20 Questions with Baby Bird Joe Donofrio

Righty reliever Joe Donofrio pitched in 40 games for the Peoria Chiefs in 2013. He posted a 2.63 ERA in 68.1 innings of work — holding right handed hitters to a .194 average. He earned six wins and 5 saves on the year.

20 Questions – Joe Donofrio (@bagofritos)

Donofrio headshot_100208 (2)1. How did you get started in baseball?

My dad and I use to go to a lot of Orioles games when I was younger and that really got  me into the game of baseball.

2. Who was your biggest influence growing up?

My dad; we’d go out and play catch all the time.

3. When/how did you decide you wanted to pursue this career?

I had a breakout season my junior year in high school which gave me the opportunity to  play college baseball.

4. How did you react when your dream of playing pro baseball was first achieved?

I was in disbelief, I was an amazing feeling and also eye opening

5. What do you remember from your first professional game?   

I remember coming in and having the early game jitters, but once the pitching coach came out I settled down and just pitched. Continue reading

20 Questions With Baby Bird Jeremy Schaffer

This week’s 20 questions is with Chiefs’ 1st baseman Jeremy Schaffer. Jeremy played 75 games for the Chiefs in 2013.

Jeremy Schaffer (@jschaff8)

schaffer (2)1. How did you get started in baseball?

I always loved baseball since I was a kid a played a lot of it with encouragement from my parents.

2. Who was your biggest influence growing up?

Both of my parents, they have always been there for me.

3. When/how did you decide you wanted to pursue this career?

I realized in high school that it was a possibility so I just went for it from there.

4. How did you react when your dream of playing pro baseball was first achieved?

Excited and overwhelmed because it’s something you work so hard for.

5. What do you remember from your first professional game?

I started off 0-2 and then got my first base hit against the Greenville Astros in Johnson City. Continue reading

20 Questions With A Baby Bird

It’s no secret that Cardinals’ success has come in large part to the development of the minor league system. Near the end of the regular season, Tara Wellman (with the help of the Peoria Chiefs’ staff) had a chance to get to know some of those minor league players, Q & A style. We’ll be posting those interviews over the next several weeks.

20 Questions with CF Charlie Tilson (@tilson4)

  1. How did you get started in baseball?Tilson

    1. Playing wiffle ball in the backyard with my brother and friends

  2. Who was your biggest influence growing up?

    1. My older brother. He was into baseball and we are around the same age so we spent a lot of time together as kids and still are very close.

  3. When/how did you decide you wanted to pursue this career?

    1. I knew as a little kid that I wanted to play baseball.

  4. How did you react when your dream of playing pro baseball was first achieved?

    1. There were a lot of hugs; it was a great family moment and celebration.

  5. What do you remember from your first professional game?

    1. It was a very eye-opening experience

  6. What has been your favorite moment in baseball (professional or otherwise)?

    1. Winning the State Championship with my high school team in 2009.

  7. Who is your biggest fan?

    1. My father Continue reading

Monday Morning Tidbits: McCarver, Mo and More

UPDATE: Tony La Russa is unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, as are Joe Torre and Bobby Cox. More from Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel is here.

It’s Monday morning, it’s cold and snowy throughout much of the country (which was pretty obvious if you watched any NFL games yesterday) but there’s plenty of baseball talk going on — so it can’t be all bad.

McCarverMaybe you saw the article on Friday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hinting at Tim McCarver joining the Cardinals broadcast team. Now Jenifer Langosch has more at the Cardinals site: indeed Fox Sports Midwest is nearing a deal that would add McCarver to the television team in a limited role.

Hmmm. Having never been quiet about my feelings for the Fox Midwest announcers (and rewatching some games lately from this season just makes my feelings all the more clear), I can’t say this would make things any worse than they have been. Who knows — maybe Joe Buck could even come back and do a couple of games with McCarver. Didn’t everyone besides Cards fans think they were always rooting for the team during national broadcasts anyway? But Dan McLaughlin and Tim McCarver together … yikes.

In happier thoughts, there likely isn’t a Cardinals fan out there who doesn’t appreciate what John Mozeliak continually does for the team. (Well, okay, there probably is at least one …) But if you don’t appreciate how he’s built the roster that’s appeared in two of the last three World Series and even retooled the roster for 2014 without giving up any of the Cardinals prospects plus received a compensatory draft pick now that Carlos Beltran has signed with the Yankees, read this about the Seattle Mariners and their general manager Jack Zduriencik. You will appreciate Mo — and be really glad you’re a Cardinals fan.

Continue reading

Bid Now in Chiefs Online Auction for Tornado Relief

You’ve likely seen images of the utter devastation caused by tornadoes last Sunday around the Peoria, Ill., area, especially in Washington. It’s heartbreaking.

Chiefs logoHere’s a way you can support those affected: bid in an online auction organized by the Peoria Chiefs, the Cardinals Midwest League affiliate.

The auction currently includes great Cardinals items including baseballs autographed by Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Tony La Russa, Willie McGee, Lee Smith, David Freese and Joe Kelly; a hat signed by Matt Adams; Allen Craig and Yadier Molina jerseys; and a Chris Carpenter game-used bat.

There also are terrific Cubs items — the Chiefs were the Cubs Midwest League affiliate for years up until the 2013 season — including a Hall of Fame induction program, baseball cards and a Chiefs pennant all signed by Ryne Sandberg; baseballs autographed by Greg Maddux and Jeff Samardzija; and a Carlos Zambrano autographed bat.

Plus there are other items such as Notre Dame basketball tickets, Bears and Illini apparel, and even an American Girl doll still in the box donated by a 7-year-old girl who wanted to help out.

More auction items will be added as they are received, including tickets for several 2014 games from the Cardinals plus items from the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and other Midwest League teams.

The auction is ongoing — and the holidays are coming. Great gift ideas for your favorite people and, more importantly, all proceeds support the victims of last Sunday’s tornadoes.

Check out the Chiefs online auction here and sign up to start bidding.

Just know that you’ll have competition for that Chris Carpenter bat. (At the moment, I’m the top bidder.)