Shots in the Darke

How about those never-say-die Reds? With the Taylor Swift concert getting ready to start  at nearby Paycor Stadium (evidently the event of the year around southwest Ohio— Swiftinnati?) David Bell’s boys came from behind to beat the Padres 7-5 in eleven innings  Friday, the team’s major league best 30th comeback victory this year, increasing their NL  Central lead to a full game over the Brewers (the two teams meet for six consecutive games  starting with the Reds in Milwaukee this Friday for a three-game series, then, after the All-Star  break, the Brew Crew comes to GABP for three more—big games in July!). 

In beating the Padres Friday the Reds became the first team in MLB history to have one  rookie (Matt McLain) hit a game-tying homer and another rookie (Spencer Steer) hit a walk-off homer in extra innings in the same game—bet you didn’t know that!! 

Speaking of comebacks, New Madison resident Marissa Steen just finished in a tie for 24th  at the LPGA PGA Championship, shooting a final round 68 and claiming a $85,000 paycheck.  Over the past three tournaments she has earned over $114,000, highlighted by a tie for 15th at  the ShopRite Classic where she recorded a final round 64. What makes this all the more  amazing is that she has recently returned to the tour from an injury which basically put her out  of action for almost a year. As she recovered she spent time at Turtle Creek Golf Course and  as an assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Cincinnati (where incoming freshman  Kenna Jenkinson of Greenville will tee it up for the Lady Bearcats). Good luck and best wishes  for continued success to Marissa!! 

Sad news to report from Green Bay, Wisconsin upon hearing of the passing of Jack  Baldschun, GHS Class of 1954. The Greenville native was one of the premier relief pitchers in  the National League in the early to mid-sixties for the Phillies and later the Reds and Padres.  Over the course of nine major league seasons he compiled a 48-41 record with 60 saves which  was the most by any Darke Countian until North Star and Versailles’ Craig Stammen recently  retired with a 55-44 mark in 13 campaigns.  

What made Baldschun’s story even more fascinating is that GHS didn’t even have a  baseball team his senior year! Regardless, he went to Miami University and was drafted by the  Reds after his freshman year, then later claimed by the Phillies. After several years in the  minors he learned to throw a screwball, a pitch which broke the opposite way of a slider, and  became the money pitch that got him to The Show and big league success. One of my favorite  memories as a early teen was meeting him outside the visitors’ clubhouse at old Crosley Field  following a Reds-Phillies game. I got to know him even better as Co-Chairman of the GHS  Athletic Hall of Fame committee as I was privileged to do his presentation at the annual  induction ceremony a few years ago. After leaving baseball he worked in the lumber and  supply business in Green Bay, his late first wife’s hometown. Succumbing to leukemia, Jack  was 86 and left behind a legacy that few from Darke County can match. 

Where did the summer go? Six weeks from this coming Friday is not only the start of the  Great Darke County Fair but also the first night of the high school football season! Even before  that high school golf tees it up beginning August 3rd, girls tennis the 4th, boys and girls soccer  the 11th, volleyball the 18th, and cross country the 19th and 21st. Official practices will begin shortly, so if any family vacations are in the offing for those participating, you’d better hit the  road!! 

Two topics among others that will be discussed on the next Round Table Insights program  here at concern weddings and skyscrapers. Did you know that the  average nuptials in the U.S. cost around $30,000 nowadays? Also, China leads the world with  almost 3,100 buildings at least 500’ in height with the U.S. second at 859. Of buildings over  1,000’ tall China has 102, the United Arab Emirates (think Dubai) is second with 32, and the  U.S. third with 29. The world’s tallest building? The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, topping out at 2,717  feet, more than 700 feet taller than its nearest competitor the Shanghai Tower in China.  

Finally, a shout out again to the fine folks at Wayne Health Care. I underwent a routine  procedure there Friday and as always was impressed with the care, compassion, and  professionalism of Dr. Alisha Reiss and staff. We’re fortunate to have such a fine facility here in  Darke County!! 

Also, as the country approaches the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of  Independence in 2026, let’s celebrate the greatest country in the history of the world—even  with all of its flaws, dings, and dents where else would you want to reside? Have a great  Fourth of July holiday, stay active and healthy!