With the transient nature of AAA ball players, perhaps the most prominent figure of my baseball youth was the voice of the Herd. Though I have fond memories of Benny DiStefano, John Cangelosi, Tom Prince, Felix Fermin, Carlos Garcia and Scott Bullett, the man who guided my baseball dreams through the early 1990s was Pete Weber.
So it’s with all due respect to the fact that Pete probably said something akin to the forthcoming reference back in the day — let alone that Pat Malacaro or Ben Wagner both have keen wits — that I ask whether the following ever made it into a home run call?
Nerd that I am, when I hosted “The Late Nick Mendola” program on WECK, one of my only advertising campaigns came out of pocket: I sponsored Bisons legend Luke Easter’s page on Baseball Reference. Why? I’d love to say the primary motivation was his stardom with the Homestead Grays in the Negro League. I’d love just as much to say it was because his homers were nicknamed “Easter Eggs” because of how far they traveled, or that Bill James said (according to the mighty Wikipedia), “if you could clone him and bring him back, you’d have the greatest power hitter in baseball today, if not ever.”
Alas, it’s because he owned a sausage company while in Buffalo and gave five pounds of sausage to every teammate who hit a home run. Once, just once, I’d like to imagine a towering blast from a Bison sending Buffalo to a lead at the downtown ballpark was or will be followed up with “and that’s gonna get (Player X) five pounds of sausage from Luke Easter.” Maybe Sahlen’s would get behind it. Unfortunately, we likely live in a time when that would be read as perverted, but it is what it is.
As an aside, I’d like to point out that I “re-met” now-Nashville Predators play-by-play voice Pete Weber at a birthday party for a friend this summer and he was far-too-nice and personable to me. I admire people like him, Howard Simon, Jerry Sullivan & Chris Parker who go out of their way to make anyone feel a part of the conversation. God bless you, Mr. Weber.