T.R.’s Memoirs: Covering spring training involved fun stories before giving way to Fake News
(Rangers Today/T.R. Sullivan)
Editor’s note: T.R. Sullivan covered the Texas Rangers over 32 years for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and MLB.com and is sharing his “memoirs” with this newsletter. In this installment, T.R. looks back at what it was like covering spring training.
Scott Chiamparino was excited.
His pal Nolan Ryan was supposed to speak at the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce luncheon that Friday but had to back out because he was scheduled to pitch for the Rangers in Port Charlotte.
Chiamparino, who wasn’t pitching that spring because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, was offered the assignment. He would be paid $1,000 for his efforts. The only thing is he had to rent a tuxedo.
Chiamparino eagerly accepted without questioning why someone would be required to wear a tuxedo for a noon Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the local Holiday Inn. When the big day came, Chiamparino made the 30-minute drive to Punta Gorda, on the other side of Charlotte Harbor, only to find out there was no luncheon, no $1,000 honorarium and no need for a tuxedo.
Apparently, Chiamparino also failed to notice said “luncheon” had been scheduled for April 1.
Enraged, Chiamparino returned to Port Charlotte the next day and confronted his teammate during stretching. No, not Ryan. Chiamparino wasn’t that stupid.