Tag Archives: indy baseball

Long Time WildThings Fan, Wild Bill, Passes Away

If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time around an independent baseball team and its ballpark, you know how close knit the people involved really become.

The Washington WildThings began playing in Washington, PA when I was just 12 years old… 20 years later, I think it is safe to say that I truly did grow up at the ballpark and became a part of a family.

There have always been staples of the ballpark: the WildThing mascot, the Picnic Area and Party Pavilion, Pro Tech Auto Glass “windshield breaking” sponsorship spots, The Williams family who have owned the team since the beginning, and some loyal and die-hard fans who never wavered in their support – none more so than “Wild Bill.”

How else do you think he earned that name?

If you’ve ever been to a WildThings game, I am sure you saw Wild Bill… standing along the gate that leads onto the field by the home bullpen, fist bumping and high-fiving all of the players and interns as they went about their jobs. You may have heard him have a few choice words for the umpires as well… but I know they loved it as much as he loved them.

Photo courtesy of the WildThing mascot whole stole my camera and took this photo in 2014.

In the beginning, I went to games with family and friends. But as time went on, the novelty wore off for most people, and I began going to games by myself. However, it didn’t take long for me to be “adopted” by Wild Bill.

I lost both of my grandfathers by the time I was in high school, and Wild Bill knew just how to fill that spot in my heart.

I affectionately began calling him my “baseball Pap” and I soon became his “baby girl.”

Last night after a courageous battle with cancer and other health ailments, we lost “Wild Bill” Shipley. His passing is easily the hardest I’ve had in my adult life.

Wild Bill… You watched me literally grow up at this ballpark. My baseball Pap who I know loved me with his whole heart. 1 of the 3 musketeers, along with me and Lauren O’Dea (who I consider my baseball grandma).

The Three Musketeers with our honorary 4th member Keith who spent a summer working in Washington and hanging out with this crew.

Thank you for taking care of me… for making sure I ate especially after I had a long day and for making sure I stayed out of trouble (for the most part! ha). I enjoyed every single second I spent with you watching games. Thank you for believing in me… this website may not have happened if it wasn’t for you. You always asked me about my writing and encouraged me to continue even when others would put me down. You were one of the first people I told when I became a high school baseball coach. I know how proud of me you were. I will always be your baby girl. I hate that I don’t get to hear that anymore. I’m sorry you never got a chance to walk me down the aisle. No one would be good enough for your baby girl anyway. I’m upset that we never got to celebrate a championship in Washington together. But whenever it happens, I know you’ll be watching. Rest in peace, Wild Bill. You’re out of pain now 💔 I love you and I will miss you always. The stadium will not be the same without you.

The Three Musketeers in our last season together, 2021.

I didn’t know how else to pay tribute to you… so I decided to write. I think it’s fitting that you are now a part of the website that you encouraged me to write. Thank you.

Love, your baby girl.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE COMMENCING WITH BASEBALL AND MARKETING PARTNERSHIP

-OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DECEMBER 29, 2020

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE COMMENCING WITH BASEBALL AND MARKETING PARTNERSHIP

MOORHEAD, MN – The American Association of Professional Baseball and the Australian Baseball League (ABL) have agreed to a new partnership which will see the two leagues collaborate on numerous on-field and off-field projects, the two leagues announced.

The American Association is a Partner League of Major League Baseball and operates a 100-game season from May-September. The Australian Baseball League was founded in 2010 and typically operates from November-February in both Australia and New Zealand and features Australian homegrown talent and prospects from around the world.

The agreement signed by both organizations will see the two leagues collaborate in areas including video streaming and marketing and opens the door for the potential exchange of personnel between seasons of players, umpires, coaching staff and club administrators. This is the first time the American Association has entered into an agreement with a league that operates outside of the AAPB’s North American summer season.

The first step in the agreement is the American Association streaming select games from the ABL 2020-2021 season on the league’s streaming platform at www.aabaseball.tv. The ABL will reciprocate during the American Association season on their streaming platform. Twenty games from the 2020-21 ABL season will be streamed this winter starting December 31. The full broadcast schedule is listed at the end of the release

“As the American Association continues to position itself as the top MLB Partner League, forming a solid long-term relationship with the Australian Baseball League is important on many fronts,” said Joshua Schaub, Commissioner of the American Association. “Many of our current and former players have played in Australia and have had great success and experiences in the league. We look forward to exposing our fanbase to the excitement of the ABL and working together to better both leagues.”

“Providing streaming content into both markets is an immediate first step,” said Cam Vale, Chief Executive of Baseball Australia. “Partnerships like this have great potential and intent. The measure of its success will be in using the experience of our league and teams. It offers the potential for 12 months of ongoing engagement and cross-over that can allow for development of players, coaches, umpire and club staff.”

Further meetings between the American Association and the ABL are planned for early 2021 to explore all available opportunities between the two leagues.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE ON WWW.AABASEBALL.TV

BROADCAST SCHEDULE (All Times Listed are U.S. Central Time Zone)

12/31/20          Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         2:00 AM CT

1/1/21              Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         2:00 AM CT

1/2/21              Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         2:00 AM CT

1/3/21              Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         8:00 PM CT

1/14/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/15/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/16/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/16/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                8:00 PM CT

1/21/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Perth Heat                        4:00 AM CT

1/22/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/22/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Perth Heat                        4:00 AM CT

1/23/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/23/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                8:00 PM CT

1/24/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Perth Heat                        4:00 AM CT

1/25/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/25/21            Adelaide Giants vs. Perth Heat (DH)                 2:00 AM CT & 5:00 AM CT

1/26/21            Adelaide Giants vs. Perth Heat                          2:00 AM CT

1/29/21            Melbourne Aces vs. Perth Heat                         4:00 AM CT

1/30/21            Melbourne Aces vs. Perth Heat                         4:00 AM CT