Todd Bargman 1988
This is a very special bat to me. In 1988 while attending Oklahoma State, my roommate, Benny Castillo had his friend stay with us for a while before he went to spring training. His name was Theron Todd. I asked him since he was a pro at this time, if he could order me some wood bats. He agreed and this was one of 6 i ordered through him. I used most of them during batting practise at school to get used to wood bats awaiting the June draft. This one i used a bit but it felt so good, I wanted to save it. After i was drafted in 1988, i gave this one to my Dad, Stan. I went to camp and was eventually moved up to Utica, which was a mid A ball club as opposed to the rookie club were i started out. Our manager in rookie ball was Art Kusnyer. He caught Nolan Ryan’s second no hitter and he was one of the best baseball men around. He told us all to call him Cave or Kush but none of that coach or Mr Kusnyer crap.. Great guy and everyone liked him. Once i left Kush’s club in Sarasota and got to Utica, i realized that my new manager, was one of the biggest jerks on the planet. I had seen him yelling and screaming at players in training camp and was very happy not to have broke camp with his club, but now, here i was with this goof Rick Patterson. Needless to say, i was no shrinking violet at the time and he and i were oil and water. I called my dad a few days before he was to come and see us play in Erie Pennsylvania. It was about a 5 hour drive for him. He asked me if i needed anything and i said, yes, i need that bat back i gave you a while ago. A few days later, my Dad was in the stands when i hit a monster bomb in Erie against the orioles minor league club, with this very bat. It was a Gordie Howe type evening as i hit a homer, we had a HUGE fight that went national, and i got to see our Manager get punched a few times in his mug… I couldn’t get to him in the pile or i may have taken a few shots at him myself. Derek Lee saved me from being pummelled as my arms were under a few bodies and one of their players had me lined up like a punching bag. He hit this guy so hard, i felt it run down my legs as he flipped off me…My Dad had the biggest smile i think i’d seen on him in my life.. He was so proud and i was happy to have had him there. Baseball is such a great analogy for life. I’m sure my old man is watching me post this bat with the same smile as he did that day. I will never forget who gave me the ability to play Baseball and who made it all possible.