ON THE ROAD: Traveling around doing loads of features as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bog down the sports world, and life in general, I’ve had the chance to chat with a lot of neat people. Some I’ve known from the past, while others I've met for the first time.
Back in 1984 and 1985 while working for WVRC Radio in Spencer, I was introduced to a guy by the name of Dave Vineyard.
He was then a member of the Roane County Board of Education. I was informed he had once played professional baseball.
It would be many, many years later when I decided to look more closely at his career and do a profile piece.
I visited Vineyard a week ago last Friday at his home in Left Hand (a rural community in Roane County).
Fresh out of old Spencer High School, where he was a three-sport standout, in 1959, Vineyard was drafted by the Cleveland Indians organization, but later picked up by Baltimore.
He spent time as a pitcher in the lower level of the minor leagues for just a short period before elevating himself to Class AAA Rochester. While at Class A Elmira, New York, Vineyard played under the colorful Earl Weaver, who would later become the manager in Baltimore.
Vineyard had great success in the minors and finally during the season of 1964 he was called up by Orioles.
He appeared on the mound in 19 games, registering a 2-5 record. He struck out 54 batters in 50 innings.
There were several highlights during that one season in the bigs. The one which stands out the most on the mound for Vineyard is facing the New York Yankees and striking out Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Elston Howard all in the same inning.
At the plate, one of his most vivid memories was getting a hit off LA Dodger pitching great Sandy Koufax.
Vineyard and the Orioles just missed the playoffs that season. He would resume playing for Rochester in the final stages of his pro career.
Many from these parts went up against Vineyard while in high school.
Ravenswood basketball great Mike Chambers recalled facing off against Vineyard, who was a star on the court for the Yellowjackets.
Former Ravenswood head football coach Dick Sturm met up with Vineyard during his great athletic career at Calhoun County.
Vineyard said his most enjoyment as an athlete at Spencer was playing football.
Another nugget about Vineyard is that he grew up in Newton beside of the Bailey brothers - Cal and Jim. Cal Bailey would also go on to play pro baseball before a legendary career as a head diamond coach for West Virginia State. He started his teaching and coaching career in Jackson County.
Jim Bailey was a great defensive coordinator for Ravenswood football teams during the 1970s, including the Class AA state championship team of 1976.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY: A belated Happy Father’s Day to all of the great dads out there.
One of the best, Terry Landis, was totally caught off guard by a Happy Father’s Day greeting he received by way of his son Justin.
The former Ripley Viking three-sport great’s oldest son arranged for former New York Yankee, Tino Martinez, to send Terry a personal Happy Father’s Day video greeting. The message was lengthy and well-thought out.
Martinez thanked Terry for being a loyal Yankee fan for the bulk of his life.
For anyone who knows Terry, that is about as good as it gets.
And no two people could ask for a better dad than both Justin and Jarod Landis.
ON THE LINKS: Ripley High golfer Davis Haynes competed over the weekend in the West Virginia Junior Match play at Vienna’s Parkersburg Country Club.
Haynes, who entered as the No. 12 seed, downed Bridgeport’s Matthew Aman in match play 3-and-1 before being sidelined by Anderson Goldman, a Charleston Catholic golfer, 4-and-3.