Orem Owlz manager Tom Kotchman spends his springs scouting for the Angels in Florida.
A new episode of FutureAngels.com Radio is now on-line. You can get to the show through the FutureAngels.com home page at www.futureangels.com.
You don’t need an iPod to listen, although if you have one you can download the show, of course. All you really need is just a computer. When you get to the TPS Radio page, just click on the right-arrow next to the sound icon and it’ll start to stream to your computer. You can also transfer the show to your computer as an MP3 file.
Personally, I think this is the best show yet.
The first segment is an interview with Paul Mosley, an original "future Angel" who was signed by the Angels out of Saugus High School in June 1961 at age 17. He was sent straight to Statesville, North Carolina, to play for the Angels’ Class-D team, the Statesville Owls. Paul has some amazing stories to tell, including how the Statesville front office literally set fire to the infield to dry it out.
How I found Paul is a story in itself … If you’ve followed the podcasts and the web site, you know I’ve been doing research into the early days of Angels minor league baseball. A colleague of Paul’s stumbled across the site as he did research looking for Statesville Owls memorabilia. He wanted to know if I had any suggestions.
I pointed him in the direction of Bill Moose, the local historian and SABR member who’d been so gracious in researching the town paper last year. (It helps that he’s a columnist for the paper.) Bill knew someone in town who had kept Owls memorabilia.
Then I asked if he might arrange for me to interview Paul.
Quite honestly, Paul was absolutely stunned that anyone even remembered the Statesville Owls, much less cared to research them.
A flood of memories emerged from his past. Mind you, this was 46 years ago.
(I can’t even remember whether I brushed my teeth last night.)
Until Monday, my research into the Owls had yielded just stats on a page, and clippings from a town paper.
And now … here’s one of them.
Paul talks casually about his teammates, bringing them alive as real people. I knew the names from the clippings, but not their personalities, their life histories, and their experiences in Statesville.
The Statesville Owls live.
We’re going to try to track down more of them. Who knows, maybe a reunion is in the future.
The second segment in the show is an interview with Orem Owlz manager Tom Kotchman, who’s currently scouting Florida in preparation for the June draft. He was quite tired, as this time of year he logs hundreds of miles every day traversing the state. Kotch had a great story to tell about who he thinks is the best high school hitter in the state … and why that player won’t be drafted in June.
The third segment is an interview with Quakes manager Bobby Mitchell. Recently on the FutureAngels.com Bulletin Board, someone claimed the Angels teach their minor leaguers to "hack." So I put the question directly to Mitchell, who of course debunked it. It’s fascinating how some people on fan boards dream up these fantasies then latch onto them as if they’re real.
And the final segment is a review of the last month for the Quakes and the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Anyway, go listen to Paul Mosley. What an incredible story.