Thursday, June 05, 2008

Liam notes "essential" Bronx games we'll never see

Curt Schilling bleeds all over the hallowed ground of Yankee Stadium.

As you know, Liam won the “Essential Games of Shea Stadium” DVDs, showing exceptional knowledge of both presidents and Mets.

When he e-mailed me his address, he added the following, which is just too good to keep to myself.

Clearly, Liam is a bad-ass from way back!

“I'm looking forward to seeing Seaver in his prime, and I'm hoping they do a similar box set with all the great games in Yankee Stadium history.
-- Schilling's "Bloody Sock" game
-- Game 7 of the 2004 ACLS
-- Josh Beckett's World Series shutout in 2003
-- Tom Seaver's 300th win
-- Koufax's 15 K performance in '63 World Series
-- The 22-0 drubbing by the Indians
-- The one where Tim McCarver tells us about Derek Jeter's calm eyes.

I'm looking up Yankees with presidential names, just in case ;)

Outstanding, Liam. And he was kind, because I would have added the no-hitter tossed by five Astros -- including Billy Wagner and Octavio Dotel -- and the shameful bat-tossing incident of Game 2 of the 2000 Series.

Readers, let me know if we missed any!


Othemts said...

Definitely the one in which Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson get into fisticuffs. Also the pine tar game including the conclusion where the Royals win.

Anonymous said...

Check this out, noew you have more reasons to visit us in California!!

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Tom Seaver used to uncork fastballs. Now he pitches wine.

Seaver, 63, the Hall of Fame baseball player, is making his most important debut since he started with the New York Mets in 1967: the introduction of his own wine label, GTS.

G. Thomas Seaver, 6 feet tall, with broad shoulders and oversize hands, has approached the business with the focus that made him a three-time winner of Major League Baseball's Cy Young Award. Unlike the confident pitcher who won 16 games in his first year with the Mets, he can't rely on experiences and skills acquired as a star for school and minor-league teams.

``I had 12 years under my belt of baseball at the amateur level before I got to the big leagues,'' Seaver says in an interview in New York. ``That's the biggest difference.''

In 2001, Seaver founded GTS Vineyards LLC in the Napa Valley city of Calistoga, California. He works daily, starting as early as 6 a.m., in the rows of cabernet sauvignon vines planted near his house. He bears calluses from pruning and weeding that cropped up mid-finger, unlike the marks on the top of his right thumb from hurling baseballs.

``For me, sitting in front of the computer wasn't going to do it,'' he says. ``I'm physical and hands on.''

He retired as a player in 1987 after stints with the Mets, the Cincinnati Reds and two other major league teams. He became a TV commentator, only to grow restless for a new challenge, according to his wife, Nancy. Leveraging his interest in drinking wine, he sought to own a vineyard.

``I thought it was a whim, actually,'' says Nancy, who married Seaver 41 years ago and now assists him in the business.

$510,000 Property

She realized she was wrong by 1997, when the couple paid $510,000 for 116.23 undeveloped acres (47.04 hectares) on Diamond Mountain, according to Napa County records. The mountain already was home to Diamond Creek Vineyards, whose 2006 cabernet sauvignon commands $175 a bottle. That's more than seven times what most consumers deem expensive, says Justin Berlin, executive wine director for PJ Wine, a store in New York.

The Seavers moved from Connecticut, built a house and eight years ago began growing grapes on three acres (now almost four). Tom began assembling what he calls an ``all-star team'' for a wine venture.

He began by hiring Jim Barbour, a vineyard manager who works for about 30 different wineries and wine labels. Seaver later retained Thomas Rivers Brown, the winemaker behind some wines that had earned a rating of 96 on the 100-point scale used by the influential critic Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate newsletter, based in Monkton, Maryland.

French-Oak Barrels

The Wine Spectator magazine in New York has assigned scores of 97 to some wines made by Brown for Schrader Cellars in Calistoga.

``He has many other fine wines in his portfolio, and I'm sure he'll do a great job for Tom Seaver,'' says Tom Matthews, executive editor. The magazine hasn't rated Seaver's wines.

It took Seaver five years to produce grapes suitable for premium wine. He trucked them to Outpost Winery, on nearby Howell Mountain, for crushing. His first vintage sat in French-oak barrels at Outpost for two years and was released for sale four months ago. Seaver is now offering Nancy's Fancy wine, priced at $65 a bottle directly from him, and $85 GTS.

In a nod to Seaver's former career, the GTS bottle features baseball stitching on the foil that covers the top of the neck. The release of Seaver's 2005 vintage, totaling 495 cases, was 75 percent sold by the end of May, Seaver says. He has no Web site for his venture and no published phone number, and he limited his promotion to about 1,000 letters mailed to people who had expressed interest. (The address is Box 888, Calistoga, California 94515).

Crowded Market

The former pitcher's name helps propel his wines into a market crowded with thousands of brands, says Gary Vaynerchuk, owner of the Wine Library, a store in Springfield, New Jersey.

``If his name was Tom Cleaver and he was not a famous athlete, he'd have a very difficult time,'' Vaynerchuk says.

Seaver won't say how much money he has invested. As for profit, he doesn't expect any for two or three more years.

``I'm like a rookie in the clubhouse,'' he says. ``You gotta earn your stripes.''

Seaver dismisses the notion that people should buy his wine only because they've heard of him.

``The name should not sell it,'' he says. ``What's inside the bottle should sell it.''


Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Whoa, that's cool, Tim! But for $175 a bottle, I hope Tom is signing every label himself!!!

Anonymous said...

Tom wouldn't do that, they are only $85 a bottle ;)