Bank One Ballpark

Phoenix, Arizona

Oct. 7 - 10, 2004

Season 14

Phoenix, AZ

The Arizona Diamondbacks were the worst host we’ve dealt with, dropping a last-minute demand on us for a significant field rental fee that Harley Kane picked up, saying, “I think the guys would like to play there.” The Diamondbacks confiscated our water bottles and drinks upon stadium entry, and put a minibar of Gatorade miniatures on ice in trash cans inside both dugouts. Without mentioning the tiny bottles were $3.50 apiece [the equivalent of $4.75 in 2020], the D’backs dropped a bill on us for all the ones we thought were included in the stadium rental but found out a week later that we were expected to pay for.

Of all the places we’ve been, the Diamondbacks treated us by far the worst.

In keeping with our VIP gift tradition, we bought Randy Johnson twelve dozen Titleist ProV1 golf balls personalized with his initials and number (RJ51) plus the date of his perfect game against the Atlanta Braves (May 18, 2004). With the help of Reid Ryan, we got the top taxidermist in Texas to mount a dove atop a tall baseball trophy. The engraved plate read “Imperfect Game: March 24, 2001” and represented the spring training fastball that Randy threw that blew a dove to feathers.

RJ was in Japan at the time of our visit but phoned the Chairman on New Year’s Eve to thank him for everything we did for him and his commitment to help the area homeless. His kids, he said, loved petting the dove.

Other 2004 highlights included the first Chicago golf fundraiser, orchestrated by Dan Carroll and supported by what grew to become a legendary 2001 rookie class. Jay Tucker, Frenchie, and the Chairman flew to Chennai, India to teach baseball to cricket coaches, a trip that turned into the popular novella “Searching for Tendulkar (Baseball’s Hunt for the Star of India).”

Then, to cap things off, the club sent A. L. S. victim Gary Hunter and his wife on a bucket-list trip to Las Vegas. Gary would soon pass away from the same terrible disease that claimed his uncle, Jim “Catfish” Hunter.”


Randy Johnson Homeless Foundation


Gary Hunter Make-A-Wish Trip


Jim "Catfish" Hunter ALS Foundation


Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation


India Baseball Coach of the Year Award


Hall of Fame

Mark Costigan

Mike Ebener

Tommy Harrell


Ted Darby

Chairman's Award

Steve Prather

Chairman's Award

Harley Kane

Tournament MVP

Mike Byrne

Team MVP

Don Lippert

Team MVP

Todd Nelson

Team MVP

Brian Rhoney

Team MVP

Rick Shaw

Team MVP

Ted Simendinger

Team MVP

Robb Struckel

Team MVP


Gene Ahlhorn

Mark Costigan

Mike Ebener

Mark Wilcox


Eric Brown

Brian Crawford

Joe Maiden

Tim Mayer

Mike O'Neil

Steve Prather

Greg Pryor

Brave Stuart

Mike Womack


Chris Duzich

John Gilbert

Mike Wilson