Meanwhile, back in the world beyond Odd Man Out …
My wife and I are headed to Florida next week to look at properties. Regular readers know we have plans to move to what’s called the Space Coast — Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island and other nearby towns.
Yes, the real estate market sucks like the sphincter of a black hole, but it’s also an opportunity to buy if you have the cash. For those of you who live in Southern California, Florida property prices are roughly one-third of what they are here.
If you’re interested, Click Here to search a Space Coast realtor’s web site. In the MLS Number field, enter these numbers separated by a comma, then click the Search button:
526176, 470878, 510668, 519450, 518200
The condos are in Cape Canaveral across the street from the Disney and Carnival Cruise lines based in Port Canaveral. The houses are on north Merritt Island, a couple miles south of the Kennedy Space Center south gate.
Merritt Island is also home to the largest wildlife refuge in the continental U.S.
There’s baseball in the area. The Washington Nationals have their spring training in Melbourne, about 20 miles southwest of Cape Canaveral. I doubt I’ll have the time to get down there — when you’ve seen one spring training, you’ve seen them all — but I am planning to drive up to Daytona Beach to watch a college game.
If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve been researching the Statesville Owls, one of two Angels minor league teams in their inaugural 1961 season. Bobby Lucas, an infielder for Statesville that year, is now the head coach at Florida A & M University. They’ll be in Daytona playing Bethune-Cookman University. So I hope to see Bobby and get some photos of him for his former teammates.
I also hope to stop by the old Cocoa Stadium in the City of Cocoa. (Cocoa and Cocoa Beach are two different towns.) Now known as the Cocoa Expo Sports Center, it’s used largely for amateur events. Cocoa Stadium was the spring training home for the Houston Astros from 1963 through 1984. Jack Hiatt, another Statesville alumnus, played there late in his career and has tales about the players jogging in uniform around the city streets. Cocoa Stadium was revived for pro ball in the spring of 1993, when the Florida Marlins used it as their spring training home their first year before moving into Space Coast Stadium (where the Nationals are now).
I’ve been asked by several people what happens to FutureAngels.com when I move. I intend to keep it going. I’ll be closer to Cedar Rapids and Arkansas, and Delta flies non-stop from Orlando to Salt Lake City so I can still visit Orem without much effort. As with everything, it will depend on finances. I’m sure I’ll be helping out the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers affiliate) with photography, and the Daytona Cubs are 75 miles to the north. So I won’t be at Rancho much, nor will I be going to the minor league complex in Tempe more than once a year, but otherwise it should be status quo.
Meanwhile, I’m resuming a project that’s been on hiatus for about a year. I started building the FutureAngels.com Database, which when finished will be the ultimate resource for statistical data on the history of the Angels minor leagues. Priorities elsewhere have kept me from working on it, but looking at my web site’s stats I know it’s always among the top pages receiving hits from visitors.
I’m working on collating the win-loss records for every Angels minor league team since inception in 1961. When it’s done, you’ll be able to see results from every year — how many minor league teams the Angels had, where they were located, what were their win-loss records, who were the managers, etc. Eventually there will be search features you can use to ask questions such as, “What is the all-time Cedar Rapids win-loss record while an Angels affiliate?”
I’d hoped to have managers’ career win-loss records, but the problem for now is that in some years the resource I’m using — the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball by Baseball America — lists multiple managers for a team. I’ve spoken with Roland Hemond, who was the farm director back in the 1960s, and he says some of these listings may be inaccurate. I should be able to produce career win-loss records for managers like Tom Kotchman, where there are no multiple managers listed for a team, but I’ll have to dig further on the rest.
The FutureAngels.com Database is also intended to polish my programming skills, specifically how ASP.NET interacts with SQL Server. If that sounds like Klingon to you, well, don’t worry about it. But my morning assignment is to explore the wonders of two-way databinding. Which does sound very Klingon.
Oh, I noticed that the Angels are on TV today against the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa at 1 PM PDT. The Angels’ business people still can’t their act together to televise games, so for now we have to rely on WGN, the superstation out of Chicago. Check your cable listings.
And if you’re looking for a condo in Irvine, I have a quite nice place with plenty of upgrades near a top-notch school for $575,000 … Cash me out and I’m on a one-way trip to Florida.