I guess we will call it “Bally’s Minute” from now on. 
Bally’s Minute
This week what I really would like to do is just tell you how my teammates are treating me this offseason as of today.  You know I thought it would be fun to pick on some of them and give some of them love because I know and have heard that some of my teammates read my blog, so here we go.  There has been 1 person and 1 person only on my team that has texted me or called me to see how I’m doing this offseason, and that’s Nick Johnson.  Let me tell you it’s not just like once every 3 or 4 weeks to say what’s up …we talk everyday.  Nick Johnson might be the coolest guy I have met in baseball and I’m not just saying this because I want to give him a shoutout, I mean us California guys stick together and we are one and the same, even t
hough he’s a NorCal guy.  (Most of you guys won’t know what that means, but, anywho).  I mean let me tell you a little story about Nick and I, and you be the judge.  So he was hurt and there was like a month or so left in the season and he was cleaning out his locker, and I come over and he’s like “take whatever you want,” and I say “what?” and he’s like “take anything you want in my locker it’s the least I can do, you’re my boy.”  So he ends up giving me all these bobble heads and wrist bands and stuff but the best thing he gave me was a pink mothers day bat.  I’m talking about a one-of-a-kind thing.  He said it was between me and his mom who got it and he gave it to me haha.  So there you go right there.  So this week my “Minute Man” was Nick Johnson and next blog it could be you.  You guys have to give me reasons that you should be on Bally’s Minute.  Honorable mention this week goes to: Ryan Zimmerman, Jeremey Plexico, Clint Everts,Colin Cowherd, (PS3: me online beating people in NCAA Football.)
  GO USC in the Rose Bowl 
Bally Star


  1. spin man

    Bally star… sounds like you had an awesome thanksgiving. I could see your Dad dancing around saying ” Thats my BOY!!” Those of you Nats fans that watched Collin’s debut know what I mean. Tom Balester is one of a kind. Great guy. Really Funny.
    Also, your Minute Man spot is awesome. When I met Nick Johnson at ST last year you would have thought I was his long lost friend he was really nice to me. Even through his adversity he has remained positive and it hasn’t changed his attitude towards life. Keep on Livin’ , Nick. Keep those blogs coming. It really gives we fans, a great look at what you guys think and are doing during the off season.
    Like my old coach said one time about other players…. “they have to put their pants on one leg at a time just like you.”
    Thanks , Collin, for being just like us!!! See you at ST , you too , Nick…
    Ashley and Collin’s #1 Fan in FL,

  2. misschatter

    Awww big shout out to Nick! I hope he and his family are doing well through the holidays and next season brings him many rewards!

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