At the end of the 1968 Beatles classic Helter Skelter, it was Ringo Starr who screamed, “I’ve got blisters on my fingers.”
I can relate! Thanks to the pandemic I have had blisters on my fingers, my toes, my elbows and my knees. I think I even had one inside my right shoulder, although Dr. Meister prefers to call it inflammation. Ringo got his blisters from helping to create legendary music. Mine are a direct result of hard labor.
For years, decades even, my line has been, “They pay me a fair wage to talk about sports so that I can pay someone else to fix my car or my sink or my air conditioner.”
During shelter in place, I replaced a dryer with the help of my son, (not as hard as I thought it would be). I have pulled the weeds out of and mulched several beds in the backyard, (much harder than I thought). I have even used a pocket chain saw to remove extremely high broken limbs from trees, (this did not seem too hard, then on my third limb the saw got stuck in the tree. It is still there, about 40 feet up).
The truth is, I really miss doing what I do. And this process has reminded me of how blessed I am to have a job that I love. Fortunately, our bosses at Fox have been very creative in finding ways to utilize our services. One of our assignments has been an online segment called “Where are They Now?”
Different anchors have talked to former players from different teams to find out what they are doing, how they are doing. My team was, not surprisingly, the Rangers. To date, we have taped 15 interviews via zoom with former Rangers players. They are all still available on the Fox Sports Southwest twitter feed, which is @FOXSportsSW.
Some of the highlights include Bobby Witt telling the story of how he and his son, Bobby Jr., are still very competitive about their draft order. Bobby was the third overall pick in 1985; Bobby Jr. was second overall last year.
Shawn Tolleson shares how strange and scary it was to have a baby in the early stages of the pandemic. You will also be impressed by all the things he is doing in life after baseball.
It is always great to talk to Colby Lewis. One of the greatest “big game” pitchers in Rangers history is holed up in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., where he has a racetrack on his property.
Fan favorite Rusty Greer is actually back at work; he has a baseball academy in Euless where he teaches kids defense. There is no hitting instruction at Rusty’s academy because he knows that it is pitching and defense that separate the great teams from the good ones.
Pat Mahomes was only a Ranger for one year, but it was fun reconnecting with him. He has missed very few of his son Patrick’s football games over the years. He says the only ones he did miss were when he took his 12U team to a World Series. Fortunately the 12U team was not playing last February when Patrick was leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory.
We even found Oddibe McDowell. He is in Hollywood! Not making movies but coaching and not California, but Hollywood, Fla. He is actually back at McArthur High School, his alma mater, where he has been the head coach of the baseball team for five years.
These long-form interviews are fun and enlightening, and I encourage you to look them up on Twitter or Facebook. They are a reminder for me as to why I love the Rangers and why I love being a broadcaster.
Sometime during the course of this summer baseball will (hopefully) be back, and the NBA and the NHL will be back to finish their seasons, too. Since Fox Sports SW has contracts with our local team from each of those leagues, I feel like I am about to get very busy. In fact, I can’t wait for the moment where I take a sip of hot tea with lemon and whisper, “I’ve got blisters on my vocal chords!” I can’t wait to talk about sports with you.