Iron Pigs Dreamers

On today's Comment Please by Univest program we're presenting our day at Coca Cola Park in Allentown.  The program features interviews with Manager Ryne Sandberg and Pigs catcher Erik Kratz (check out the archive if you missed it live).  Erik is a guy who's spent most of the 10 years he's been in pro baseball in the minors.   He had a hand-full of games last season while playing for the Pirates.  He grew up in Telford and went to Dock.  He's lived the life of a minor leaguer and it's not the glamorous existence of the guys lucky enough to spend most of their careers in the majors.  Erik's got a wife and a couple of kids and you can hear the life has been full of sacrifice.   Not that you should shed any tears for Kratz, he's been lucky enough to do what he loves.  I hope he gets that second chance and a real opportunity to play in the Bigs.   His manager got that chance, when the Phils shipped him to Chicago along with Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus after the 1981 season.  Sandberg excelled for 16 seasons with the Cubs en-route to the Hall of Fame.  But now Sandberg is not all that different from his catcher.  He's pursuing his dream of managing in the Bigs.   I found Ryne to be a better interview than I expected.  He readily talks about coming up in the Phils organization, with a first stop in Helena, Montana and how he's now trying to impart on his players the things he learned more than 30 years ago.   It sums up what's best about spending time at a minor league ballpark, whether your Erik Kratz or Ryne Sandberg, there are still dreams to pursue!

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