Vipers Alums Together In Hall Of Fame

by Kevin Burton

   More notes from the Beep Baseball World Series just competed Saturday:

   I did not know until the day before the ceremony that my longtime Columbus teammate and friend Rob Weigand was being inducted into the Beep Baseball Hall of Fame at the same time I was.

   I was notified I had made the hall by e-mail. Some other members of the class, Debbie Brummer and Dale Bigger, were copied. The e-mail mentioned Steve Stambaugh was also being inducted.  But I didn’t know about the other members of the class of 2021.

   I was never told this directly, but somehow I got the impression I was supposed to keep the news quiet until induction day. 

   So I had no clue Rob was going in until he mentioned something about “our thing tomorrow” as we were watching the Indy Thunder vs San Antonio Jets game Friday. Rob said he was notified by telephone.

   Three of our longtime Columbus teammates were there for the ceremony as we both fought back tears during brief remarks.  It was one of the greatest, most memorable days of my life.

   I was planning to wear my old Vipers jersey for the ceremony, as Rob wore one of his, but I noticed that my jersey had shrunk over the years, so I had to scrap that idea. 

   What a pity…

   The home plate umpire for our USA Legends vs. Bayou City Heat game Friday told me I had hair like Ric Flair.  I have heard of Ric Flair but I don’t know much about him.  Had to look up how to spell his name just now. 

   It sounded like a compliment when the umpire said it, but I will need some of you rasslin’ people to tell me for sure…

   One of the Indy Thunder players introduced himself to me and some of the other Hall of Fame inductees between that ceremony and the championship game Saturday.  He introduced himself as Corey.

   It was Corey White, who hit the first walk-off home run in NBBA championship game history.  He also was the tournament’s offensive MVP. 

   Five rings now for Corey and the crew.  With Kevin Sibson of San Antonio now retired, who will provide a serious challenge to the Thunder this decade?…

   Sibson picked up the home plate from Saturday’s championship game and was taking it around at the awards banquet Saturday night having people sign it.  There must have been at least 150 signatures on it when he brought it to the USA Legends table and Weigand and I signed it.

   What an awesome keepsake. He said he was going to hang it up in his game room…

   Was very happy to see that my USA Legends teammate Marvin Morgan made the offensive all-star team for the World Series, with a .575 batting average.  He is a tremendous athlete and was a source of positive energy for the team.  Can’t believe how fast he is and what great shape he is in at age 61. Love it when good things happen to good people. 

   Thanks to him, the USA Legends name will live on in the record books whether we keep the team going or not…

   There is nothing like Getaway Day, the day you travel to a World Series. Nobody is tired, for the most part nobody is injured. Everybody is undefeated. All your strategies are intact.

   The Sunday after the championship game is another story.  It has often been a sad day for me. The major focus of the beep baseball year in now behind.

   Reality sets in, in the form of work and other routines.  For older players like me, we don’t know if we will, or should, ever take the field again.

   I’ve tried to express this week what a special feeling it has been to reunite with Columbus teammates and get to know some others from around the league.  This is something I will treasure in my heart until God Himself says “ballgame” and I go to be with Him.

   Until such time, I will count the days on my calendar, the one with photos by John Lykowski Jr., and see what happens.  This has been a true honor.

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3 Comments

  1. Congrats Kev, as have said many times, has been a great ride! Good times anytime that we get a chance to reunite with our beep baseball family again, always fun. Memories will continue! Deb

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  2. I think we all joined this Legends team with great trepidation! What if we don’t win any games? What if we don’t score any runs? We knew we weren’t going to contend for the championship so, we gave everything we had. Winning 4 and losing 4, one member making the offensive all star team, defense that was outstanding, we had the time of our lives. Many of us put on our cleats for the last time (some because they fell apart) and we had a stress free week of camaraderie and fun. It was truly an honor to take the field as a Legend with all of the incredible athletes and volunteers we had on this team. God bless you each and every one. Congratulations Kevin on your Hall of Fame induction. Well deserved!
    #33 Jon Walker HOF 2011

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  3. Just what was you batting average against us? Did we ever get you out? Congratulations.
    I wouldn’t have minded having to put up with the chicken dance.

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