Normally when you get beat 11-0, there is not really a lot to cheer about. But when you make a play that lands you in ESPN Sports Center’s “Top 10 plays”, there is a little reason to celebrate. At 11 p.m. last night, all of us were relaxing in the Hawks Nest when Marketing/Media Relations Manager Kristen Nimmo hit me with news I couldn’t believe.
“I just had 3 people text me and John (Mincone) made it into Sports Center’s Top 10 Plays”! At that point, I almost dropped my Kilian’s Irish Red and shouted at the top of my lungs, “We made it to Sports Center!!”
At first, I thought our 11-0 blowout was some kinda record and for whatever reason, ESPN wanted to have a little fun with a Single A Short-Season team (would have been a really cruel joke, I might add). But they (like the 3,500 fans in attendance) were wowed by Hawks Starting Pitcher John Mincone made they Play of the Year when he caught a line ball, behind-the-back, and threw it to First Baseman Richard Jones to close out the Top of the 4th inning.
John, who couldn’t believe he made it into the Top 10, described the sequence of events that made him a popular man for most of the local media today.
“I saw the ball come back at me but I didn’t finish the pitch the right way. I was turned around and luckily I was able to get my glove down there in time and snag it,” said Mincone.
The second part of that play was getting the ball to first baseman Richard Jones in time. From where he was at, Mincone had to quickly recover to get that throw off.
“I knew I had it, but the crowd began to cheer and had to collect myself and get over there and make the throw to first so I didn’t throw it away or do something stupid,” said Mincone.
This is Mincone’s first time making it into the national spot light. “This has always been a dream of mine,” said Mincone (with a smile). “Last night my girlfriend and her family was at my house and they were watching the game when it happened. I found out at midnight last night that it was actually on Sports Center. One of the guys that I know on Salem-Keizer actually texted me and said “I’m at a bar right now and it’s on!”, said Mincone.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know John over the last week and I for one am glad a good player and guy like him had his chance to be recognized. The night wasn’t picture perfect by any stretch, but making it prime time is a great feeling!
If you didn’t get a chance to see the video, here’s the link
Till next time..
Media Relations Assistant