As with all British baseball fans of the same era, ‘Baseball on 5’ still has a place in my heart.
Watching ballgames just isn’t quite the same without the many little quirks that we came to feel were an integral part of enjoying a late night/early morning game:- ‘Seventh-inning stretch’ features, ‘Hardcore’ shout-outs, presenter Jonny Gould hastily trying to hide his chocolate wrappers as the show went back to the studio just a bit quicker than he thought, among many others.
Things regularly happen in baseball that make me think back to those days with much fondness. This Monday evening provided the latest example.
There were many reasons to take an interest in star closer Trevor Hoffman during his illustrious career, but there was one fact about him that couldn’t go unsaid every time his name came up on Baseball on 5.
Hoffman’s mother was English.
I forget precisely where in England she was from (Stockport rings a bell – Hells Bells of course – although I’ve nothing to back that up other than that being my memory and having no clue why I might have plumped for Stockport if it was somewhere else), but a USA Today feature on him confirms that his mother Mikki met Trevor’s father in London before moving to the States.
This factoid came to mind because of an exciting announcement on the Great Britain Twitter account:
— GB Baseball (@GB_Baseball) August 15, 2016
Having such an experienced and outstanding ex-MLB player on the coaching staff is a real coup for Great Britain.
We’ve seen Hall-of-Famers Bert Blyleven and Mike Piazza sharing their wisdom with the Netherlands and Italy teams respectively in previous World Baseball Classics and Hoffman – who received 67.3% support in his first time on the Hall-of-Fame ballot this year and seems certain to be elected to Cooperstown in the next few years – can play the same role for Great Britain.
GB will be competing against Brazil, Israel and Pakistan in Brooklyn, New York over 22-25 September as they aim to qualify for the main World Baseball Classic tournament for the first time.