Results tagged ‘ Dave Wills ’

Ice Bucket Challenge…Do You Have It in You?

 

If for nothing else, the Summer of 2014 is going to be known for ice cold buckets sloshing all over the heads, upper bodies and shoes of people from all walks of life. What’s a little H2O when it can be done for a great cause, and to also call out for friends, family, co-workers and maybe that one person you always wanted to get a little revenge on…..now is your chance.

The challenge is actually quite easy in thought: you get a full bucket of icy cold water, dump it over your head, record the action, post the video out and about on any or all of your social media outlets and then loudly call out or challenge anyone and everyone to also take the plunge and make a donation to the ALS Association.

I mean tons of famous and also non-famous people have already gotten their cold shiver on with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I mean athletes and celebrities like pro golfer Greg Norman, actress Elisha Cuthbert, Toronto Maple Leaf Dion Phaneuf, Household goddess Martha Stewart and even the Tampa Bay Rays mascot Raymond have completed and sent out their own challenges to other to also compete and complete the icy adventure.

I am simply flabbergasted that the watery “Tag..Your it!” endeavor has risen to such high standards with hundreds and thousands of people through their social media pages and messages calling for the friends, followers and even family to take a cold one for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Amazingly enough, the event has raised over $150,000. Already this year and before the first leaf falls could surpass a quarter of a million dollars just by people all over the social map calling out others to douse themselves and to extend the challenge to their select intended targets to also partake and donate, then keep the cycle going…possibly all summer long.

And this awesome fund raising challenge actually has a bit of a baseball foundation. Seems that this whole icy situation began back in 2012 in the Boston, Mass area and quickly began to gain a more wet footing as friends, relatives and former teammates of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates who was diagnosed with ALS.

Pete’s close knit group of friends, family and others decided used the cool idea as a visual physical challenge to raise awareness about ALS. Frates, 29, has been living with ALS since 2012 and has worked for The ALS Association’s Massachusetts Chapter. Frates is a former Divion1 college baseball player for Boston College and is a tireless champion for the foundation and its awareness.

Recently Pete’s own parents, John and Nancy along with 200 assembled dry souls doused themselves in Copley Square. His parents state that the ice bucket challenge has done more to increase the understanding about ALS than anything else they have imagined over the past 2 years.

How much has this event helped the ALS Association?

ALS Association National President Barbara Newhouse said donations to the national office have surged during the last 10-day period that ended this past Thursday to about $160,000. From $14,480 during the same period a year ago. And you have to believe that local and community chapter offices have not been able to give their donation yet, so a figure of $250,000. Seems within reach just for a few moments of uncomfortable chills for a tremendous cause.

I have been the subject of a ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge twice now (8/10/14 & 08/17/14) and have been honored to take that heavily laced bucket of ice chips and some water  and dumped it over my Rays capped noggin.  I completed my first challenge after being called out by a former Colts teammate on August 10th and completed my second tour of icy goodness on Sunday, August 17th after a challenge was issued to former Baylor football players. I also donated $100 each time with the second donation being presented in the name of my daughter Alex Hougham.

All I can tell you is thank goodness it is 90+ degree in St. Petersburg, Fl right now so the water not only cooled me down, but kept my feet and shorts cool for an hour or two afterwards as I did not bring spare clothes (Hint: remember spare clothes, at least flip flops). 

I mean I have heard of some wild challenges already like the one completed by Boston Bruins stars Brad Marchand and Torey Krug who willingly dropped frozen ice (not from Boston Garden) on themselves and then promptly issued their own set of challenges to their intended water-logged friends.

So friends, family and old arch-enemies be aware, for soon I might be calling you out to also partake in the chilling but totally satisfying adventure of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Now if only my Nike’s would dry out…

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Hele komo la kaua Rays Fans!

spring_luau_200x300

Hele  komo la kaua Rays fans! 

(Come join us)

 Warning! This blog will have loosely translated words that most of us Florida haoles will not understand…at all.

T34716_1212_mainFinally the Tampa Bay Rays come up with a charity event that I can showcase the one style of clothes I wear every day at work, and is the perfect attire for a beautiful Spring day in the Florida sunshine. Over the last 5 years I have amassed a truly gifted and hideous collection of shirts that illustrate our beautiful 50th state, and now I can wear one of my unique colorful floral linen treasures to a Rays event with pride and possibly not stick out like a sore thumb.

thCAKYACSIThat’s right, after the Rays take the hakaka (fight) to the visiting Minnesota Twins at 1:05 pm on Po ‘aono (Saturday), Malaki (March) 23, 2013, the team will host an amazing Rays Spring Luau charity event that will have our own Rays players, coaches and on-air personalities serving us kaukau (food) and beverages as well as showing us that great Rays ho`okipa (hospitality) that always makes us feel like true mo`i (King or Queen) as well as cherished member of the Rays ohana (family).

 Not only will this event be a great way to talk and be around other Rays fans and players, but it is also a chance for you to bid on any of the 25  special Rays inspired items such as game used merchandise or entertainment. There will be no autographs given out by the Rays during the event, but you can bid on unique as well as autograph opportunities that will be raffled off during the event. possibly take home some additional keepsakes as well as memories and photos while enjoying a great Spring Florida `auinala (afternoon) with other members of the Rays Republic.

Tiki barThe event will be held via a ticket on the Boardwalk section of the Charlotte Sports Park following the Rays game. Added bonus is the already built and sublime Tiki Bar situated in the Baseball Boardwalk section of the stadium to help create that perfect Hawaiian vibe needed for just such an awesome event.

and there will be two distinctively different ticket packages offered by Raysbaseball.com. The first event package is priced starting at $76.60 (which and includes a seat in a shaded area of the ballpark including service fees as well as the festivities afterwards). The second event package is a $50 donation for those of you who might already have a ticket to the game and just need an passage into this unique event.

Who knows, maybe the Rays will have a halau (hula Troupe), but I can bet there will be no Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Picasso triggerfish /Hawaiian state fish) on the ahi (fire) that day. But we can all inu (drink) and eat in the Rays own unique version of a traditional makahiki, which was a Ancient Hawaiian celebration held annually with sports festivities.

luauThe event is being held to support the Charlotte County Family YMCA, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity and the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. All worthy charities in and around the Rays Spring home location that need support to keep their fight alive in this SouthWest Florida community.

And who knows, maybe we will also get a glimpse of the mo`o (reptile spirit) that some times take a watery stroll in the small retention lakes beyond the ballparks fences. Who know, we might even see a few festive Rays lei’s, a mu’umu’u (Long,loose fitting dress) and possibly a photo op with the Rays own kama`aina (Hawaiian native son) Todd Kalas who will surely be dapper and maybe even kama’a ‘ole (barefoot) by the end of the afternoon.

 But seriously, whether you are a malihini (newcomer) to these kinds of intimate and very hu’i hu’i (cool) close encounters with the Rays players, coaches and on-air gurus, you will definitely feel at home and almost like Rays hoaloha (beloved friend) by the end of the event.

T33860_tampa_backIt is a great time for one and all to hoohiwahiwa (celebrate) the upcoming season while having a `aka`aka (laugh) or two with new and old hoapili’s (close friends).

So be sure to mark the date of Po ‘aono (Saturday), Malaki (March) 23, 2013 on your calendar or in your cellphone as well as buy a ticket to a special luau and time with the Rays. Hopefully I will see you there and maybe by that time I can say this phrase “Mahalo nui loa na ho’olaule’a me la kaua” or “Thank you for celebrating with us” without my usual Southern drawl ruining the diction.

4 Rays Broadcasters Up for Frick Award

 

I remember the first time I met Joe Mcgrane outside of a baseall uniform. It was here in St Petersburg at a local watering hole and Mcgrane was pitching for the St. Petersburg Cardinals of the Florida State League at that time. I remember the quick and dry wit of Joe and thought he might be an interesting broadcaster some day.

Little did I know that Mcgrane would again come back to St. Petersburg after a long and properous baseball career to form a dynamic duo with Dwayne Staats broadcasting the Tampa Bay Rays games. So it is with great pride and honor that I lket you, the Rays fans know that MLB and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, have nominated  Four current  Rays broadcasters  for the Ford C. Frick Award.

Current on-air Television talents’ DeWayne Staats, Joe Magrane, Todd Kalas and  Radio’s golden tonsils, Dave Wills are in the running for the prestigious award.

Balloting for the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence is going on now, with the top three recipients of fan votes automatically qualifying for the 10-person ballot that will be formulated by a 20-member committee and announced Oct. 6.

The winner will be announced Dec. 9 at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas and will receive the award during an induction ceremony on July 26, 2009, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.  Fans may vote for up to three of their favorites among 210 broadcasters eligible in balloting conducted exclusively on the Hall’s Web site, baseballhalloffame.org, which will carry biographical sketches of each candidate. Fans can vote once a day throughout September. Results will be announced when voting concludes Sept. 30.

Here are the Rays nominees for this great honor:

 

Dewayne Staats
Dewayne Staats
 
Dewayne anchors the Emmy Award-winning telecast in this, his 32nd season broadcasting Major League baseball and his 11th with the Rays. In 2003, he celebrated 4,000 Major League broadcasts. Before joining the Rays, he spent three years calling play-by-play for ESPN in a variety of sports, including the MLB and NCAA baseball, basketball and football. He began his Major League play-by-play career as the radio and TV voice of the Houston Astros from 1977-84, then called radio and TV action for the Chicago Cubs from 1985-89. He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees carried by the MSG-TV network from 1990-94, and spent the 1994 and 1995 seasons calling the action for The Baseball Network (ABC/NBC). Staats began his career as a sports reporter for WSIE Radio while a student at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and began his baseball career as the radio voice of the Oklahoma City 89ers (1973-74). In 1975 and ’76 he was sports director at KPLR-TV in St. Louis and received an Emmy nomination. A 1975 graduate of SIU-Edwardsville, Dewayne earned Distinguished Alumnus-of-the-Year honors in 1987 and was recently listed among baseball’s top 101 all-time announcers by author Curt Smith. He is married to the former Carla Berry and has two daughters, Stephanie Wheeler (30) and Alexandra (24), and grandsons Gabriel (3) and Zachary, born in December
 
 
Joe Magrane
Joe Magrane
 
Joe returns as television color analyst for the Rays in 2008, his 11th season with the club. He also appears on numerous FOX Network telecasts. In 2002, he served as postgame reporter for the National League Championship Series. Joe was a color analyst for NBC’s baseball coverage of the last two summer Olympic Games: 2000 in Sydney, Australia and 2004 in Athens, Greece. Before coming to the Rays, the 10-year Major League veteran worked as an analyst on regional ESPN Major League games in 1997 and worked with Rays play-by-play man Dewayne Staats on ESPN’s coverage of the College World Series. An All-America selection at the U. of Arizona in 1985, Magrane compiled a 56-67 Major League record with the St. Louis Cardinals (1987-93), California Angels (1993-95), and Chicago White Sox (1996). He finished third in the 1987 NL Rookie of the Year voting, helping lead the Cardinals to the World Series. He won the ERA title in 1988 while with the Cards (2.18) and the following year won 18 games, placing third in the NL Cy Young voting. His nephew, Jim, is a pitcher in the Nationals’ system. He and his wife, Renee, have two daughters, Shannon and Sophia, and reside in Tampa
 
 
Todd Kalas
Todd Kalas
 
Todd begins his 11th season with the Rays and 16th in the Major Leagues. Kalas returns as pregame host and in-game reporter for every Rays telecast on Fox Sports Net Florida and the Rays Television Network. In addition, he hosts “Inside the Rays” on FSN. He has also filled in with play-by-play and color on both the Rays television and radio networks. Prior to joining the Rays, Kalas worked on the radio broadcast team of the New York Mets (1992-1993) and the television broadcast team of the Philadelphia Phillies (1994-1996). After graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University in 1988, he moved to the Tampa Bay area as sports director at Vision Cable in Clearwater before beginning his baseball career with the Louisville Redbirds in 1991. In the offseason, Kalas has worked the last five years with Cox Sports Television in Louisiana handling play-by-play of college basketball, football, baseball and arena football. In addition, he is an announcer for USF basketball games and also fills in as pregame host for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Todd is the son of longtime Phillies broadcaster, Harry Kalas, a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee.
 
 
Dave Wills
Dave Wills
 
 
Dave begins his fourth season in the Rays radio booth. He came to Tampa Bay having spent 11 seasons as part of the Chicago White Sox radio broadcast team hosting the pre- and postgame shows and filling in for John Rooney in the booth when necessary. His first play-by-play action came with the Class-A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League from 1991-95 where he was the franchise’s first radio voice. He was the radio voice of University of Illinois-Chicago men’s basketball from 1997-2005 and served as a play-by-play announcer for various high school basketball and football games on Comcast Network-Chicago as well as the lead anchor for the network’s highlight show, Sports Weekly from 2000-2005. He also appeared as the pre- and postgame show host for Notre Dame football and basketball as well as the co-host of the Kevin White Show while with ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago for nine years before joining TB. Wills served as the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator with Elmhurst College (Ill.) in 1989 and as the interim head coach at the University of Chicago in 1990. He owns bachelor’s degrees in Speech Communication and Urban Studies from Elmhurst where he played ball for three years. Dave and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son, Alex and a daughter, Michelle; they reside in Lutz, Fla.
 
 
So go on the Hall of Fame website today and vote for your favorite broadcaster nominated for the Frick Award. Remember, all voting will be final as of September 30th, 2008.  So vote as often as you can to get one of our award winning Rays’ broadcasters in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 2009.

 

 

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