This past week I was invited on a "baseball fishing trip." To be precise, it was a fishing outing with baseball legends.
Gary Rispone is the executive producer and owner of "Paradise Louisiana", a very popular and long-running TV show in south Louisiana. He invited me to join LSU coach Paul Mainieri, UNO coach Ron Maestri and Southern coach Roger Cador on a fishing trip. Yes, an episode of the TV show will be made out of this trip. "Paradise Louisiana" is produced by our staff at Pelican Broadcasting.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have been fishing in the last decade. However, the "baseball" part of this was the reason I just had to go.
We all met in Cocodrie at Andre Boudreaux's Marina on Monday evening for an outstanding meal. The several hours of baseball stories that the four of us told should have been on camera. A few may not have been suited for the public airing, but all were worth a listen!
I played college baseball against Mainieri, played and pitched against many of Maestri's teams, and have been a friend of Cador's for over 20 years, including announcing many Southern games on the radio and television.
Often during the evening, I wondered what was I doing among these three coaching legends, who have a combined 115 years of coaching experience. My average career as a pitcher at Southeastern does not come close to their many accomplishments on the diamond. I guess spending 25 years in the media interviewing each of these three coaches numerous times and knowing Rispone added up to justify my presence.
I can not begin to tell you all of the stories but can tell you that all four of us spent the evening laughing to the point of tears in our eyes and sore ribs. Other members of the "crew" also laughed and enjoyed the moments.
Maestri at a youthful 72 years old stole the show. He told most of the stories, in fact. I will be happy to recount some of the best to any of you reading this the next time we should cross paths. Stories told involved umpires (imagine that!), players, fans, members of the media, big league players and managers, university administrators, the NCAA, Omaha, bus rides, plane trips, the Olympics, parades, Mardi Gras, and more about umpires! I am sure I left something out, I guess you had to be there!
We were all ready on time with the 5:00 am wake up call. At 6:00 am, we boarded two boats. You of course have to have camera guys and they did a great job. We headed out under the guidance of Capt. Andre Boudreaux and Capt. Ty Trosclair in the search of redfish and speckled trout. The two boats were never far apart (for TV purposes) which led to much banter back and forth about who is catching what.
In the first 10 minutes of hooks in the water, Mainieri landed what would be the catch of the day, a 14 pound redfish. No one topped that haul.
All told, that redfish and about 60 speckled trout was the tally for the day.
Back at the marina, Capt. Andre and Capt. Ty cleaned the fish. We all told a few fish stories but I can assure you that the baseball talk from the evening before were much more entertaining.
The three coaching legends will all be together again on the baseball field in the spring. I can't reveal any more new details about that just yet but I look forward to being a part of a fun baseball weekend early in 2014.
Given the choice again, I would love to experience another evening like that one at the marina. A memory of a lifetime for me. Play Ball.
Tommy Krysan is the host of “Tigers Roar” a live TV show each Wednesday night at 8:00 pm on Pelican Sports TV in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans.
He also hosts Pelican Sports Radio, Monday – Friday, 3-5 p.m. in Baton Rouge on Fox Sports Radio Baton Rouge, WUBR 910 AM; online at pelicansportstv.com and “Tune In” app smart phones
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