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07/25/06
What a trip it was…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:59 am

We arrived in Park City on July 19 and the first thing that we noticed was the air conditioning didn’t seem to be working.  The highs were in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s and it was warm in our room.  We finally notified the front desk as we were heading back to the room after dinner.  Maintenance was called and they stopped by to check out the AC unit.  Sure enough, the compressor had failed.  He stated he would have to notify the front desk.

 

We didn’t hear anything until about 8:30 and they told us that they could move us to a two bed room but we would lose the studio that we were in.  This meant losing the microwave, stove and fridge which we were very pleased with.  Or we could stay there with the use of a fan and they would replace the compressor the next day.  We chose to stay in the room with the fan and survived the first night…  Barely. 

 

The two beds in this room were doubles and Carol and I fit snugly on the bed if one of us was always on our side.  Trying to roll over in the night meant waking the other.  Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep this first night.

 

July 20 2006

 

We all got up after a restless night and had breakfast.  Before we knew it, it was noon and we were supposed to be in Heber City for warm-ups before the game.  So, we’re running a little late.  I called the front desk to let them know we would be gone so they could replace the compressor and repair the air conditioning.  Then we ran over to Albertson’s and picked up another bag of ice to fill the Styrofoam cooler that we had purchased the day before and filled with Gatorade and water.  Filled the cooler with the ice, covered it up in the back of the Dodge Magnum, closed the back hatch and climbed in to get on the road to Heber City.

 

I pulled out of the parking lot and heard this crash in the back.  My minds eye tells me that the Styrofoam cooler has tipped over and nothing is left in it.  Damn it.  I pull into the next drive and park.  Open up the back of the Magnum and sure enough, it’s tipped and the ice and water is all over the back.  We stand the cooler up and fill it with everything that we can gather and decide that putting it in the back seat between the front and back seat would help keep it upright.  So I grab the refilled cooler and proceed to put it in the back seat dropping it the last couple of inches due to the limited space available to maneuver.  This wasn’t a good thing as it landed on a corner and busted the cooler up spilling its contents all over the floor of the back seat this time.

 

Shit!  I can’t believe this.  It’s now 12:15 and we’re really late now.  I slam the door shut and climb into the car and head down the road for the 30 minute drive ahead of us.  It was a completely quiet ride that trip.  The one thing I noticed as we were approaching Heber City was that there was still snow on the mountains off in the distance.  It is July 20 and to see snow on the mountains was still cool even for me to see.  I pointed the snow out to Tyler too.

 

I got Tyler his vest from the back of coach Matt’s truck and got it to Tyler and then I briefly told Matt about our situation and that we were going back to the Smith’s that we saw heading into town to clean up our mess.  He said that was fine, he would take care of Tyler for us.

 

Game time, we’re facing the number one team in the state of Utah to start the tournament.  We know it won’t be easy but if we can stay close, it should be a good game.

 

1:30 PM           Chandler Red Sox (2) vs. Utah Horns (14)

 

OK, we didn’t keep it close.  We didn’t look bad either.  They just looked really good and really aggressive on the bases.  We just couldn’t stop them.

 

We had some time before we had to be back for the next game so we decided to go grab a bite to eat and head to the hotel for a little rest.  By the time we got to the hotel, it was close to 3:30 and the air conditioning wasn’t fixed yet.  The temps were in the high 80’s and it was stuffy hot in the room.  I called the front desk for an update or a status and they said they would have to call me back.  We never heard from them by the time we left for Heber City for the next game at 4:30.  I was getting a little frustrated with them, but there wasn’t anything I could do then.

 

7:30 PM           Tuff Country Predators (4) vs. Chandler Red Sox (7)

 

We played better and we were able to hold these boys off.  They were another good team.  I guess that’s what you should expect at the Tournament of Champions where you must have won a previous tournament to be invited here.  But we won so we were positioned nicely for the games to come tomorrow.

 

We head back to the hotel and arrive about 10:15.  Still no air conditioning in our room and no messages with a status that I had requested earlier.  I head down to the front desk and speak with both clerks.  They have no rooms available so Willy calls a manager and asks if they can put us up in one of the available condos?  About 10:45 we have everything worked out and we’re heading to a condo about a mile away.  So we pack everything up and in about four trips we had the car fully loaded headed to the condo.  By the time we were able to get into the condo and unload the car, it was 12:30 and we were all dead.  I think we finally hit the sack around 1:00 AM.

 

July 21 2006

 

This place was better than where we had just come from, but the queen beds were hard as rocks.  I think my body ached from the hardness of the bed.  I didn’t sleep very well and woke to find the toilet plugged from a previous resident.  It was still hot in the unit as they had the thermostats set at 85 when we first arrived and the AC unit doesn’t cool the unit very well it appears.  So how good was this upgraded condo?  I don’t know yet. 

 

We get up and head to Heber City for today’s games leaving our sleeping quarters behind (thank god).  We get out to the ball fields around noon for a little batting practice and everyone’s hitting good.  Wilson and Cord both hit the parking lot several hundred feet away.  Looks like this should be a pretty good game.  I hope we play well.

 

1:30 PM           South Valley Sliders (10) vs. Chandler Red Sox (2)

 

We didn’t play well at all.  It seemed that everyone including our Tyler struggled on the mound this game.  The errors out in the field were horrendous. It was so reminiscent of the games the All Stars played.  Errors and no hitting won’t win you any games.  We came all this way with the assurances of the coach that this was a good team and they would handle the ball behind our pitchers.  I didn’t see it here today. 

 

We grabbed a bite to eat and returned to the field to get ready for the next game.  Originally we were thinking that we were done at this point but apparently at least one 2 and 2 team was going to make the cut to the Semi’s so we still had a shot.  So let’s go out there and win this one to play on Saturday.

 

5:30 PM           Chandler Red Sox (6) vs. South Valley Bombers (13)

 

This was the worst game yet.  After three innings we were tied at 3 but then we let down in a big way.  The fifth inning saw 5 errors alone with 9 runs scoring.  Wilson was on the mound and no one could get an out for him.  This was not Wilson’s fault by any means.  He pitched a great game.  I felt so bad for him.  I felt so frustrated for us.  We came all that way and we played horrible as a team.  We were done.  Knocked from the tournament Friday afternoon and we’re not leaving until Sunday noon.

 

We said our goodbyes and headed back to the condo.  We had dinner with Lora, Mark, Courney and Canyon who were in town for the Triple Crown World Series with Courtney’s Impulse Blue team.  It was the one happy and bright spot in this whole trip.  If it wasn’t for them, this would have been the worst… OK, it was the worst trip I have ever been on.  We enjoyed getting out of Phoenix for a few days and the heat, but it was hot up there.  It was just a horrible trip.  I hope Tyler had fun.  That’s what the trip was for so I hope he got something out of it.

 

We changed our flight to Saturday afternoon and headed home early.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  My body ached from the bed and both toilets were leaking if you could get them to stop running which was a battle of its own.  I just wanted to get home.  I was so glad to land in Phoenix around 6:00 PM Saturday and know that I was going to get a good night’s sleep which I did.  I slept hard.

 

Well, that was my Utah baseball trip.  I did have some fun but these are the things that I remember from this trip.  That’s it for now.  We’re back into the swing of normal everyday life again without a whole lot of baseball or softball in it for a couple weeks.  Then the Rebels will start back up and the Fury will start playing in some tournaments and leagues again too just in time for school to start for the kids.  Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll be typing at you later.

 

In case you were interested, the semi’s and finals ended up with the Utah Horns winning the whole thing.  The games played out as follows:

 

July 22 2006

 

11:30 AM        (Seed 1) UT Horns (12) vs. (Seed 4) SF Heat (3)

1:30 PM           (Seed 2) SF Red Sox (11) vs. (Seed 3) SV Bombers (2)

 

3:30 PM           Championship game: UT Horns (7) vs. SF Red Sox (4)

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07/18/06
Heading to Utah
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 12:47 pm

Well, we’re heading to Utah tomorrow to join the Chandler Red Sox in the Tournament of Champions tournament.  The temperatures around here have been in the 113 to 118 range and now the humidity is on the rise making it a bit muggy as well.  So the temps in Park City will be a welcome change for a few days.

 

Tyler has practiced with this team and done OK.  I think he’s nervous about playing with them and letting them down a little.  He’s just practiced tight.  Hopefully he’ll loosen up when they all get up in the mountain air and start to play the games.  He turns into a different person when he’s in a game.

 

The schedule has us playing four games over two days and the semi’s and finals are on Saturday.

 

7/20      12:30 PM          Chandler Red Sox vs. Utah Horns

7/20      6:30 PM            Tuff Country Predators vs. Chandler Red Sox

 

7/21      12:30 PM          South Valley Sliders vs. Chandler Red Sox

7/21      4:30 PM            Chandler Red Sox vs. South Valley Bombers

 

7/22      10:30 AM          Seed 1 vs. Seed 4

7/22      12:30 PM          Seed 2 vs. Seed 3

7/22      2:30 PM            Championship game

 

Depending on the Internet Connection in the hotel, I’ll try to keep everyone updated as we go.

 

Thanks for checking in and until next time, stay safe and take care.  I’ll be typing at you later.

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07/12/06
DVLL 11’s in the Championships
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:45 am

Last night we went to the DVLL 11’s All Stars Championship game.  It’s not like we get enough baseball in this 100+ degree heat.  The majors have been knocked out and they were expected to do well.  The minors have been knocked out and they were expected to go far.  The one team that no one really gave a chance to do much was the 11’s and look at them, playing for the Distrist 2 Championship.  Congratulations boys on making it this far.

 

During the game, Arrowhead goes up 4 in the bottom of the second.  Over the next couple innings, DVLL came back to go up 5 to 4 on Arrowhead in the middle of the fourth inning.  Over the loudspeakers, a woman’s voice was heard, “Last call for the 50/50 pot.  It’s standing at $179 right now and we’re trying to get it up over $200 before we draw the number.”  Damn, I looked at Carol.  “$179, I might have to do that.”  I never do 50/50 pots.  But Grandma won $32 the other night at one of the games we went to so I figured at $179, I couldn’t pass that shot up.  So I spent the $5 to get six tickets.  I donated my $5 to the league.

 

The bottom of the fourth has Arrowhead coming up to bat and they end up scoring a run to tie the game up at 5.  Damn, we’ve got us a game here I thought.  In the distance over the loudspeaker we hear they’re going to call the 50/50 pot that finished up at $201.  Cool, I look at my numbers and stick the tickets back in my pocket.  “The winning number is, 419228.”  Son of a gun, I won.  I looked at Carol and said as calm as could be, “That’s my ticket.”  “You Wish!” she exclaimed.  I pulled the tickets out of my pocket and pointed to the number and started walking to the scorers table.  I just won $100.50.  I walked by Sutton sitting on the bleachers and he looked at me, “Where you going?”  “I won.”  “Alright Gavin!  Let’s go Deer Valley” he yelled.  Others start to turn and look and question where I’m going.  “You won?” came from Al.  I smiled and nodded yes.  It was cool.

 

I turned my ticket in and they handed me the cash, $100.50.  I thanked the nice lady and stuffed the money in my pocket.  As I was walking back by Sutton, he asked again, “So you really won?”  I said, “Yea.”  He said, “Drinks are on Gavin.”  Tyler runs up, “What did you do?  Did you really win a hundred dollars?”  “Yes.”  “Give me fifty.  Come on, give me fifty.” Was Tyler’s response.  I smiled.  And Dave said, “uh, Ice cream on Gavin.” Changing it from drinks to kid friendly.  He was our Giant Head coach you know and had to look good in front of the kids.  I just smiled.  It was a pretty good night.

 

Deer Valley left themselves hanging out on the bases in the top of the 5th and ran out of pitching.  They allowed ten runs in the bottom of the 5th ending the game due to run rule of a team being up by 10 after 4 innings.  The final score was Arrowhead 15, Deer Valley 5.  The game was much better than the score shows.  I feel horrible for Adam Alvarez who ended up coming in relief of the 10 run inning finishing the game.  He didn’t get the loss but it had to be tough for him.  I don’t think he pitched much this season.  It was a great run DVLL 11’s.  You sure showed the rest of the All Stars how to win.  Thanks for the night and don’t dwell on the last inning.  The game was a great game and the tournament season was a great run.  You all should be proud.

 

If it wasn’t for the 11’s making it to the Championship game, we wouldn’t have been there to see how well they do play and I wouldn’t have won the $100.50.  Thanks for a great night boys.  Thanks for stopping by.  Take care and I’ll be typing at you later.

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07/06/06
Deer Valley wins… goes home
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 7:44 am

It was a sad ending to what should have been a great post season run for the Deer Valley All Stars.  They won the game last night shutting out Buckeye 6 to 0.  But what should have been a happy occasion for the win was a sullen affair as everyone ended up saying goodbye to new friends and acquaintances.  A few might see each other again but it was just a sad night.  Good luck boys on your future baseball endeavors.  Until next time, keep swinging the bat and fielding your dreams.

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07/05/06
Deer Valley loses to Goodyear
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:32 am

It’s been a difficult weekend after the loss to Goodyear Saturday night.  Deer Valley All Stars have been knocked out of the tournament without ever playing their last game which goes off tonight at 5:30.  Don’t get me wrong.  Saturday’s game was the best game that these All Stars have played to date but the result was the loss that knocked us out.  Deer Valley was ahead late after 5 innings 2 to 1.  Brian Linhart pitched his heart out that game and had done a wonderful job.  But a couple of walks later and a two run double up the middle wrapped up the Deer Valley All Stars 2006 campaign ending the game 3 to 2 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

 

Sidewinder All Stars should finish pool play with a 4 and 0 record (worst case, 3 and 1) while Goodyear should end pool play 3 and 1 (2 and 2 worst case but head to head we lost to them – we lose and they advance).  Everything will be wrapped up tonight as far as our pool goes.  Coach Anthony has already said that he plans on playing the kids that have sat most the first three games and others will sit in their place tonight.  It’s just been a tough weekend thinking back on the tournament so far and especially the Sidewinder game.  There were four or five errors that game costing four runs.  That doesn’t even mention the at least two base running errors that cost us two outs in the fourth inning.  Two base running errors that counted for two outs in a rally inning really hurt.  And why was there no first base coach?  We put a player on to coach first this game instead of a coach.  That led to one of the base running errors.

 

Would have, could have, should have isn’t where I had hoped to be today.  The last game had no errors but we still only hit .200 for a team.  The first game we only hit .238 as a team and .174 against Sidewinder.  Another reason we are where we are now.  For the tournament the Deer Valley All Stars are hitting .203.  One bright star from this is Tyler’s performance.  All season Tyler has struggled with the hitting but he showed up to play this tournament.  Tyler hit .375 with a walk in 9 at bats scoring 2 runs with 3 RBI’s.  It was great to see Tyler come through hitting as well as he has.

 

OK, we play Buckeye tonight and our season will be over.  It is time to look ahead to the Rebels and hopefully a greatly improved team for the new season to come.  Carol and I started looking around and found a post on a local baseball website for a team needing a pitcher for a tournament in Park City, Utah coming up on July 20, 21 and 22.  We talked about it and decided that if Tyler wanted to try for this and they still needed a pitcher we would go ahead and give it a shot.  We asked Tyler if he would want to do this and without hesitation he said, “Yes.”  So I sent the email Sunday afternoon to the coach of the Chandler RedSox, an 11U team ( a step up from where Tyler’s been playing at 10U).  Tyler kept checking to see if we had called and we explained that we sent the email but hadn’t heard anything.

 

Monday morning arrived and I finally receive a response from Matt Lamb the coach of the Chandler RedSox and he stated they do still need a pitcher and asked if we could come out to Mesa for a tryout?  I responded and let him know that we could but it would have to be later that day.  I was looking out for Tyler.  He was still sleeping and I knew he wouldn’t be awake much before 11:30 or so.  So we worked it all out and I did advise that we were still in All Stars but only through Wednesday as we had already been knocked from the tournament. 

 

Tyler finally wakes about noon and comes out.  I asked him if he got plenty of sleep and he said he had.  I asked if he was relaxed and rested enough to go for a tryout with the Chandler RedSox.  A smile came across his face only for a second then an expression of slight fear hit him.  The realization that this is really happening hit him and I asked him if he was up for this?  He said, “Yes, but what if I don’t do good?”  I told him that I know he’ll do fine.  If he goes out and does what he does, he’ll be fine.  His face turned to the big smile again.  So we headed down to Mesa for this quick tryout.  We met Matt at his offices where he has a hitting and pitching cage in the back.  It’s really a nice setup.  We talked for a bit as he and Tyler played catch warming up.  Then Tyler got on the mound.  He wound up and threw his first pitch.  Only about 80 percent.  Then another and another.  Tyler was warming up and started throwing at 100 percent. 

 

Then Matt asked him to throw his change up.  The first two hit the dirt and then he started to bring them up.  “Couple more fast balls”, Matt said.  Tyler threw them in there hard.  “Now the change up again.  A little slower, softer grip.”  Another pitch.  “Just a little slower.”  I told Tyler to really loosen up on the grip so you don’t hear the seams and he threw a change up that floated in to Matt’s glove.  “There it is, Tyler.  Fastball.”  Ty threw a couple more fastballs then Matt said, “Ok that change up again.”  Tyler nailed that change up again.  He looked like a pro out there.  He went out there and did what he does.  Matt stood up and said, “I’ve seen enough.  I want him.  If you can really make this trip we would love to have Tyler join us in Utah for this tournament.” 

 

The joy in my heart for Tyler was overwhelming.  He did what he does and earned a spot on a tournament roster for a team that is a level above where he normally plays.  We talked a little bit more and we are both really excited at the opportunity.  Tyler didn’t really know for sure what was going on.  As we were walking out, Matt was leading the way and I hear Tyler whisper, “Did I make it?”  A smile crossed my face as I glanced back and nodded.  I held my hand out in a low 5 manner about my waist and Tyler smacked it.  He held himself together pretty good.  I gave him the keys to the car so he could drop his gear off and then come back in to try on the uniform for size.  He looks good in the blue UnderArmor undershirt and Red Vest. 

 

We left and headed for the car.  Once there Tyler called his mom and said, “We’re going to Utah.”  I didn’t hear the conversation but Tyler said she was crying for joy for him.  I could see that.  It’s the same as when he won the Orioles game.  She cries for joy when her kids do well.  To go from being knocked out of the All Stars far too early to making a tournament team headed for the National Championships in Utah in a matter of days was unbelievable.  I still have a hard time grasping that this has happened, even though I’ve already made the flight, car and hotel reservations.  It’s quite unreal.  So the Rebels will have to wait a few more weeks for our focus and attention.

 

That’s about it for now and thanks for tuning in.  I’ll let you know what happens tonight and throughout our journey to Utah and back.  Until next time, stay safe and enjoy life.  I’ll be typing at you later.

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07/01/06
Deer Valley loses to Sidewinder
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:27 am

The Deer Valley All Stars came up short against a very agressive Sidewinder All Star team last night.  Deer Valley 4, Sidewinder 7 was the final.  A disappointing loss to say the least.  A few errors cost a early but our hitting isn’t there to score any runs.  As a team we had a .187 batting average last night.  We only had a .200 batting average Thursday night but we were able to pull out the win.  The first three innings saw us go three up, three down.

Tyler wasn’t himself but he kept us close (DV 2, SW 3) going into the fifth inning last night.  I don’t know what happened next but Tyler got the first batter up to ground out reaching the top of the order.  Tyler had about 65 pitches on him at that time and the temp had probably cooled to 103 from 108 by this time.  Was he hot?  Probably.  Was he tired?  He normally goes into the 80’s before showing signs of fatigue and slowing.  But he wasn’t himself anyway, so who knows really what happened but the top of their order hit Tyler hard.  Singles and doubles to the outfield scoring three runs before Coach went out and switched up the pitchers leaving one runner at second.

Keith came in allowing the one runner to score but got us out of the inning.  We came back up and scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth giving us what would end up being the final score of 4 to 7.  It was a tough loss.  But we aren’t going to win many games hitting only .200 or less as a team for the game.  Well, we have to put this game behind us and go out tonight and really take it to the Goodyear All Stars.  Thanks for checking in.  Stay safe and I’ll be typing at you later. 

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06/30/06
Deer Valley wins opener
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 8:08 am

The time has come.  The boys have practiced all they can practice.  Now is the time to put their hard work to good use.  But first, the jerseys.  The boys arrived clad in white undershirts, UnderArmor, Nike Undergear and the like because they hadn’t received their jerseys yet.  One by one the players arrived and donned their new navy blue jerseys with white lettering bordered in red stating Deer Valley All Stars on the front and their name and number on back.  The boys looked sharp.  If nothing else, they’ve got great uniforms.  I was able to get a team picture of the boys in uniform.  I’ll try to get this posted by Saturday game time.

 

Warm ups began with the boys playing catch in the outfield.  Then, for effect Coach Anthony had Tyler (our boy) start warming up pitching.  He threw only about 15 to 20 pitches.  The boys from West End were looking at him wide eyed.  Then as Tyler finished up and Brian Linhart started to warm up Bart asked about Tyler’s fastball, “What is that?  55?  60?  62?”  We answered, “Yea, somewhere in there.”  “Damn!” Bart exclaimed shaking his head side to side.  We all chuckled at that.  I think Tyler intimidated his own teammates. 

 

Game time, 5:30 PM.  Game time temperature, 106.  A bit humid with the sun still blazing on the field.  It was hot.  Deer Valley won the coin flip so they take the field sprinting to their positions as a team.  They look organized, well prepared and surprisingly relaxed.  Brian Linhart takes the mound with Gage Leighty behind the plate.  Our Tyler at first, Bart Diehl at second, Austin Mette at third with Tiler Sadowski at short.  Ryan Sornsin, Vince Dempsey and Keith Nowak left to right in the outfield.  A nice strong defensive alignment to start the game. 

 

That being said, West End came out and promptly scored a run on us.  But when it was the good guys turn at the plate we introduced them to the Deer Valley starting lineup.  Austin Mette, Bart Diehl, Tiler Sadowski, Tyler Abrego, Gage Leighty, Brian Linhart, Ryan Sornsin, Vince Dempsey and Keith Nowak rounding out the order.  Mette and Diehl reached base then Tiler Sadowski crushed a triple to the right field gap scoring 2.  Tyler came up next and hit a nice double over short scoring Tiler.  Brian Linhart grounded out moving Tyler to third before scoring on a single by Gage Leighty making the score Deer Valley 4, West End 1 after one.

 

Brian Linhart pitched a great three innings handing the ball over to Tiler Sadowski in the fourth.  Tiler struggled a bit on the mound giving up a couple runs in the fourth.  His last two innings were scoreless but not easy at all with West End stranding two runners in both innings.  The good guys had scored another insurance run back in the fourth making the final Deer Valley 5, West End 3.

One game down and three more to go in pool play.  Our next game is tonight at 5:30 against Sidewinder with Tyler slated to pitch this one.  Should be a good game.  Hopefully the boys will be a little more relaxed out there with a game under their belt and a have little more confidence with the win too.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Until next time, stay safe and happy and I’ll be typing at you later.

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06/28/06
Tournament Time
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 12:16 pm

It’s tournament time.  The District 2 Little League All Star games begin tonight but our Deer Valley All Star teams don’t play until tomorrow night. The minors are scheduled to face the West End All Stars to start the tournament while the Major boys take on Village Meadows immediately following our game.  Our minor division All Star team looks solid.  This is a strong team where most of the players can hit the ball and then turn around and field it cleanly making solid plays for the outs. 

 

This team is made up of a couple of kids that play club ball who also played up in the Majors this year.  They are our Tyler Abrego and Tiler Sadowski.  The other players that round out this strong team are definitely all stars of the Minor division and include Vincent Dempsey, Bart Diehl, Matt Hodgson, Gage Leighty, Brian Linhardt, Devin McCarville, Austin Mette, Keith Nowak, Ryan Romayo, Collin Russell and Ryan Sorenson (I must apologize for any name miss spellings - I’ve done my best here).

 

I like what I have seen in practice.  They have come together quickly and gelled as a team.  They already are cheering for each other and supporting each other which is great to see.  The team chemistry seems to be really strong too.  We have solid pitching with Tyler leading the way.  In fact, one of the strongest statements I’ve heard about our team  was in reference to someone talking about other teams having nine, ten or more club ball players on their team where we only have two, “Yea, but you have Tyler pitching!”  Dave Sutton, the Giants Major’s coach made this statement at our end of season party.  That was a huge compliment I thought for Tyler and this All Star team.  But I also like the way the kids play.  Most of them hustle each and every play, on and off the field, have great attitudes toward the game and really appear to enjoy and love the game.  The heart this team has appears to be huge at this point.

 

It’s early yet and as I always say, “You have to play the game to determine a winner.  Any team can win on any given day.”  I’m ready for the games to begin.  In fact, I’m going to miss Tyler’s All Star practice tonight to do some scouting of West End and Sidewinder who play each other tonight.  We play West End tomorrow night and Tyler is slated to go off against Sidewinder Friday night.  We then play Goodyear Saturday night and the Buckeye All Stars Wednesday July 5th.  Of these teams, we all feel that Sidewinder will be our toughest opponent in this pool.  This is why Tyler is waiting a day to make his start and then he will be fresh and ready to go again Wednesday against Buckeye.

 

If we seed in the top two spots of our pool, the Deer Valley All Stars will advance to the single elimination tournament that begins Saturday July 8.  But we have to wait and see.  Thanks for stopping by our corner of the web.  I’ll try to keep this page updated with daily scores and highlights time permitting.  I wish I could take a leave of absence for the next month and just go play baseball, update this site and write.  But I haven’t won the lottery yet.  So our days are filled with work and our nights are filled with baseball and softball.  So until next time, stay safe, get lots of rest and I’ll be typing at you later.

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06/21/06
The newest member…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 5:03 pm

Yesterday the world of the driving welcomed (well, I don’t know about that) or maybe greeted its newest member.  Tracey Abrego took her driving test and passed it the first time so now she has her permit. 

So if you’re on the road in our neck of the woods - you had better watch out for a white Chevy Silverado with an O’Connor Lady Eagles Basketball window sticker.  You just might run into her (and I hope that’s not literally).

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A Giant Ending…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 3:24 pm

The run came to an end for the Giants Monday night.  They came up against a tough, tough pitcher in Glendale/Ironwoods Zack Rodgers.  He struck most everyone out that night including big John and then he connected for a home run scoring three runs of his own with three RBI’s to his credit.  This kid was good.

We were able to score 5 runs on the team but we couldn’t match the 9 spot they put on the board.  It was a tough loss.  But this allows the six Giant All Stars to focus on that daunting task ahead.  It was a fantastic year for the Giants and we’re all proud of the boys.  Good luck on all your runs through All Stars and we’ll see you all soon.

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06/16/06
DVLL Closing Ceremonies
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 10:35 am

Deer Valley Little League held their closing ceremonies last night.  They first announced the Minor division league winners and then the minor division Tournament winners.  In both cases the team finishing up in first place was the Nationals with Anthony Romayo managing the team.  Then they announced the Major division league winners and then the tournament winners.  In this case it was our own Giants accepting both of these awards.  Tyler went up with his team and received his league winning trophy and tournament winning medal for his part in this team.  We have some crude pictures and when I get some time I hope to put some of these up on the site.

Then came the announcement of All Stars.  The first division to be named was the Minor division All Stars.  They named all 32 players nominated to the All Star pool plus two Minor division players that played up in the Major division this year.  All 34 players lined up on the third base line including our Tyler.  All of these players were awarded a Deer Valley Little League All Star t-shirt for being nominated to this pool of players.  Then came the announcement of the thirteen All Stars and first was Tyler Abrego.  We are so proud of his accomplishments this year.  He worked his way past the other kids and started to head to the pitchers mound where they were to gather but first he needed to collect his Deer Valley All Star ballcap.  He shook the hands of the President and Vice President of the League, received his cap and headed out to the mound.  Once there he looked down at his cap and shifted his trophy, shirt and cap to one hand as he removed his Giant hat and donned the DV All Star cap with a big smile on his face.  They continued listing off the twelve remaining players and we will get to know them, but as of now we only know a couple.  Keith Novak and Tiler Sadowski made the team as well and Anthony Romayo was announced as the teams Manager. 

Next they announced the nominees for the 11 year old All Stars and Major division All Stars.  The eleven year olds lined up on the third base line and the twelve year olds lined up on the first base line.  From our Giants, David Fitzgerald, Harley Bliss and Brandon (Brando) Le Bueff were announced as eleven year old nominees and Daniel Pelton, John Patinella and Wesley Sutton were announced as the twelve year old nominees.  They too were awarded the t-shirts for being nominated to the All Star pool.  The first team they announced was the 11 year old All Stars.  This team included the Giants Harley Bliss and David Fitzgerald.  Congratulations boys on a great achievement and year so far.  Keep up the great work in the 11 All Stars and we hope for a long run for you.

Next they announced the Major division All Stars.  This is the team that could go all the way to the Little League World Series if they perform well together.  From the team they announced, it looks like a tough, really tough team and we hope them all the best and can’t wait to go out and see them play too in our spare time.  This team included the announcements of the Giants very own, Brando, Wesley Sutton and long ball hitter with eight home runs on the season, John Patinella.  Along with these three were many others that we have grown to know as exceptional ball players and friends including Steven Myers, Tommy Ley, Gian Mendoza, Nick Giannini, Tyler Thomas, Ross Brown, Hunter Young, Josh Fogerlie, Taylor Hart and Brook Weathersby. 

We’re all kind of stunned at a couple of choices to this team and one very large omission.  Daniel Pelton played extremely well this year and we truly believe he has better skills than one of the chosen thirteen.  We don’t know how this error has occurred but you are an All Star Daniel, you are definitely an All Star.

Congratulations to all of the kids that were chosen and good luck to you all on a long run in the tournaments and new experiences of a lifetime.  Enjoy and have fun.

After all of this last night, Tyler received another t-shirt from his coach, Dave Sutton.  This t-shirt was a gift to the team from the coaches and it had Deer Valley Little League Major Division Champion emblazoned on the front and Giants across the top of the back with all of the player’s and coaches listed below it on the back.  Tyler threw this on as soon as he received it and wore it with pride last night.  Congratulations Tyler.  We are so proud of you.

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06/13/06
Giants win the Championship!!!
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 6:57 am

The Giants came back from a two run error up four to three going into the 6th inning.  That’s when John did it again and lined a two run shot over the right center fence to give us a three run buffer to win the DVLL Championship.  6 to 3 was the final score.

Congratulations to the Never Say Die kids.  These kids came through the losers bracket playing seven games in the tournament, the most of anyone to win this Championship.  Hard fought games.  Close games that came down to the wire but they never gave up.  You deserve this Championship boys.

Now lets go to the District Tournament of Champions and do it again.  Starting next Monday, these same Giants will face the winners of all the other leagues in District 2 to crown the Tournament of Champions champion.  The best of the best.  Good luck boys and lets play Giant Baseball!!!

 

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06/11/06
Happy Birthday Dominic
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 8:25 am

Wanted to take a moment to wish a very happy birthday to Dominic Romano my nephew.  He turns the big 2 today.  Along with Dominic is little Mickey Goetz.  He’s turning 1 today.  Happy Birthday you two and we’ll be celebrating Tyler’s birthday today.  It’s a couple weeks past his birthday but it was the first time we could fit it in to all of our schedules.

I hope everyone has a wonderful birthday and celebration and a terrific year ahead.  Take care all and I’ll be typing at you later.

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06/10/06
Giants Win!!!
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 6:44 am

Giants won the game last night against the Diamondbacks forcing a second and deciding Championship game Monday night at 7:00 PM.  The bats came alive early with John hitting a three run blast over the right field fence in the bottom of the first.  Never looking back the Giants won rather easily with an 8 to 3 final score.

Wes pitched a solid four innings and then the talk of the night was David entering the game never pitching before allowing only two runs and getting us out of the fifth inning.  Coach decided to split the pressure up among the non-pitchers and sent Walter to the mound in the top of the sixth.  Allowing no runs on no hits Walter ended the game himself taking a grounder back to the mound and tossing it to Gary at first.

One more game for these never say die kids.  Congratulations boys on making it through one tough week of play.  You deserve the game on Monday so lets go out and play some Giants baseball.

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06/09/06
Welcome to Championship Weekend
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 8:02 am

The Giants have advanced to the Championship game tonight but it wasn’t an easy win.  The Giants were down 5 to 3 after allowing another run in the top of the 6th and final inning of the game.  I don’t know why it is, but this team likes drama and they wait until the 5th or 6th innings before getting their hits in.  A single by Wes and an intentional walk to John plus a wild pitch puts runners on second and third with Daniel at bat and no outs.  Daniel hits the ball sharply to the pitcher who looks Wes back at third then turns and throws to first.  Wes brakes for home and John heads to third.  The out is recorded at 1st then they throw home.  Wes is safe as the ball rolls away from the catcher.  John sees this and heads for home.  The pitcher heads for home to cover and John slides in safe to tie the game at 5 in the bottom of the 6th.

Extra innings saw little action on the bases but what it allowed was for the Giants to get to the top of their order in the bottom of the 8th and Brando walked.  He then stole second, stole third and finally stole home on wild pitches winning the game in dramatic fashion.  The Giants never give up and never quit.  They live to see another day. 

That day is today and the first of what we hope will be two Championship games.  The Giants have to face a fresh Diamondbacks squad who coming through the winners bracket have only played one game this week and have no real pitching issues.  Due to little league rules, playing three games already including the extra innings we played last night, we have the use of Wes or Daniel for four innings and then we will be forced to use a player that has never pitched before.  This will be a tough game for the Giants but that’s why you play the game.  You never know what will happen on any given day.  If the Giants win tonight then we will have a rematch of tonight’s game Monday night as the Diamondbacks have not lost a game yet and you must lose two to be eliminated.  If the Giants lose tonight then the tournament ends with the Diamondbacks winning the Championship and the Giants taking second.

Let’s play the game and see what happens.  7:00 PM is first pitch.  Let’s Go Giants!!!

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06/08/06
For the love of a woman…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 5:00 am

Just a brief note for Carol.

We don’t get to spend much time together anymore.

The kids keep us running in different directions almost every day.

When we are together, we’re usually running our own errands and performing our own chores.

Alone time?  This is usually bed time.

With all of this, I want you to never forget how I feel about you.

From the day we turned the corner in our relationship my feelings and emotions have only grown stronger.

I love you more today then yesterday, last week or last year.

For all the times we are apart, know in your heart that my thoughts and heart is with you.

For you are the one who stole my heart.

I love you Carol.

Thank you for letting me say my piece.

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06/06/06
And then there were three…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 10:39 pm

I know I haven’t gotten you all caught up on what’s been going on over the last few months yet, but I hope to soon.  But tonights Giant game (Tyler’s little league team) against the Orioles was one for the ages and I must let it out.

The Giants were facing their second test of elimination going up against the big and tough Orioles squad this time.  It’s win or go home for these kids.  The Giants are the home team and Tyler’s given the ball for this game.  He takes the mound and warms up looking good as he throws his heater into Wesley’s glove.  Tyler just turned 11 a week ago but his fastball is estimated to be around 60 to 65 miles per hour.  That’s fast for a league age 10 player.  It’s game time, 5:40 PM.  Game time temperature, 106 with clouds building from the south.  Tyler works hard and allows a hit or two in the first but leaves them standing on the bases as he strikes out the number 5 hitter for out number three.

The top of our order is one of the best in the league.  Brando 11, is a speedster on the bases with quick hands at bat and is our lead-off hitter hitting somewhere in the high 400’s for the season.  David 11, is our number two hitter and is probably the weakest hitter in the top of our order hitting just .333 for the season.  Wesley, 12 and our catcher extraordinaire is our leading hitter in the third spot followed up by John 12, the power in the four hole.  John has five home runs to his credit this season with a beautiful Walk Off Home Run to end the first game in the tournament.  Daniel 12, is our number five hitter with a great on base percentage in the 500’s.  Following Daniel is Nolan 12, another solid hitter batting about 400 now.  Behind him is Gary 12, who’s hitting of late has come on at the right time to help us win some needed games.  They say speed kills and in Gary’s case, he will have a long and glorious life.  Gary is the dump truck on the team bounding around the bases when he gets a hit.  Harley 11, follows Gary who is sporadic at the plate but hit a timely home run to help us win a game toward the end of regular season.  After him is Tyler 10 (league age), our Tyler hitting in the high 200’s since April 12th which we’re extremely proud of.  Bringing up the end is Sasha, 11 and Walter 11, who have struggled at the plate but come out and work hard every practice and every game to get better.

That’s the line-up that won us the Season scoring 117 runs on their way to a 15 and 3 record (with a forfeit included).  This is the team that held their opponents to just 30 runs all season.  A powerhouse of a team.  The top of our order comes up with the Orioles throwing a big kid that surprisingly doesn’t throw hard.  This could be trouble for us.  We seem to struggle against mediocre or average pitching.  We get out in front of the pitches failing to hold up for the ball to travel to the plate.  The bottom of the first saw this come to thruition.  Brando was thrown out at first while David struck out.  Wes got on with a hard hit single to left but was stranded there when John grounded out to Second base.  Bottom of 1 score tied at 0.

Tyler takes the mound for his second inning of work and allows a hit to the lead-off batter of the inning.  The next batter hits the ball sharply to Brando at short who tosses the ball to second who turns and throws wildly over the first baseman’s head moving the runner over to second.  The next batter looks at strike one on the outside of the plate.  He then takes a ball before swinging at the third pitch for a strike.  Wes comes up ready to throw as he always does but somehow loses the ball in the transfer.  He looks down for the ball as the runner on second breaks for third.  Spinning around he’s furiously looking for the ball as the umpire moves out of the way.  Wes sees the ball and grabs it but not before the runner is standing on third.  That’s OK, no harm done.  Tyler delivers the next pitch, a beautiful change up that has the hitter swinging way out in front of the pitch for strike three.  Two down with a runner on three.  The next batter steps in as Tyler gets his sign from Wes.  Tyler winds up and throws the ball wide right to the backstop.  The runner breaks for home as Wes jumps up running for the ball.  Tyler’s running home to cover as Wes grabs the ball and from his knees he turns and throws to Tyler.  Tyler’s just reaching home as the ball is coming in just a little high.  He reaches for the ball and brings down the tag on the sliding runner kicking up dirt and dust as he crosses home plate.  ”Safe!” yells the umpire as the ball dribbles behind Tyler.  It was a great play at home and the runner had to be out if Tyler could have held onto the ball.  Orioles fans cheer in celebration to our right.

Tyler picks up the ball and returns to the mound.  His head down for a moment.  You know he’s hurting over allowing that run.  But he lifts his head ready to take the signs from Wes to get this batter out.  ”Strike!” yells the ump as the ball screams past the batter into Wesley’s glove with a whump.  That was a nice pitch.  Now Tyler’s fired up.  The batter swings at the next pitch which dribbles weakly to Gary standing on first base for the third out.  Orioles 1, Giants 0 in the middle of the 2nd inning.

The Giants come up to bat in the bottom of the second inning going three up, three down quickly.  Tyler takes the mound for the third inning and strikes out the first batter.  The next batter takes the first two pitches for balls before Tyler throws inside and hits the batter in the upper arm.  As the batter reaches first, blue gives him time as his arm really hurts and a coach has to take a look.  They have him rotate his arm a few times in a big windmill fashion and he finally takes his place on first after a few minutes break.  Tyler really throws hard.  Tyler is placing his pitches on the corners and at the knees but not getting many calls from the umpire.  The next batter walks putting runners on first and second with one out.  Tyler throws a beautiful pitch to the next batter that he hits back to Brando at short who makes the out at second leaving runners on first and third with two outs.  Tyler hits his marks again but doesn’t get the calls.  Borderline balls are called which allows another walk loading the bases.  This brings Jake Nicholas to the plate, the Orioles number three hitter.  Two out, bases loaded and their number three hitter at the plate.  Tyler throws the first pitch by Jake for strike one.  Then Jake hits the second pitch to our ranging second baseman who makes a great play to get the ball and throw out Jake at first.  Tyler worked his way out of a jam there allowing no runs with bases loaded going through the top of their lineup.  Way to go kid.  Way to go.

The bottom of three has Tyler leading off the inning.  He stands in there and takes a good swing fouling off the first pitch.  The pitcher delivers the next pitch, looks good Tyler watches the ball into the catchers glove.  Ball 1.  Tyler takes ball two and then likes the next pitch grounding it hard to second who fields it cleanly throwing Tyler out at first.  Sasha and Walter end the bottom of the inning with the last two outs leaving Brando our lead-off hitter on deck.  After three, the score remains Orioles 1, Giants 0.

Tyler takes the mound for his fourth inning of work as a dust storm hit.  The game was delayed a few minutes as the front passed and then the Giants took the field with plenty of dust and dirt still in the air, wind blowing making it pretty hard to see.  It was 6:30 or so and the dust storm reduced visability quite a bit but our first baseman dawned a pair of sunglasses to help sheild his eyes from the debris.  The coaches asked if he could see and he said he could, so play on.  Tyler completed his warm up and takes the mound getting the first batter to ground out.  The next batter steps in and takes a ball.  The next pitch the batter swings and misses for a strike.  The batter drives the next pitch into the hole to right field for a single.  The next batter steps in and swings hitting the ball back to Brando at short who tags second and throws to first, “Safe!” is the umpires call as the runner beat the play.  The next batter steps in and lines the ball to right field.  The right fielder goes down for the ball but it rolls by him to the fence.  This allows the runner on first to score as the error costs the Giants two bases with the batter ending up on third.  Tyler takes the mound and strikes out the last batter for out number three in the inning.  Orioles 2, Giants 0 in the middle of four.

Top of the order coming up for the Giants.  Brando grounds out to second for the first out.  David gets on with a single to left bringing Wes up to bat.  Wes looks for his pitch and finds it crushing the ball to the fence in right.  David takes off from first heading round second to third.  As David’s approaching third Wes is already rounding second and the ball is being received by the second baseman in right.  It looks like the third base coach has to send David as Wes will surely be out at second if he holds the runners.  So he sends David home.  The second baseman throws home on a line to the catcher.  David slides as the catcher receives the ball and lays the tag on.  “Out!” cries blue.  No one will know for sure why the coach sent the runner but that’s how I saw it.  Two out bottom of four and John grounds out to second to end the inning.  Orioles 2, Giants 0 after four.

Top of five and Tyler goes back out and takes care of business facing four of their batters including their lead-off hitter for the last out.  He looks strong and has thrown only 72 pitches through five innings.  Tyler usually goes into the mid to upper 80’s in an outing before his pitch count really comes into play.  No matter what happens, win or lose, we are so proud of Tyler and his performance here tonight.  He’s performed tremendously under the pressure of playing up, pitching to 11 and 12 year olds and in an elimination game.  He’s kept the Giants in this game.  If only we could get some hits. 

Bottom of 5 with Daniel coming up to bat.  The Orioles have replaced their pitcher with one of their top pitchers, Jake Nicholas.  I guess with the two run lead their taking no chances now.  Jake throws to Daniel who hits a single past short.  Nolan stands in and takes strike one looking.  Jake sends the next pitch in the dirt moving Daniel to second on the wild pitch.  Nolan takes the next pitch and hits the ball hard to right for a single scoring Daniel.  Nolan moves to second on the throw home to the plate.  Never say die.  Gary stands in and on the first pitch he crushes the ball to the fence in right center.  Nolan scores as Gary rumbles around to second for a stand up double.  Tie game everyone.  Harley stands in and takes the first pitch laying down a beautiful bunt out in front of the catcher.  By the time the pitcher retrieves the ball Gary’s arriving at third and Harley’s rounding first to take a look at second.  Jake looks to throw back to second and Gary starts for home.  Jake stops and looks at third stopping Gary in his tracks.  This moves Harley closer to second - almost half way between the bases now.  Jake turns back to throw to second and starts to send Harley back to first.  Jake stops and pumps to first as Harley’s watching, slowly heading to first.  Finally Jake decides to throw it to first and Harley sprints for second as Gary barrels for home.  The first baseman catches the ball and throws back home but he’s too late.  Gary scores home from third and Harley’s standing on second.  I don’t know what happened exactly but damn, we’re up by a run now.  Tyler steps in and grounds out while Sasha and Walter make the last two outs of the inning.  Proud to say, Orioles 2, Giants 3 bottom of 5.

Top of six and their number two, three and four hitters coming up to bat.  The Giants take the field and Tyler heads back to the mound for his sixth inning of work.  But this time with a lead.  Their number two hitter comes up and promptly ropes the second pitch to right field for a double.  Jake Nicholas stands in and Tyler stands behind the mound taking deep breaths trying to calm himself.  He takes the mound and digs deep inside for the next four pitches.  Strike 1, ball, Strike 2 and a pop up foul down the third base line.  Tyler’s running for it, John on third is running for it and Wes jumps up running for it.  No one really has a shot at catching this ball, but you see Wes making ground and he calls, “I’ve got it.”  The balls close to the dugout heading for the ground as Wes dives for it.  Some how he came up with it.  It was a spectacular play.  Oh my, what a catch from the “All Star” Wesley Sutton.   Jake slams his bat to the ground in a chopping motion as the call is made and storms back into the dugout.  The Orioles number 4 hitter stands in with the runner still at second base.  A big and powerful hitter with an intimidating presence in the batters box.  Tyler delivers the first pitch, a beautiful pitch on the inside corner of the plate that the batter swings past for a strike.  The second pitch was a duplicate of the first for strike 2. The next pitch falls low for ball 1 while the next pitch is in the dirt.  Wes scoops up the ball leaving the runner right where he was at second.  Tyler winds and delivers a beautiful pitch on the outside corner of the plate for a strike.  “Ball”, says blue.  Ohhhhh, that was a strike.  Three balls, two strikes, count full.  Tyler winds up and throws.  Swing for strike three.  Two out.  Tying run on second.  The number 5 hitter in their order stepping up to the plate.  Tyler delivers the first pitch.  He swings and hits the ball.  A lazy grounder back to Tyler.  Tyler scoops up the ball and throws it over to Gary for the last out of the game.  “Giant’s Win!”  

Blue (the umpire) took the ball from Gary our first baseman and delivered it to our Coach.  He wanted the pitcher to have that ball.  I was the official score keeper and blue came over to me to sign the card and said, “Now that was a great game.”  I just said, “Yes it was.”  Carol was sitting next to me as Tyler made that last out and looked at me with tears in her eyes.  She has missed so many of Tyler’s games because of Tracey’s games as we have to split up to cover.  But this was the only night that Tracey didn’t have a game or practice.  Carol, Tracey and Grandma were all present for this one.  And he pulled it off.  Our little guy pulled it off.  What a great game.  How proud am I?  I can’t put it into words.  He is the star.  I just get to sit there and watch him play. 

The Giants now face the Nationals in the finale of the loser’s bracket.  The Nationals are the team that put us into the Losers bracket.  The Nationals are the team that wouldn’t postpone a game where we only had eight players show for a game forcing a forfeit in the regular season.  The Nationals are a team we want to beat and I think we can do that Thursday night.  But you have to play the game.  Thanks for tuning in and listening to my ramble.  Until next time, take care and I’ll be typing at you later.

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06/05/06
Moving Home
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 10:58 am

This weekend was pretty special.  I was reminded that my mom officially retired from the government on June 3rd after 39 years or so of service and now my folks are packing up and moving to Valentine.  Nebraska that is.  Beautiful country from what I hear.

They have been looking forward to this for several months now as they had started to pack up and move back in January but they were delayed for a short period of time.

Finally the time has come and they’re finally going to move on up to their new residence.  I’ve seen pictures and I’m so happy for them that they are finally able to complete the process.

Happy retirement to you both and I hope Valentine brings you everything that you desire.  But most of all, just enjoy yourselves.  It’s about time to relax and take it easy.

Love you Mom and Dad

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06/02/06
A New Beginning
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 1:20 pm

Welcome to the newest feature at bitbybit24.com.

I thought I would try this blogging thing out as a way to quickly put a few blurbs out without having to go through the process of updating and posting the web page.

That’s not to say that I’m done updating the website but it has been hectic with Tracey and Tyler’s sport schedules.

It looks like we should be pretty busy through July at this point.

So lets see if this blog will work as a quick way to let you all know what’s happening.

I’ll have to update you soon as to where we are now so you all can try to keep up.

So buckle in and sit back because it’s sure to be a fast and frenzied ride.

Enjoy!

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