Sports Extra with Dave Ross: From Mound to Art Studio

From 2008 to 2010, the Cincinnati Reds got reliable backup work from small southpaw Daniel Ray Herrera, a mostly “junkballer” whose fastball hit around 88 mph. He’s now featured in a different realm on the current edition of “Access Reds” on Bally Sports Ohio, which is the Reds’ baseball television flagship.

Danielrayherrera.com will introduce you to a very talented artist. Many people think that the team’s current second baseman, Jonathan India, has long hair, but that’s really not the case when compared to the former pitcher. I am not an art critic but I will say that I am intrigued enough to invite you to browse the site. Much of his work involves baseball and the Reds.

My fondest memory of Herrera’s pitch was actually for Louisville in a minor league AAA game in Gwinnett, Georgia in early July 2010. I remember the approximate date as it included fireworks from post-game elaborate. However, there were also fireworks in the game itself that shocked the unsuspecting sold-out crowd that came to watch the top farm teams of the Atlanta Reds and Braves.

I knew about Louisville’s launch plans before I got to the ballpark. Herrera would start and then be followed by newcomer Aroldis Chapman, another southpaw who would be a stark contrast to his predecessor. Herrera’s fastball was anything but fast, while the future “Cuban Missile” often topped 100 in an era when that was rare. The ballpark posted the pitch speed on the bulletin board, so that turned out to be fun. I was with two locals and told them what was going on. They embraced my enthusiasm.

When Chapman came in and delivered as promised, the audience was in buzz mode, amplified with each post. Almost all had not heard of Chapman and were shocked at what he could do. I had seen him in spring training and I knew what was coming. Soon after, he was promoted to Cincinnati and eventually became a closer dominant.

golf coach

1987 Phil Wildermuth, a Sidney graduate, is the new men’s golf coach at St. John’s University (New York) in the Big East Conference, a grouping that also includes Xavier University in Cincinnati. The longtime PGA golf professional, instructor and coach lists three siblings and his mother (Mary Lou) still residing in our area. Complete information on Phil’s background can be found at redstormsports.com.

Coach Doenges

Soon to mark a dozen seasons as SHS head football coach, St. Marys native Adam Doenges is three campaigns away from matching the 15 years that Dave Haines had from 1960 to 1974. These are the Sidney’s only two head football coaches whose tenures have reached double digits.

Doenges actually played on a Sidney-dominated St. Marys side, a rare occurrence in their now-discontinued traditional season openers. Courtesy of fellow SHS sports historian Brett Bickel, I’ll share this tidbit next week.

Sports Extra appears every Friday. Dave Ross has published a book on the first century of Sidney HS football. Brett Bickel is currently completing a second volume of 25 years representing 1997-2021.

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