Today was year another reminder that the AFL is a family’s Field of Dreams. Take the McGuire family for instance. Reese McGuire was the 14th overall pick of the 2013 draft, going in the first round to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Being with the Pirates places him on the Glendale Desert Dogs roster this year, and here he was batting 7th and catching for the Dogs today.
Unlike his older brother Cash, who decided to go to Seattle University on a baseball scholarship, Reese opted to take the cash straight out of high school and signed for a handsome $2.37 mill bonus straight out of high school at age 18. He’s 20 years old now, and working his way though the Bucs minor league system, and we had a nice conversation with his Dad in the front row at Talking Stick this afternoon.
Kyle Farmer is actually the best hitting catcher of the three that the Dogs carry, and he is logging the bulk of the catching duties for the team. Today Farmer was the DH. McGuire is actually benefitting from the experiment that is giving the third catcher on the team, Andrew Knapp – a Phillies prospect – more playing time at first base. But one never knows until the lineup is posted who is going to be doing what on a given day.
While in line at the ticket office this afternoon, the gentleman in front of me said: “You’d think they’ve have a second ticket agent to help move this line along”. We chatted a bit, and he told me that his grandson left tickets for him at the window. The kid’s name is Rowdy Tellez, a Blue Jays prospect, who was batting cleanup for the Rafters today.
Then of course there’s the Stankiewicz family, who I mentioned yesterday – their son Drew a Phillies prospect who got his break in the AFL when J.P. Crawford went down. Drew played 2B yesterday and SS today.
Drew’s mom hung out to chat with him after the game, and they are another baseball family dedicated to following their son’s progress.
The published attendance today was 461, and I would imagine that half of those in attendance were ballplayers’s families, supporting their sons’ field of dreams.