Below is a list of members whose memory is honored by the No Bats Baseball Club. These athletes are sorely missed.
The brother-in-law of founding member Bob Moyer, Jim was only able to attend one year during our formative years but was a fine fellow who caught the short end of mortality's stick. Super nice fellow who stuck by Moyer throughout the rest of his life, even as Bob's personal life took a negative turn. Through the years, the club has hosted guys who attend for a wide variety of reason. What has created equity in the club culture is provided by the quality of men nominated to attend. Blythe was one such man.
Jim loved college football, sports in general & friends. Jim was a hard worker with his own black-topping and landscaping business in additional to working for FedEx.
Jim Blythe attended NoBats 1995. Loved baseball, sports, and people; and would give anyone in need the shirt off his back.
Birth: October 28, 1962 : Died May 22nd 2008. Passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.
The bearded baron of Boston did not have a long career with us, but left behind timeless memories of strapping on the catcher's gear, breaking a big league sweat, and playing the game full-out. Pat played with the enthusiasm of a child and fit like a glove with all the fellows. Like all of us, Pat appreciated the opportunity to escape the mid-life grind and have a few beers and hundreds of laughs at Dodgertown's historic venue. Like so many who formed the No Bats culture in the early years, his legacy is measured by the fabric of the man. His cousin Dave played NFL football with the Raiders, but Pat excelled in the business world, a man truly cut from the finest of cloth.
Pat had to retire early and passed away a few years later, the victim of a mostly untreatable aggressive, progressive cancer. Through the years he faithfully kept in touch, asking about the guys, where we were gong, and what we were up to. Like so many who laid the framework for the kind of man No Bats sought for generations to follow, Pat's Dodgertown memories will always be with us.
Winter Garden, FL
Smiler got his nickname during a 1992 club outing to Bimini, Bahamas. We each had to chip in $20 to cover a special dinner in our honor at a historic resort on the island’s northern tip. The main course was a delicious, specially prepared bonefish—cooked as only a brilliant Bahamian chef could prepare. Smiler wouldn’t eat fish; and ate only a baked potato. Grousing about that, when time came for the group photo, he was the long man sporting a grumpy face instead of a broad smile. Hence the nickname.
Smiler sired five daughters but never a son; and was killed by a drunk driver after 25 years of dedicated club involvement. He was there from Day One as the Chairman’s wingman, voluntarily helping with a million things behind the scenes the guys never knew about. He was, and always will be, a brother to each and every one of us.
San Diego, CA
Small in stature, Joe “Iron” Maiden cast a giant shadow of all good things. Iron came to No Bats late in life from San Diego, where his lifelong love affair for the game included such amazing feats as starting the San Diego 65+ and 75+ leagues for old guys to play.
Iron was a relentlessly positive, supportive, kind, and happy gentleman whose love for the game and those who played it is was great as anyone we have had the fun of sharing the dugout with. He played the game hard, played the game right, was alert and ready for every situation, and never tired of pounding the glove in anticipation of the next pitch. Iron Maiden was a role-model titan of everything the club exemplifies.
Luther was bestowed his nickname by Pennsylvanian Bob Moyer, who noticed O’Neil’s uncanny resemblance to TV actor Jerry Van Dyke, star of the popular show “Coach.” Luther was instant mayhem, a chatterbox rabble-rouser who ignited chaos wherever he stood. His career’s defining moment was planting a giant surprise kiss on Vi Ripken—Cal and Billy’s mom—during our weekend in Aberdeen, MD. The D.C. sniper was out and about back then, and the weather was miserable. Luther wanted to liven things up and Vi was a prime target. Luther was a guy who refused to let the party die. He was a hugging, motormouthed, buzz saw of laughter. Natural causes stripped Luther of the life he’d always known. His legend is revisited every year we reconvene.
Bob Pratt was one of the greatest athletes ever to grace a No Bats diamond. A former Division I football player, he arrived in Dodgertown during our early years, invited by founding member Malcolm White. Pratt homered a moonshot way over the fence, something which has rarely been done, and was an easy choice for Rookie of the Year. Pratt was not a showoff; he was one of those humble guys who was just a better natural athlete than others. He fit perfectly with the guys, and a man whose character exemplified exactly what we were trying to build.
Bob was a one-year wonder, never to return. Soon after No Bats, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He passed away quickly, his Rookie of the Year trophy cherished by his young son.
In a world that seduces us into taking too much for granted, Bob’s tragic passing is a constant reminder of how fleeting and fragile everything can be. A very fine man, stolen away far too soon.
A former radio man, chain-smoking Emmett Reagan was about 300 years old when he came to Dodgertown to serve as our inaugural season’s press box P. A. announcer. He took the job seriously and stared with contempt when Mark Simendinger joined him up in the booth to start spinning tunes over the loudspeaker between innings.
The games were a joy to those who played but a mere prelude to the action Emmett cherished most: happy hour and the several that followed. A student of baseball history, Emmett was proud to sit in the seat he knew was previously occupied by Dodger announcing legend Vin Scully, as well as the great Hall of Famer Don Drysdale.
The club has had several announcers through the decades to follow but no one approaches the legend of the baritone from Reston, Virginia.
Great Falls, VA
A founding No Bats member, George died an American patriot the morning of 9/11 aboard American flight #77, the plane that was skyjacked into the Pentagon by foreign terrorists. George lived and died by the motto “Life is good!” and was never shy about reminding anyone whose head was down or seemed discouraged. While not the best of ballplayers, George loved what No Bats stood for and evolved into and loved the camaraderie and friendship our weekends created. All these years later, his memory remains large.