Baseball fans welcome Brewers’ Taylor Green back home

They came to toast Taylor Green.

They left knowing that toast is the best "meal" the major leaguer can cook.

A FAMILY AFFAIR Taylor Green with mom Jackie and dad Bill at Tuesday night's homecoming/fundraiser.

A FAMILY AFFAIR Taylor Green with mom Jackie and dad Bill at Tuesday night's homecoming/fundraiser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They came to toast Taylor Green.

They left knowing that toast is the best “meal” the major leaguer can cook.

That revelation sent a ripple of laughter through the packed Ballroom at the Best Western Westerly Hotel on Tuesday night as the Milwaukee Brewers infielder smoothly fielded a series of snap-answer questions from MC Bill Village.

The Comox Valley Baseball Association organized the evening to salute Green’s ascension to the big leagues and to raise funds for a couple of game day fences for Aspen Park. Along with admission at the door, there was a silent auction to help raise money.

The full house included Comox mayor Paul Ives and Courtenay mayor-elect Larry Jangula and luminaries from the local ball scene along with Green’s parents and former coaches. Stories, videos and photos were all part of the light-hearted and enlightening evening.

Enlightening? Here’s some more of Village’s quicky Q&A with Green:

Favourite pre-game meal: “Spaghetti and meat balls.”

Favourite home-cooked meal: “Ham and scalloped potatoes.”

Favourite sport other than baseball: “Hockey.”

Best baseball movie of all time: “Sandlot.”

Favourite movie star: “Kim Cattrell.” (after some prompting).

Best looking girls – Nashville or Milwaukee: “Nashville.”

Blond or brunette: “Doesn’t matter.”

Best beer in Milwaukee: “Miller High Life.”

Favourite Canadian beer: “Lucky.”

Left-handed pitcher you can’t wait to face: “My dad in batting practice.”

Right-handed pitcher you can’t wait to face: “Jeff Suppan.”

First words you ever spoke were “Blue Jays” – true or false: “Probably true.”

It’s April 2012, who’s the starting third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers: “Hopefully Taylor Green.”

When the applause died down, Village had one more question: “What was your hat size when you played in Parksville?” “Seven-and-one-eighth,” replied Green. “What was your hat size when you played with the Milwaukee Brewers?” “Seven-and-one-eighth,” replied Green.

“I’ve known (Taylor) for a while,” Village said. “One of the things I really, truly respect about this young man is, despite his successes, he has always remained humble and respectful of everything that’s come his way. It’s a real testament to how he’s been brought up and we can acknowledge (parents) Bill and Jackie for that. It’s easy to say that this young man would be a wonderful role model for a lot of young people around here.”

Bill Green gave a video presentation of the on-field celebrations at Miller Park during one of the Brewers’ celebrations, and Taylor explained some of the background behind the autographed jerseys (that were on display) of future Hall of Famers he is collecting. A particular favourite is Albert Pujols’, as the St. Louis slugger was on first base when Green rapped his first major league hit.

And the anecdote of that MLB milestone was one of the many entertaining insights Green shared on Tuesday. “I was walking up to the plate. My parents were there, with 45,000 or 46,000 people in a packed house. We were playing the Cardinals and they called on me to pinch hit.

“My first reaction was ‘Where are my batting gloves?’…just panic…I had them on my hands,” he recalled with a laugh. “I was in a cold sweat walking to the batter’s box. I started swinging, my hands were shaking out of control. I couldn’t hold the bat. I had to take a second to regroup. I walked up to the plate and got a standing ovation. That was a pretty cool feeling. I looked around for just a split second before I stepped into the box, because you never know when you’re going to get that again.

“I stepped into the box (and dug in). I still remember the first pitch…a sinker down and away (from) Jake Westbrook. I thought it was a strike but the umpire called it a ball.” With two strikes on him, Westbrook delivered a low change up. “I barrelled it out to right field. Abert Pujols was standing (on first) and my eyes were just like blinking, blinking, blinking. I was supposed to do this pose thing but I didn’t know what to do. It felt awkward for a little bit,” Green smiled.

As is tradition, Green got to keep the ball. He was looking forward to presenting it to his parents when he stopped and looked at what his teammates had written on it. “Some of the slimiest stuff ever written,” said Green. “Not the kind of stuff you can put on the mantle.” It wasn’t until three days later his teammates presented him with the real game ball.

Other tales included Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke making good on a pre-season promise to eat a live scorpion if the Brewers made the playoffs, having to wear the (Canuck fans) Greenman suit as part of rookie initiation, and being “punk’d” when he was called into the manager’s office and told he was being suspended for 50 games for failing a drug test.

Green thanked his former coaches Carl Bitonti (Comox Valley Blizzard) and Dave Wallace (Parksville Royals) and presented them with caps, jerseys and photos. “They were both huge in terms of setting goals for me, making me work hard and putting direction into what I wanted to do.”

He told the crowd that he was proof that working hard can make dreams come true. “You never know what can happen. You dream and you want it so bad. But until you walk into that stadium it doesn’t seem real. It still doesn’t seem real to me,” he said.

sports@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Co-ordinator/founder David Clarke, right, is pictured with members of Comox Valley Street Outreach during Monday’s rig dig. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley group aims to stop overdose deaths, reduce stigma

As the overdose crisis worsens throughout B.C., a local advocacy group is… Continue reading

London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings. Screenshot, London Drugs
Courtenay London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings

A number of locations in Western Canada selected to give vaccine

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Wildfire burning in remote area near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating cause, but confirms it is human-caused

Volunteers paint the famous Denman Island Graffiti Fence with messages for Earth Week. Photo by Danni Crenna
Denman Island celebrates Earth Week

The Denman Island Climate Action Network (DICAN) has kicked off Earth Week… Continue reading

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read