Monthly Archives: May 2014

Travs announce Bill Buckner as speaker for Texas League All-Star gala

The Arkansas Travelers announced Thursday that former Major Leaguer Bill Buckner will be the guest speaker at the Texas League All-Star gala Monday, June 23 at the Little Rock Double Tree Hotel.
Buckner played for 22 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels and Kansas City Royals. Buckner totaled 2,715 hits and hit .289 for his career ad was the 1981 National League batting champion. However, Buckner is most known (unfairly) for the error he committed at first base in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series that allowed the New York Mets to tie the game and eventually win it and the series.
A limited number of tickets can be bought for $150 per seat by calling the Travs box office at 501-664-7559. No tickets will be sold at the door.
“I played my first Double-A game in Little Rock (with the Albuquerque Dodgers) so I’m looking forward to going back,” Buckner said in a release. “I liked playing in Little Rock. It has a real baseball town feel to it. I’m also excited to see Dickey-Stephens Park for the first time since I played at Ray Winder Field back in 1969.”
Buckner … Read more >

Battered Hogs could be College World Series Darkhorse

Arkansas is bruised and battered, but may be one of the more dangerous teams in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
It looks like Arkansas will be without catcher/DH Blake Baxendale which makes it imperative that catcher Jake Wise (probable) recovers from his hand injury. It would bolster the Hogs’ chances if pitcher Jalen Beeks (questionable) is available, too.
The good news is center fielder Anddrew Benintendi and third baseman Bobby Wernes should see action.
Even with the injuries, Arkansas landed a spot in the SEC Tournament semifinals after winning 6 of 7 games to close the regular season in order to qualify for the tournament.
In the SEC Tournament, Arkansas upset Texas A&M and Top-10 ranked Ole Miss  before falling to LSU and beating Ole Miss. LSU eliminating the Hogs in the semifinals.
So, now Arkansas

Photo by Michael Woods/NWA Media

is a No. 2 seed playing No. 3 seed Liberty Friday in the Charlottesville Region. Virginia, who is 29-3 at home this season, is one of the better teams in the country, but the committee didn’t do the Cavaliers any favors placing the Hogs in that region.
UA, who is one of seven teams in the field competing in its … Read more >

Mayflower baseball team searched for teammate’s jeresey in rubble

As a tornado barreled toward Mayflower, Davis Gaffney faced a dilemma. His parents told he and his five siblings they could take two belongings with them to the tornado shelter. Gaffney, a ninth-grade baseball player, chose his baseball glove and iguana.
Unfortunately, the glove and pet were about all Gaffney had left after the tornado ripped through his house. As the family sifted though the rubble, Gaffney was unable to find his game jersey.
Mayflower coach Joe Albritton sent a text to his players asking them to help Gaffney and Garrett Taylor, whose family also lost their house, salvage personal items, including game uniforms.
Players and parents, coaches and wives spent hours searching. Albritton found the Nike jersey, which had just a small hole in it.
“I didn’t realize the the house had a second story,” Albritton says. “It was across the road in a pond. That’s where I found [the jersey].”
Gaffney, who plays on the JV squad but suits up for varsity games, was touched by how his teammates chipped in.
“It was just awesome to know they cared that much,” Gaffney says.
Gaffney proudly wore the jersey Tuesday night at Dickey-Stephens Park when the Eagles played Vilonia … Read more >

Mayflower/Vilonia Tornado Benefit Baseball Game Memorable for All

Joe Albritton  met University of Arkansas coaches Bret Bielema and Mike Anderson, conducted a national television interview and gazed into the stands and saw more than 8,000 fans fill a stadium to watch his team and more importantly support two battered towns.
As the pregame pomp and circumstance finally wound down, and the first pitch was near, the quirky, Duck Dynasty-bearded look alike was overcome with emotion. The fiery Mayflower coach barely held back tears as he began to pace in front of the dugout just before he took his place in the third base coach’s box.
It was a sentiment shared by many who attended the game at Dickey-Stephens Park who saw Albritton’s Eagles take on the neighboring Vilonia Eagles in a non-conference game.
The thousands came to support, both morally and financially, the tornado ravaged towns and their teams, who are both enjoying successful seasons. With the large crowd, and Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and other dignitaries in attendance, the game had a state championship feel. But many in attendance could have cared less about the outcome. They were there to lend a hand.
Still, baseball was the backdrop, and like it has so many times in history … Read more >

Bielema Voices Support for Mayflower/Vilonia Benefit Baseball Game

University of Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema has pledged his support for the Mayflower/Vilonia varsity benefit baseball game being played Tuesday afternoon at Dickey-Stephens Park with proceeds benefiting tornado victims from the two communities.
The second-year coach said via Twitter Saturday that he and wife, Jen, plan to attend the game. Former Hog center Travis Swanson and Razorbacks men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson also plan to attend and sign autographs.
“2 sponsors have pledged $1/person in attendance up to $10,000. Join me and let’s have 10,000 come out to support towns that need our help,” Bielema posted. He added, “I’m encouraged by response so far. Help support Mayflower & Vilonia at Dickey-Stephens Park Tuesday. We all make a difference #WoooPig.”
The game game begins at 5:30 p.m. with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. Parking and admission is free, but the schools’ cheerleaders are taking donations and all of the concession stand profits will be split between the towns.
The game is being broadcast by different central Arkansas media personalities on three Crain Media radio stations — 93.3 The Source in Little Rock, Y107 in Conway and News/Talk 99.1 in Searcy. KATV sports director Steve Sullivan, Ouachita Baptist football  play-by-play man … Read more >