Our return was a disaster that nearly ended the club. New management put the screws to us contractually and caused the Chairman to have to write a very large check. The guys wanted the club to sustain and kicked in cash to keep him whole.
Smiling Jay Davis, proud new owner of red high-top cleats, let them out of his sight. They were gone all weekend, buried in the ice machine. Poet Laureate Marc Matthews, who has made a remarkable career out of saying a lot while saying a little, yells out, “Pastry Chef!” when Frenchie takes the hill wearing a giant white paper chef’s hat. Rookie of the Year Bob Pratt is an easy selection, a tremendous athlete and superb fellow. Pratt hits a prodigious homer into the Holman Stadium bleachers. This would be Bob’s only appearance with us. He was soon diagnosed with brain cancer and died shortly after.
This year also marked the second trip to Russia for several No Bats stars, as the guys took their talents to Moscow and St Petersburg. We witnessed a mafia hit at our hotel, the Chairman fell off a train platform, and then homered into a river in St. Petersburg. Typical No Bats action. As the season wound down, it seemed apparent that the future of the club would be places beyond Vero Beach. If the club were to survive, we had to hit the road.