I grew up in a Los Angeles suburb listening most nights to the crooning play-by-play of the maestro of broadcasting Vin Scully calling Dodger games. I had an overly active imagination, so more than once I heard Vin Scully announce my name in my head as I swung a mighty whiffleball bat.
Today, Scully finally introduced my name as a Dodger on a broadcast–well, the last name anyway– as pitcher Mike Bolsinger took the mound at AT&T Park against the San Francisco Giants.
Sitting here in the press box and seeing the name Bolsinger on the big screen is sort is weird and sort of cool in a weird, cool kind of way.
I first heard of Mike Bolsinger seven years ago when he pitched for the University of Arkansas. I was writing for The Bleacher Report and SF Examiner covering the Oakland A’s. I took a lot of interest in the baseball draft, which wasn’t much of an event back then. I noticed Bolsinger drafted in the late rounds. I was mildly curious and began to read clips about his starts. He seemed a marginal prospect at best but still the best known Bolsinger by a wide margin. Last year he became a major league baseball pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a testament to his hard work to climb through the minors and keep at it until his dreams came true.
Somewhere around that time my dad, a self-appointed keeper of all thing Bolsinger Including A House of Bolsinger blog, began to tell me about my “cousin” Mike the pitching star. When Mike finally broke into the bigs, a handful of Giants and Angels fans from California who share his name and took notice. Why not? “Family” in the age of Facebook is a very broadly defined term.
So today’s a good day for we Bolsinger clan, a small, hearty group with a funny last name as Ole Cousin Mike does us all proud (we are I the 4th inning and Mike’s dealing a shutout so far). After the game I’ll head down to the locker room and interview him for a lifestyle story I pitched (believe me, I’ve pitched weirder stories in my day). We will talk a little baseball, family, swap awful nickname stories (“no sir, no balls no slinging, just Bolsinger,” I’ve said to more than one coach in my life) and whatever else comes up, just one Bolsinger to another.