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The Teal Chronicles

Hot Off The Press: Fitting In When You’re Too Tall To Play

April 25th, 2013

We recently read an inspirational story about a tall athlete, Nate Freiman, who ascended into major league baseball by proving critics that tall men can play where smaller people dominate. Never in MLB history has there been a taller position player (first base) like Nate. His steadfast work ethic helped compensate for his giant size (6 feet 8 inches) when batting and fielding. Most tall baseball athletes are pitchers as their length and leverage contribute to high speed pitch velocity, yet Nate chose the path least taken and found himself in the majors where no one has been before.  Like many other tall people, we find there is a participation limit in some activities due to our large size, but what makes this story so fascinating is how Nate was able to overcome size adversity and position player stereotypes to reach the major leagues. It proves the adage that “given enough time, anything is possible”. Too big to play is not enough to stop us. Love it!

We at TEAL Apparel, believe that large size and long legs do not disqualify you from obtaining the very best. We design and manufacture premium long pants for the tall man using the finest materials in the world. We want to elevate your life one garment at a time.

 

Warmest Regards,
Ed and Jenni

 


 

nate freiman

 

Curious case of Nate Freiman: Oakland’s tall drink can

wax history, caddie if needed

 

Written By Tim Brown, Yahoo Expert, published on April 11, 2011 and posted on www.yahoo.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nate Freiman is 6-feet, 8-inches of Rule 5 draftee, of the latest Vince Flynn spy novel, of Thomas Jefferson fan, of strike zone. 

He was a history major, a math minor at Duke. His parents have law degrees. His brother is preparing for his medical school boards at UMass. His wife plays on the LPGA Tour. They met at Duke.

In high school (Wellesley, in Massachusetts), he was co-editor, with his best friend, of the student newspaper. He was in the National Honor Society, both the English one and the Spanish one.

And, honestly, if it wasn’t going to be baseball, if it hadn’t pulled him along, if it didn’t turn out that he was good at it and loved it and it generally loved him back, he hadn’t the slightest idea what he’d be doing otherwise.

“I probably would have looked into graduate school,” he said after failing to come up with anything. “Definitely not med school.”

And that was that.

“I guess I’ll cross that bridge some other day,” he said.

At the moment, he’s looking over first basemen’s mitts, silently and evenly considering weight and suppleness and girth and whatever else goes into a good first baseman’s mitt. Med school, it ain’t.

This, while he mulls the events of the past four months, which began with him as property of the San Diego Padres and hoping to advance to Triple-A, which wound through three-plus months as a Houston Astros Rule 5 prospect scrounging for spring at-bats, and which concluded with a trip across the waiver wire and an honest-to-goodness place in the big leagues with the Oakland A’s.

Near as anyone can tell, there’s never been a taller major-league position player than Freiman, which, alone, makes him unique. He’s 26, had not played above Double-A until last week, doesn’t strike out nearly as much as his size might suggest he would, and has, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday, “As much power as anyone here.”

Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t more than 10 feet away.

I introduced myself to Nate Freiman out of curiosity, because I wonder what it’s like to be so enamored by the game that there are no options but to play it, even when there are options. When the body doesn’t exactly fit. When his dad didn’t play. When spring ball follows 20 minutes of pushing snow off the basepaths. When, given the newspaper experience, he’s asked if he still write and the answer that follows is: “I haven’t written anything since college. I was OK. But I wasn’t Faulkner or anything.”

Nor, he confirmed, has he lately written any “allegorical poetry,” perhaps assuming I knew what that was.

Given all that, baseball didn’t exactly beg him to play it. And yet he worked as hard as he did and he holds the career home run record at Duke, and was drafted in the eighth round by the Padres, and he batted .294 in three-plus minor-league seasons, and struck out only once every five-or-so at-bats. So he singled off Seattle’s Joe Saunders in his first big-league at-bat and singled again in his second at-bat, that all happening a week ago, when he’d barely worked up his first sweat as a big-leaguer.

A’s hitting coach Chili Davis took a look at Freiman when he got to A’s camp 2 ½ weeks ago and saw what everybody else sees – lots of space for baseballs to go by. And yet the young man’s stroke was pretty short. And he was pretty athletic. And pretty soon it looked like he might belong, or could one day, given time and reps.

“My first impression of him was wrong,” Davis said, “and I’m glad I was.”

Not only that, Davis said, “He’s a worker. Sometimes I gotta toss him out of the cage.”

When Freiman talks, it’s soft and measured, like he’s sorting it out as he goes. Or like he would while caddying for his wife, Amanda Blumenherst, on the LPGA tour, which he’s done eight times now.

“This is baseball,” he said. “Baseball is everything. I’m fortunate enough to be playing at a level very few people get an opportunity to play at, and I hope to play it as long as possible.”

I asked if, eight years ago, baseball was a means to go to Duke or if Duke was a means to play baseball.

“Hmmm,” he said. “An interesting way to phrase that.”

He thought some.

“I was – am – fortunate enough to play baseball,” he said. “Duke was the caliber of school I would have aspired to attend without baseball. Growing up, I always wanted to go to a really good school. If the opportunity for pro ball came along, I was going to take it. It wasn’t the only thing I was interested in. And I’m playing right now as long as possible. I mean, I’m currently in the big leagues. Dreams come true.”

A year ago, he was riding a bus in the Texas League, reading Vince Flynn on the way out, watching a mini-series about John Adams on his computer on the way back, looking over golf scores in between, loving the entire experience. And now he loves it here, as much as he knew he would, if possible even more. He said he generally lays low in the clubhouse, keeps his head down, as a Rule Fiver generally does. But he sees it all and hears it all and prepares for the at-bats that will come, and despite the options couldn’t fathom doing anything else. You know, that bridge for another day.

“Boy, everything he’s done for us has been terrific,” Melvin said. “I don’t think I’ve been around a kid who feels so fortunate about being in the big leagues.”

Funny how the game just seems to fit some people.

Link to the original article: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/looking-up–nate-freiman-caddying–studying-history–defying-logic-on-mlb-journey-045156698.html 

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Tall Adventures: West Coast Family Trip Part III

April 18th, 2013

One of our last adventures during our weeklong trip to California was a car ride south to LEGOLAND. Let me begin by saying that I am a big kid at heart and love Legos and I have passed that obsession down to both of my kids. I have always wanted to go to LEGOLAND to see the structures that the Lego geniuses were able to build out of small plastic blocks. We met up with one of Jenni’s friends from college and her family at the park. It was perfect that Jenni’s friend’s children were the same ages and her husband was a closet Lego lover like me so everyone got along well. I knew in advance that many of the rides are for kids under 12 so my expectations were to take it easy on riding in small vehicles and just stand and watch the world of Lego unfold.  I highly recommend parents with children to come to Legoland and experience it for yourself. It is a great time and worth the effort.

Enjoy!

Ed


 

LEGOLAND

 

 

ed driving in minivan9:13am

 

Driving south to LEGOLAND from Anaheim in the comfort of my Chrysler Town & Country Minivan. We have this same car at home and Jenni and I love it. The van is very spacious throughout and has a number of amenities like the stow and go compartments and automatic doors which make life on the run with kids very convenient.  My favorite amenity is the large space behind the brake. It’s large enough to extend my left leg which makes long road trips very comfortable.  Americans know how to make cars for the Big and Tall.

 

 

legoland hotellallier photo at legoland entrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:00am  Arrived at LEGOLAND just as they opened. Took family shot at entrance and in front of their new LEGOLAND Hotel adjacent to theme park.  Would love to stay there for a night! Each room has Lego structures built into the room. I am already geeking out on Legos. Jenni is worried.

 

 

legoland manhattanlegoland white house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:08am  First we went to Miniland USA which is where all of the world’s famous buildings and destinations are recreated in Lego. The kids and I stand in front of Manhattan, New York including its subway system. Extraordinary!

 

lego giraffe

 

10:23am

We meet up with Jenni’s college friend with her family. Everyone is excited to see each other. We decide to make our way through Imagination Zone to Land of Adventure so the kids can get on some rides and the adults can catch up. I found a giraffe and had to take a photo next to it. How come you are so tall?

 

 

 

 

 

lego cargo ace plane

 

11:04am

After going on the Bionicle Blaster (Lego version of tea cup ride) we get to the Cargo Ace plane ride. I get in with son and regret it. Theme parks just don’t focus on the big and tall market, why do I keep forgetting this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

lego royal joustroyal joust rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:13pm  Next we venture off to Castle Hill for some jousting and then lunch. There is a height and weight limit on the Royal Joust ride. I am deflated when I exceed both. My kids laugh at me as they ride off.

 

 

lego darth vaderlego star wars scenelego chewy

 

 

 

2:09pm  After lunch we go to the STAR WARS theme area and marvel at all the exhibits. They recreated each major scene on all the STAR WARS movies. Incredible! My geeking out has now reached its peak from all the Lego STAR WARS pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

lego police car2:26pm

After STAR WARS we go to Fun Town to watch our kids take a driving course on Lego cars sponsored by VOLVO. The kids have to complete one loop around the track to receive a driver’s license. My kids were successful but others were more focused on crashing into other kids. I feel bad for the attendant that had to constantly pull kids off the bumpers and set them straight on the track. That’s a real back breaker.

 

 

 

lego sky cruiser 1lego sky cruiser 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:45pm  The wait for the Sky Cruiser ride was over one hour! When we get on the ride we thought pedaling would move the carriage but it automatically moves regardless. The pedaling is just to burn off the Castle burger you just ate. The waiting area for the ride was smart. They had a play room where kids could make race cars out of Legos and test them.  I was timed how long I could wait before I had to make my own. I did not last long; only 2.5 minutes.

 

family photo with lego man

4:22pm

The theme park was closing soon. So we said our goodbyes and ended the day with a photo with a Lego character (I bet he has a hard time finding tall pants too) and a rush to the gift shop for a souvenir.  Yay! We are done. What a day! This completes the week long theme park adventure!

 

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Tall Adventures: West Coast Family Trip Part II

April 11th, 2013

After visiting Disneyland Resort for a couple days, we took the kids to Knott’s Berry Farm to visit “America’s 1st Theme Park”, but only after a good breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Started in 1940, (Disneyland started in the 1950’s) Knott’s Berry farm started out as a roadside farm stand selling berries and berry preserves in the 1920’s.  In 1934, they added a restaurant to sell their famous fried chicken dinners which became a major tourist draw so they added shops and attractions around it to entertain the customers as they waited to be seated at the restaurant (Ghost Town in 1940, Camp Snoopy in 1983, Knott’s Soak City in 1999). 

The Knott family sold it off to a private equity company in the 1990’s known for their love of thriller roller coaster rides. We avoided the adult thriller roller coaster rides (even tall guys fear falling) and stuck to Camp Snoopy, a train ride complete with a train robber, bumper cars I cannot fit in, and a walk through an old Western Ghost Town.  The ownership makeover changed the feel of the park, but the original elements are still present and make the trip worthwhile.  Here is look at what happened during our day at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Enjoy!

Ed


 

Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel

 

family photo at goofy kitchen

 

8:45am

Had 9am breakfast reservations at Goofy’s Kitchen and took family photo in front of a collage wall of all old Disney paraphernalia. Very cool. Learned that after Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck was the most popular cartoon Disney figure. That s great,but let’s eat!

 

 

 

 

goofy high five

 

 

 9:04am

Goofy greeted family
at the entrance to his restaurant and gave me a high five. What a gentleman!

 

 

 

 

 kids photo with dale

9:58am 

Buffett food was excellent and kids were happy. Many Disney characters came by to talk with the children and even some big kids like me.

 

 

ed with baloo bear

 

 

 

Very fun, however, disappointed that I am shorter than Baloo Bear. Look he is not wearing pants!

 

 

 

 

 

Knott’s Berry Farm 

 

11:06am

We leave Goofy’s kitchen and travel to Knott’s Berry Farm in no time. Kids want to go to Camp Snoopy and check out the rides. Of course the first ride is a mini-Nascar experience. I obviously should not be in this car, I can barely fit inside.

 

KBF mini nascar 2KBF mini nascar 1

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camp snoopy bus

 

 

 11:22am

I get on the Snoopy Bus with kids and have to sit diagonal while the ride swings you up and down. My knees are starting to hurt now.

 

 

 

 

bumper car

 

1:51pm

After a few more Camp Snoopy rides, we get lunch and make our way to the bumper cars.  I cannot drive this thing unless it is with my left foot! Unbelievable!

 

 

 

 

small coffin

 

 

3:08pm

We make our way to Ghost Town and enjoy the sites. Find a made to order coffin shop and like my clothes, I need a custom made Coffin. Not even in death do I fit. Very disconcerting!

 

 

 

KBF prison shot

 

5:26pm

After escaping a fake train robbery, the kids want to go. I am thrilled because my body is sore and I am searching for Advil at this point. My son wants to take a prison shot with the bear I won for him so I comply, but wonder if imprisonment feels the same way as too tall/big to fit in rides? Great time at Knott’s berry farm! Now it’s off to get some fried chicken!

 

 

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