From 2008-2010, the Cincinnati Reds got some reliable relief work from diminutive lefty Daniel Ray Herrera, a mostly “junkballer” whose fastball topped out around 88 mph. He’s now featured in a different realm on the current edition of “Access Reds” on Bally Sports Ohio which is the TV flagship of Reds baseball.
Danielrayherrera.com will introduce you to a very talented artist. Many folks think the team’s current second baseman, Jonathan India, has long hair but it’s really not when compared to the former pitcher. I’m not an art critic but I will say I’m intrigued enough to invite you to peruse the website. Much of his work involves baseball and the Reds.
My top memory of Herrera’s pitching was actually for Louisville in a AAA minor league game in Gwinnett, Georgia in early July of 2010. I remember the approximate date because it included elaborate postgame fireworks. However, there were also some fireworks in the game itself that shocked the unsuspecting sellout crowd that came to see the top farm teams of the Reds and Atlanta Braves.
I knew of the Louisville pitching plans before getting to the ballpark. Herrera would start and then be followed by newcomer Aroldis Chapman, another lefty who would provide a huge contrast to his predecessor. Herrera’s fastball was anything but fast, while the future “Cuban Missile” often exceeded 100 in an era where that was rare. The ballpark displayed pitch speed on the message board, so it figured to be fun. I was with two locals and I told them what was up. They embraced my enthusiasm.
When Chapman entered and delivered as promised, the audience was in full buzz mode that was amplified with each posting. Almost all hadn’t heard of Chapman and were shocked at what he could do. I had seen him at spring training and knew what was coming. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to Cincinnati and eventually became a dominant closer.
1987 Sidney graduate Phil Wildermuth is the new men’s golf coach at St. John’s University (New York City) of the Big East Conference, a grouping that also features Xavier University in Cincinnati. The longtime PGA golf pro, instructor, and coach lists three siblings and his mother (Mary Lou) still residing in our area. Full info on Phil’s journey can be found at redstormsports.com.
Soon to mark a dozen seasons as SHS head football coach, St. Marys native Adam Doenges is three campaigns away from matching the 15 years achieved by Dave Haines from 1960-74. These are the only two Sidney head football coaches whose tenures reached double digits.
Doenges actually played on a St. Marys team that was dominated by Sidney, a rare happening during their now discontinued traditional season openers. Courtesy of fellow SHS athletic historian Brett Bickel, I’ll share that tidbit next week.