Talking Baseball: Hal Bagwell
Throughout the offseason, keep an eye out for my new series titled “Talking Baseball”. I’ll spend a few minutes each week talking to former baseball players about the game of baseball and much more.
On Saturday, November 7, BB&T Ballpark was the site of the first-ever “Home Plate Gala” hosted by the U Deserve A Chance Foundation. The non-profit foundation, which was founded by former Charlotte Knights and Charlotte O’s infielder Jeff Schaefer, aims to bridge the financial gap for individuals and organizations that are unable to afford the spiraling costs of participating in the sport.
Schaefer, who spent parts of five seasons in the majors, welcomed over 130 people to the event, including a “who’s who” of Charlotte baseball personalities. There were former Major League players, along with current High School and College baseball coaches from around the Charlotte area.
Speakers for the event included USA Baseball’s Rick Riccobono and Wake Forest University head baseball coach Tom Walter, who received the foundation’s first “Spirit of the Game” Award. Walter was the subject of an ESPN 30-for-30 documentary for donating one of his kidneys to Kevin Jordan, an outfielder on the Demon Deacons. Jordan, who was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease and needed a transplant, received the kidney from Walter just days before the 2011 season.
One of those people who was at the prestigious event on Saturday at BB&T Ballpark was Ardrey Kell High School head baseball coach, Hal Bagwell. I sat down with Hal during the event and we talked about the the Home Plate Gala, as well as a number of other items. Hal grew up going to baseball games in Charlotte and attended games at both Crockett Park and Knights Stadium in Fort Mill.
With a photo of Jim Thome and Charlie Manuel hanging just next to us while we talked, Hal mentioned to me about going to Knights games with his dad when Thome was playing for the team and Manuel was managing it in 1993 at Knights Stadium.
I had the opportunity to meet Hal a few months back when he was a guest on the Schaefer Baseball Report with Jeff Schaefer and I. Seeing him again on Saturday and talking baseball with him was a great experience.
Here’s episode three of “Talking Baseball” with guest, Hal Bagwell