Tagged: Huntington Beach

Syracuse Hot Stove & Jersey Retirement

Syracuse, New York (-12 degrees Fahrenheit, wintry mix)

DSCN0931.JPGA couple weeks ago I went to Syracuse for a little Hot Stove Dinner to kick off the union of the Nationals with the Chiefs.  I never new that it could really get colder than it was in Columbus.  The team was nice enough to let my fiancee come along, so once we got to the airport they had one of their interns there waiting to pick us up.  And you know, we started some small talk like regular humans, and they started telling me what the plans were for the day.  Let me inform you that all I thought I was doing was going to the dinner to meet the fans.  But they had a different itinerary in mind.  The intern said I had a photo shoot and an interview lined up beginning in an hour.  (There goes the relaxing afternoon I had planned, haha).  So I went to the photo shoot at a local photographer.  It was a photo shoot for Time Warner Cable and they had a Syracuse Chiefs jersey and hat for me to wear.  They took about 15-20 shots that are actually going to be used for billboards around town and other media pamphlets, so I thought that was really cool.  After that, we went over to the radio station to do some radio commercial for Time Warner.  The local Time Warner is trying to focus on “local celebrities” like the minor league hockey team there and also Carmello Anthony, since he went to Syracuse in college.  They gave me 4 full sheets to read for radio ads.  As you can imagine, this took me a while, about an hour and a half to be exact, I’m not the best reader, haha. 

Now once all of this was done we had about an hour to go back to the room, get a bite to eat, and get ready for the dinner.  Now you might be thinking, “An hour?  That’s plenty of time to do that!”  And I would also agree that is ample enough time… but you all are forgetting that I have my loving fiancee with me, and she is not too keen on the idea of fitting all her primping into a mere 60 minutes.  Needless to say, we get ready (running only 15 minutes behind) and get to the Holiday Inn where the dinner and silent auction is taking place.  I will just say this: I really think that the Syracuse Chiefs did a great job with everything the whole night.  Everything was set up very nicely and they treated everyone with the Nationals with great respect.  So I got to talk with the fans and take pictures and sign autographs which was fun.  I never new that the Chiefs had so much history and that the fans were so good and loyal towards the Chiefs and I really liked that.


Now mind you, I think that my duties are now over for the day and I can sit back, relax and enjoy my chicken and potatoes while listening to all the other important people take their turn speaking at the podium in the center of the head stage, surely thinking I would not be summoned upon to speak.  Can you see where this is going?  Shortly after I began to dig into my cookies n’ creme sundae, the emcee came up to me and asked if I would ‘say a lil somethin’? I told him that I didn’t really have anything planned out and would rather answer some questions than deliver a speech from the heart.  I mean there was over 400 people there and that’s a tough crowd, especially when 95% of them have never heard of you (haha).  So all throughout dessert I’m waiting for the time at which they will call my name to speak, and finally it came.  I get up to the podium with sweaty palms and a blank mind but winged it anyway and I actually thought I did pretty well!  Anyone that was there that reads this please tell me how I did haha.  I said something along the lines of the weather (can never go wrong with that) and how I was happy to be there but hoped to never return!  All in all, I was really impressed with the entire trip to Syracuse and really enjoyed myself.  Go Chiefs!
Huntington Beach, California (70 degrees Fahrenheit, sunny)
Last weekend, as all of you guys know, I had my high school number retired.  I was pretty nervous about this since the day my coach told me that they were going to do this.  It was such a great honor that I can’t really put in words how I was truly feeling.  It was announced during the 5th inning of the alumni game.  So me being me, I thought, “Well I know I’m not going to pitch, but hey I was 3/17 in hitting this year so, hey I’ll hit and show the coach that he should have let me hit in high school” right?…Wrong!  When we landed at John Wayne airport, I turned on my phone and I had a text from Mike from Reynolds Sports Management (my agent’s company) and the conversation went something like this:
  Mike: “you’re not actually planning on playing in the game are you?” 
  Collin: “Well yea, no pitching but I wanna hit”  
  Mike: “you better call the office 714-298-****”
So I call the office and he says “your not planing on really hitting are you?” I say “ummm Yeah” so long story short he says absolutely no hitting because of the risk, which I totally get but I was a little bummed.  I was kinda sad that I had to be in regular clothes for everything instead of old HB gear like everyone else, but hey I would rather be ready for spring than hurt.
So Howie Clark and I get to throw out the first pitch and right at that moment I was thinking, “Man, this is really happening.”  It was awesome to see all the alumni at the game, some who I played with, some who had coached me, and some that had just graduated in 2007.  Wow, I thought there was a rule to what “alumni” meant.  I figured you had to wait at least 2 years to come back and play (haha).  So finally the 5th inning rolls around and I’ll tell you this, my coach did a great job writing up the introductions for both Howie and I.  He put in the best parts about my career, and left out the bad!  At the mound, Howie and I stood there waiting for the tarp to drop and reveal our banners and I realized that it was kinda an emotional day for us.  We talked about how much of an honor it was and how we felt about it, and as it dropped and I first laid my eyes on the banner I had the biggest smile on my face.  Right then I thought, “Wow, this really just happened.”  Afterwards, we both took pictures under our banners, for more people than I ever have in my life, (next to prom).  I was so happy that my whole family and my friends could be there with me to take it
all in.  


So I really want to thank all my family and friends that came, I really appreciate it so very much.  Most of all, I would like to thank my coach Benji Medure for the opportunity he gave me in high school, and for not for kicking me off the team like he threatened to do many times throughout high school (haha he knows what Im talking about).  So all and all it was a great weekend and I was very happy that I could share it with you all.
   Bally Star

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