Vaughn: New Orioles ownership must begin with communication and building relationships

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Old school Orioles PR man Rick Vaughn celebrates new ownership and shares his best Baltimore baseball advice with Nestor, as the man who moved the team from 33rd Street to Camden Yards.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

years, orioles, spring training, rick, team, good, game, baseball, vaughn, tampa, ownership, day, week, baltimore, hanuman, hope, sarasota, crab cake, people, work

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Rick Vaughn

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:02

We are wn St. Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We’re going to be taking the Maryland crab cakes. We’re back out on the road in April. Luke and I are getting ready for baseball season new ownership of draft free agents. We got all that going on here and I’m sorry to get back into the swing of things after crabcake row last month sort of wore me out 78 charity stories for a cup of Super Bowl you find them all at Baltimore positive all of it brought you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. I’ll have some 10 times the cashiers to give away in April. We’re coming back to Coco’s I got a date it cost this and then we’re gonna be fadeless each and every Friday, when there’s a home game, and we’re going

Rick Vaughn  00:35

live on radio we’ve been live in a lot of time so well what two to five

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:39

will be live with Luke and I looking at Oriole baseball and new ownership which brings us to old ownership and old friends and Luke and I are talking about sunning ourselves down in Madeira beach or someplace like that. In St. Pete Beach. We’re gonna go down to a couple days of spring training later on this month. Also will follow the NFL owners meetings until such point where they throw me out. This guy never threw me out this guy was welcoming in he made me earn my a lot parking pass by waiting and pitching and 9090 to 93 in the BC lot which is somewhere near the Ravens Stadium at this point. I think it’s in this direction. Right Vaughn is the architect of the walk off experiment in 1991 and October 6 1991. Leaving Memorial Stadium he spent a the rest of his life really chasing the Tampa rays and the Tampa Bay Rays and then the moily family and Joe Maddon around Tampa. He is a baseball historian. He’s got a great baseball name, the wild thing. Rick Vaughn joins us now from parts unknown in southwest Florida. We have a new day, Rick and I you know, it’s been eight weeks, I wanted to make sure it was real six weeks since the new ownership. And now I see Rubinstein walking around Sarasota. And the next thing I know he’s got the Oriole Park at Camden Yards. And he’s pointing toward he’s Babe Ruth in and he’s got his, and I’m thinking to myself, pinch me, this is really going to happen. And I, I will say this to you. Because I’ve said this to everybody. And I haven’t done a lot of radio the last month. I never in my life talk to my wife and my son, anybody I knew about the day when he sells the team or dies or the next of the neck. Like I never ever spoke that way. I felt like it was like Castro’s Cuba, or like Russia now where you’re like, going to always be alive. You’ll always run Russia and always be effed up and like, I can’t believe there’s going to be a new thing here, Rick Vaughn and I know, your heart bleeds Oriole orange, which is why we’re this curious shirt for you today that like, this is special for everybody who ever wanted it to be better than it was.

Rick Vaughn  02:42

I tell you why I’m pinching myself to You know, I’m I will let me one word of caution. And I have no reason to think this is going to happen. But I remember when Peter got the team and everybody was very excited. You know, we had a Baltimore guy with the team. And for me that honeymoon didn’t last very long. I saw some things real early in their ownership. Especially for Larry with

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:06

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quinoa was his first act after telling Larry, he was going to stay. And then after that, it was just once you saw that and there was just over for anybody on the inside. Who loved Larry Larry spent 15 years making everyone love him. He kept the team here he cooled down ever better. Well, you know, like I it’s it’s an amazing history story that your generation is sort of lost in all this 30 years later now. You were the ones that made the Orioles. Great, man.

Rick Vaughn  03:32

Well, they were great when we got there, but we did try to continue it as best we could even though we weren’t even winning on the field, you know, other than 89 when we almost won the east but Larry had great passion for it. You know if there’s two people that deserve the credit for Camden Yards, and I had a pretty much a front row seat. It was Janet Marie Smith and Larry Lucchino because Larry had the passion, and Janet made it happen, and basically illustrated exactly what Larry wanted. But when Peter got the team, I mean, you know, I saw some things especially from our friend John Angelo’s early on where I was starting to scratch my head a little bit and it didn’t take long to realize this is going to be a struggle you know, this is going to be a tough ride. You

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:17

left the Orioles like on your own volition to go work for the Redskins and one much better for a minute then you went to Tampa, but like you didn’t want to leave the Orioles. Did you love the Orioles?

Rick Vaughn  04:28

Right, right if I could. There’s what Yeah, if I had my perfect plan that I was in charge of it? Yes, I would hopefully still be there because if I

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Nestor J. Aparicio  04:38

had a perfect plan I wouldn’t have written for you. The birds have been treated like garbage and been screwed out of a $30,000 deal to piss me off years ago, which is anybody off and then be thrown out of my career? My vocation the last 18 years and crawling wait waiting long enough to get back in. So I mean, I think all of us I called it a rough ride. That’s a nasty cop reference for you know what happened to Freddie Gray a rough ride in the back of The cop car, I feel like all of us have gotten a really rough ride the last 30 years in a lot of ways, and even the people that don’t realize it, they got a rough ride. Yeah,

Rick Vaughn  05:07

I never know, I would never have wanted to leave there. I mean, I had the best setup in the world, my, my office had a window right over the right field wall, you know, I can remember the all star game in 93. I got a few comp tickets gave him out and all my college buddies wanted to come to the game. And I said, Well, I can’t get you in. But you can sit in my office or watch it if you want. And they did. They had a couple coolers of beer had the TV on, but look right out the window with the game and got to feel the whole experience, which was unbelievable, you know, having the all star game at Camden Yards. So no, I never wanted to leave there. Right. But again, we saw things going on. And we’re like, Man, I’m disappointed. And I’m surprised that they’re doing these things. And so when I left, yes, I left on my own was my own decision to leave. But if you would have said to me in 91, or 92, are you going to leave the team? I would have said, Are you crazy? This is heaven. You know, but it’s my girls grew up going to games that you know, Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards. So yes, let me let’s go back to the positive. I’m very excited about this. I’ve already seen something that makes me very excited about this group. And you probably know what it is. But on April 27, they’re going to rename the press box after Jim Hanuman. Now, I’ve been very disappointed in a lot of things the Orioles have done over the years. This one caught my attention because this was the right thing to do. I don’t know who was behind it. But I give them tremendous amount of credit that they’re honoring Jim Hanuman that way, and I’m going to be up there. I’m going up for it. That’s how much it means to me. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:39

Jim Hanuman was my colleague and my co worker in 1986. I haven’t seen Jim in a long time, because I’m not allowed the press box. So I’ve been vilified by them, even to people like Jim Hanuman. You know, like that I’ve known my whole life like, I don’t know, one associated with a team that takes a paycheck is allowed to be friends with me, allowed to link in with me allowed to even look at me, Rick, I thought about this, like three nights after this, I was having a glass of wine with my wife, and I’m like, I have never been down there in my marriage. 21 years I’ve been treated well, I don’t ever remember a time walking around there and feeling anything other than their eye or their nastiness. When I walk through one opening day for the club level. If anybody sees me, they scowl at me and look at me like I’ve done something shameful by telling the truth. Like it’s unbelievable. So this new group, what I would ask you, when will we know it’s changed? Because like the ELI Jacobs, there wasn’t good for you, right? And then Peter comes in and you’re hoping and then like you said, it can take you long to get I mean, people got out quick, really quick, and especially the people that went to San Diego, with Larry, soon there at Baker comp, and was one of those people, a lot of people went out. And they came back with the ravens, some of them came back, but I would say I haven’t been treated. Well, they’re even when Mike Flanagan was trying to treat me well, and invited me to the owners box when I got married. 20 years ago, we still got treated like shit by everybody, not him and his wife. Like literally everybody else looked at us and looked at him, like, how dare you bring him here? You know, like, I that’s all I know, that’s been mine since I was 25 years old. That’s how I’ve been treated. I don’t know what the sign will be. For me. Personally, I’m in a different place than any other fan who comes back and spends money. What will you know, from the inside? And like, like, you’re like, be careful. This guy could be worse. I don’t know. It could be worse. Different, different bad. I don’t know. But like, it’s going to be different. But what if they hire you as a consultant to come in for six months, and let’s fumigate it Rick Vaughn. Because you’re a professional. You know how to do this, you have the energy of the love, you have the passion. Rick? Oops, I reached out to you six weeks has come in. What do you do? What I Where do you even begin?

Rick Vaughn  08:55

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Well, you know, it’s been a while. I mean, I’ve been out from the race for the last six, seven years. So I haven’t really been too much attuned to what’s going on recently. But I think at the ultimately, what happens is, it’s all about to me, it’s one thing it’s about communication and building relationships. I mean, if somebody said, what do you do for a living in the fewest words? That’s what I would say, build relationships. So knowing that, I think I would probably get the constituencies together that are the most the stakeholders, you know, find out not trashing anybody, but just trying to find out how we can do our job better. And I think I would start that’s probably the first thing I would do, I would probably get, I probably start with all the media there, invite them out and say throw any pieces of rotten fruit you have at me, but what’s going on what’s going wrong? You know, we’re not going to be able to do everything. I was never allowed

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:48

to say that out loud. I’m in a hole for just talking out loud with you about it cuz you’re like I’ve been treated like trash. Like if anybody asked me, I can give you come on. Rick, I mean, they called you and told you not to credential me in Tampa they they call Toronto after I had reservations in hotels to go cover playoff games. And they told the Blue Jays to not let me in, they told the nationals to not let me and when I was doing a charity tour through, like, I’ve got war stories about they, they called the Hyatt in Sarasota and canceled my hotel reservation, they wouldn’t allow me to stay in a hotel that they stayed in, in Sarasota 15 years ago, when I wanted to come down to Prague. Like, it’s unbelievable. But like, I don’t know what that means to anybody or what that means moving forward for how these people are going to operate and try to get people back because it’s a fractured media market in a lot of ways the city so much different. I just wonder what their big idea is or that they don’t have it yet. Like, let us get the team first and then we’ll figure it out. We’ll come in and investigate it. Because the problems are very apparent, Rick, I mean, they clinched a pennant here and had 24,000 bid. They didn’t the place was half empty last year. So it really is a it’s a weird space. And the Ravens just raise ticket prices. There’s only so much money. I mean, that’s a fundamental problem in our city, I think.

Rick Vaughn  11:07

Yeah, I again, I don’t know. But I think in some areas, I think they probably do a pretty good job. I know a couple people up there that are in their sales and ticket operations and stuff, and they’re good people. And maybe it’s, you know, I don’t know, maybe it’s empowering people, letting them make decisions on things instead of, you know, John Angelo’s involved in every, you know, detail of what was going on. That’s what I witnessed, you know, from the right from the very beginning. And that never works, never works. And so I probably, like I said, I think I would start by talking about getting everybody in there. And if it’s you, I probably say, You know what, we have a clean slate, I don’t care what’s happened in the past. You’re a viable working member of the media. And I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t have access, like everybody else has access. And, again, I, I did that for 31 years, I had arguments with plenty of people, but I

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:00

had arguments with you over a parking pass that I laugh about 30 years later, you told me you’re young, you can walk in line elements gonna be in a line, and I’m like, Oh, okay. But you’ll see one day, you’ll have to get me in a lot Vaughn, you know, like I like, but that was part of the 23. And he could tell you know, I mean,

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Rick Vaughn  12:19

I remember. Don’t ask me why. But I remember that conversation in my office. I don’t know why. No reason.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:30

Did you take me seriously? So bad? Rick,

Rick Vaughn  12:33

I think I guess at the end of the day, I respected your balls, you know that you you came with it. And you brought a pretty strong and eventually it worked out. But I don’t understand how it can get to a to a level that has gotten to with you. I don’t understand that at all. But they’re not going

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:51

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to people. And I wasn’t I wasn’t going to take their money to live for them for anybody. I won’t do that. Oh, and the people that I’ve pissed off, what’s your powerful people? They’re really used to your let me write your checking. I’ll say what I want on the broadcast. And I just I can’t I was trained by Jim Hanuman. You know what I mean? Well, like, you asked

Rick Vaughn  13:10

me when we could start maybe seeing some indication of what that’s going to be like, I think this is a very good start. It’s very early. You know, I understand that. But to me, I don’t think I really don’t think that naming the pressbox after Jim would have happened anytime in the last whatever many years they’ve owned the team 30 years or whatever it is. I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:30

glad you’re coming up. I got a crab cake for you, Rick Vaughn, you’re coming up here going to be a party. for you when you hear this and you hear about new ownership. And you’ve been through this twice in Tampa. Good times, and they still have a hard time selling baseball in your area. Right? Like, like, you when you went down there. 30 years ago, you thought baseball, kids play at Wade Boggs and you know, these kids grew up here and we have latin community Cuban can be like all of that. Like, it’s a harder sell than you think to some degree. And I think getting people back in a lacrosse community here in a football community here in a challenge city. There’s a lot of reasons why not right? Why not to or why you couldn’t go I just see them as having a clean slate to some degree if they want such a thing. If they want a clean slate people here want to be in love with the team and they want to have faith in the team they want to believe that they but it’s really hard to do when the owners intimidating the lead broadcaster in the middle of last summer, you know what I mean? Like yeah,

Rick Vaughn  14:32

that was that was That was awful. I mean, that was just just flat out awful. And that’s that was also a lot of to me pretty indication of ignorance, you know, not knowing how everything works. I mean, really? I thought that was yeah, that was probably the last straw that I saw there and I wasn’t even paying attention. You know, I think a lot of times, look you got to remember these guys are some of them. They made their own I mean, give Angelo’s credit. I think he was pretty much to Peter was a self made guy, you know, he built his his nobody handed him a ballclub nobody handed him. But he got where he got by not necessarily listening to others, you know, he got to doing because he knew what he thought was right. And so when they get in a situation that’s completely different than what they’ve been, and that’s what happened here with Vince anomoly. Vince was the right guy to get the team. You know, he was like an end rusher man. He was relentless. But he was the wrong guy. Most assuredly to run the team. He had no idea what he was getting into. And I don’t think you know, I don’t think these guys did. They didn’t know what they were getting into. And they didn’t want to admit they didn’t know what they were doing.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:39

But what he’s really saying getting into that. So you know that what is Rubenstein getting into right now what does that even mean? Because I mean, you speak of it at the highest level, having dealt with billionaires, millionaires, the people that run teams, there’s founding members of like all of these teams, you’ve been at these meetings all these years. What is Rubenstein Rubenstein getting into? Well,

Rick Vaughn  15:58

I mean, here, look, it’s changed dramatically since I left. But one thing a couple of things that haven’t changed is, first of all, you’re living in a goldfish bowl, you blow your nose the wrong way, somebody’s going to notice it. And that’s fine. That’s the That’s who we are now I’m okay with that. But you just have to be so much more aware of every little thing that you’re doing is going to have a ripple effect. And that’s, you know, you see these some of these comments now by Oakland A’s ownerships and something I don’t think they think things through very well when they’re speaking publicly about like their situation. And I just think they have to realize they are a whether they know it or not, when they’re sitting in their box and watching a game, somebody probably has their cell phone camera pointed up at him. So the first time they go and pick their nose, it’s going to get to shot and it’s going to get out. So you have to keep you know, who was terrible at that was buds ceiling, you know, buds sat in all those courtroom, all the steroid stuff. And the media was allowed in there. And they would just keep their camera on him the entire time. The minute he yawned, or the minute he looked the wrong way, or he did that picture was the picture that made the paper and nobody, I think ever schooled him very well on that, which is amazing since he was the commissioner.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:16

But you’d have to the famous this was the famous thing in Milwaukee. And it was at that game that? Well,

Rick Vaughn  17:22

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there was another one during one of the steroid things where they caught him yawning. And that picture was on the back page of the New York Post. And everybody went with it. And it was, you know him in the courtroom, this critical trial, and here he is yawning. And so you know, but I’m saying they have to realize that they first of all, they have to hire and trust people that know what they’re doing. And they have to let them do their jobs. They have, you know, people that know how all this works. You know, you made all your money doing what you’re doing, and God bless you for it. But this is a different, this is a different thing. Now you’ve got a bunch of different constituencies that you have to you have to answer to you’ve got so many things that play. And now we have the Eric, we’re in the era, of course of citizen journalists, you know, everybody’s a journalist with their phone. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:11

even I have a podcast, you know, I mean,

Rick Vaughn  18:16

I just I just hope they hire. They, I think they do need to make some changes in some areas. I’m not going to get into where it is obviously the baseball people I tip my hat to him now. And I’m proud to wear my Oreo cap up here and it starts good conversations when I see people. And I might have been wrong about those guys. They’ve done a hell of a job. But there’s other areas where I think they need to improve. You know that I that I have seen that. I think they need to go back to the Oreo way, you know that the Oreo way to me was, we were all in this together. If you were a Baltimore Orioles fan, even me I was at training. I worked for the Orioles. I wasn’t born in Baltimore. But I felt like I was and part of that was because of the relationship between the team and the city. And we have to get back to this whole thing. This whole notion I think about we’re all in this together. We’re all one. We’re not going to be we’re not going to carry on a 20 year feud with Nestor Aparicio, because we didn’t like what he said about us or whatever, that’s got to end that kind of stuff has got to end. And I had such a great feeling of pride there. I was lucky I came in at the end of the run in terms of wins. You know, I was there from 84 to 94. So we didn’t win that much. But there was still such a great, you know, the closing the memorial stadium that was so important, because that was that was such a tip of the cap to all the people that had such great memories there. You know, and I give Larry Lucchino all the credit, we went to him with the idea of bringing all the players back and and he knew how important it was that the people of Baltimore Memorial Stadium a great ballpark. No, it really wasn’t, but it was in the fact that we had so much things many things to celebrate there between the Colts and the Orioles in the in the Orioles did not lose sight of that fact and everybody said Luchino was a Washingtonian and didn’t have a feel for it. He did. And I think that was so important. That was like one of the greatest days I’ve ever had in baseball, and it really didn’t have anything to do with wins and losses was looking at it, that stadium as the players were going out there for the final time, and not hearing one person cheer. But looking up into that stadium and seeing every single body in there, everybody was crying. How do you recreate that? I mean, that was amazing. I don’t think that happens in very many cities.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:34

I wonder if David Rubenstein was there that time?

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Rick Vaughn  20:36

I was. I hope he was you know, that was? To me. That was the I’m not saying it because I was involved in it. I’m just saying that. I was so proud to be involved with it. But I just it was the to me it was the greatest blend of of city and a team that I’ve ever been around. I don’t I don’t know. Like I said I don’t know where else. You can find that in Green Bay with the packers or something. There you go. Okay, you just nailed it. That’s right. Of course. Green Bay. Yes. But I don’t know. You know, and maybe there’s a couple of them

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:09

would always say on our best day the Colts were Baltimore’s college football team. Yeah. And then and then that begat the Orioles. Yeah, 5758 59 with the Colts begat the Orioles of 66 and my cousin and Brooks and Boog and Frank and everything Earl everything that fell on to you when you got here next Vaughn is a the wild thing. He is the longtime public relations and Communication Specialist in the Tampa Bay Rays. The Devil Rays before that, and the Redskins before that and the Orioles for a long, long time in the 1980s he now serves with Joe Maddon in doing beautiful things in beautiful ways and feeding people and doing all sorts of things that I talked a lot about last month and I’m gonna give you a chance to talk about Joe and and all of your work from up in beautiful Hazleton, Pa right around the corner from my dad’s hometown of Scranton, PA. To the baseball side of this, Rick. I’m gonna sit here all month and talk about they have seven outfielders. The day after they announced the team’s getting bought a deal for a number one pick the best opening day starter they’ve had since probably Messina, you know, going into the hill here, there really is a baseball part of this on a day by day basis that when your team is good, it’s just a lot different. And you had a lot of bad baseball in Tampa, then you had some really good baseball in Tampa with Joe, and the heartbeat and the difference of getting to the ballpark every day and how it becomes a soap opera that really does have a long tail, it’s a bandwagon it just drags people with them. Even last year, there wasn’t much of a race because yours kind of ran away a little bit towards the end. I don’t know if it’ll be that way this year. And you’ve already got things going wrong with Bradish. And you know, it bodies and what they’re going to do, and this new ownership and all the pots and pans, and they’re gonna get an all star game that’s gonna get announced and I’m impressed. There’s gonna be a lot of retcons involved, there’s gonna be surprises and bobbleheads and like, you know, all of that. But I’ve been doing this now 33 offseasons, okay, since 1991, when I went on the air with Kenny, when you were running the team, and you’re bringing Johnny goats over to the studio and like all that. And I can’t remember, five times had the radio station 25 years, I can’t remember five times in March, where the Orioles were even relevant enough to talk about them instead of football free agency, the Terps the caps when the caps were running and like other things that were going on in the community, everywhere I go, and I’m wearing orange right now, and people are talking about this. Because it’s not even last year, nobody thought well, maybe there’ll be competitive, there’ll be there’ll be an independent race next year after the when 101 Games team gets bought. Number one starter like all of this inertia is happening right now. The best part of all of this is, despite the fact that 18 years ago, I did free the birds and it’s been a long, 18 years. It really feels like the timing could not be better. For the sport for the League for the corridor for the American League II just for for everything. The timing for a new owner couldn’t be better than right this minute.

Rick Vaughn  24:06

Yeah, I agree with you. I think everything’s aligned pretty darn well. I really, really is. I mean, and Major League Baseball pays attention because with that ballpark. You know, it’s it’s a dual franchise. It’s good. It’s good for the league when the Orioles are good, I think. And I know they’re not like a major, major market in New York, Boston, Philly. But it’s an important franchise for the league to do well. And I think everything is lined I’m I mean, I was excited last year, I watched probably 100 and some games, you know, on the MLB package here, but I think everything is clicking. I’m very excited about this ownership group. I think, from what I can tell and if they’ve got Cal involved cownose, what’s been going on there for the last 30 Some years he knows, and I hope he has an active role in making some decisions to change the way they’re operating in some ways. I And I think they’re very smart people and they’ll see what they have to do. And so I’m I’m going into this I’m very optimistic that everything is real. This is going to be such a huge turn for the Orioles in the franchise in every way and the guys can keep playing the way they played last year. It was so much fun to watch. I mean not that’s the thing. Not only did they win, they won. They won really in playing the game the right way and knowing how to play the game young players who are playing like 35 year old veterans you know, I mean guys had really had good instincts and that’s to me what makes the game fun and I think I think the arrow is going straight up in the air and I but I hope they realize they have some work to do. Rick

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:45

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Vaughn is an author, former MLB and NFL communications executive back when they communicated consultant for homeless empowerment program and volunteer leader in Palm Harbor, Florida, a veteran in the sports communication field, he served as the public relations communication department head for the MLB Orioles rays and NFL Redskins. Now with Joe Maddon and if I go through your LinkedIn, Rick, let’s see your Clearwater youth for breakfast with it was Timmy Kerching, who you’re with the other day, my a one time colleague as well. And then I go through like your timeline here. And it’s Joe doing this and show feeding people and you do it. So you’re enjoying your golf, do you you’re not a golfer, right? I

Rick Vaughn  26:26

like golf, dup until I got into baseball. And then yeah, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:30

was gonna say, I’ve never heard you play around a golf, you know, with the rest of the guys. What are your dad in Florida, you’re just like, walk in New York. And I feel like a jerk. You’ve been on 30 minutes us wrote a book. And I know you want to promote that as well. But like, you’re you’re having a good time. You don’t want to come back and run the Orioles. But maybe do maybe, maybe maybe we’ll call you and say get up here and be a fixer come Winston Wolf, this thing, Rick, but you’re having a good time doing beautiful work down there. Florida Archer.

Rick Vaughn  26:54

Yeah, it’s fun. You know, I’m doing two things that I really enjoy. I’m getting to write some and I’m, and I enjoy being in the community I enjoy. I’ve got a lot of opportunities here. I’ve met a lot of people in the 27 years we’ve been here and so I’ve really enjoyed doing that kind of work, you know, to me, I’d rather do that than go out and play golf. I’m you know, because why don’t you know you’re you live a mile from a golf course. But you know what I have get more joy out of this. So let me do what makes me happy. You know, and writing makes me happy. Researching Baseball, baseball, you know, being out of baseball, it’s kind of therapy for me. And I’ve been fortunate enough, I love working in the community with people. And you know what, I’m one of these people that I don’t think what I’m doing is heroic, I think everybody should be involved in helping in the community. I really do. I think volunteerism is something that we should promote more amongst everybody. And I know they’re doing it with high school kids, and they have to do community service. And I think that’s a great thing, because it exposes them to the needs of the community. And I mean, I see some stuff that really make you cry, you know, and some of these tumbling,

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Nestor J. Aparicio  27:58

it’s very, very humbling. Anytime you get involved, it doesn’t take very

Rick Vaughn  28:02

humbling, and it keeps me grounded. And the other thing is, and I don’t want to get into it, because it’ll make me cry. But there’s certain moments where you get really, really good clarity on something where you wanted to you want to know what your purpose is here. You want to know what this whole thing is about? You get moments like that, where you realize that the why

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:23

gets answered, right? What’s at the why, why you’re there, it gets answered

Rick Vaughn  28:28

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in that question. You know, I mean, there’s moments that, you know, because all we hear about is how divided we are. But there are moments that happen where you can find the person that looks like the opposite of you that talks like the opposite of you, that couldn’t be any more different than you. And then you start talking to them and you realize different, we couldn’t be more alike. So those are the moments that of clarity that you get from this that are very, very, you know, just powerful things. And I’d rather have a moment like that didn’t get a hole in one, which I did get one one time, but I would rather have those kinds of moments than playing golf and stuff. So I’m just that’s just how I’m wired doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong or anything else. But I just, I enjoy those, you know those interactions with people and we’ve been able to get some of the folks that are down here for spring training to come and serve in our kitchen, our homeless empowerment program kitchen. And we had Kenny Rosenthal came over the other day and we’ve had some people from MLB Network come over and and it’s really just an awareness thing, making them aware of how things are and just getting in the trenches for a little while and

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:36

I did a week on the food bank, a couple of Super Bowl when the NFL banned me after 30 years of covering the Super Bowl. I did a cup of Super Bowl with a free cup of soup or bowl, the week of Super Bowl week and all we did was talk charities all week and we did it for the Maryland Food Bank we raised for the local shelters that the food we didn’t Dundalk stay in dog food. We didn’t talk you don’t think dogs will. And it was just a powerful week and so many I met so many beautiful people who are doing the real work. You know, like literally doing the work. You know,

Rick Vaughn  30:04

it’s for you, man. Good for you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:06

Well, good for you, too. I got your book up here on my screen here, Tampa spring training tales, Major League memories. So Lucas and I may wind up on your couch in about three weeks because it’s expensive down there. We’re going down to Sarasota for a couple days. And when I when I go down, and I guess I’m east and west coast, right, because I was in Sarasota, with the Orioles in like, 9495 after the strike. I was in Fort Lauderdale. They didn’t have a home in 9293. They weren’t al Lang and St. Petersburg. And they were changing. You were there. They were right. They were they were up at that to Haagen Stangl field with a water tower in downtown St. Pete. That’s now like a beautiful community down downtown St. Petersburg, right. I have my own tales of erlang stadium and you know, broken windows from foul balls coming back into the Marriott parking lot. And I got trapped in the Marriott elevator right across from Atlanta. The only time I’ve ever been stuck in an elevator. hour and a half. I’m in there trying to get out of those guys first pitch.

Rick Vaughn  31:06

It’s a beautiful city and it has tremendous, you know, I shouldn’t say cities because I’ve written actually wrote and I happen to have them right here. Two books. This one St. Pete. This stadium right there. I mean, how does Tampa right? This one? It’ll be out in a week. But both cities have tremendous history of spring training. So much history and a lot of people well, it was spring training, nobody pays attention. But the stories that that came out of that and some of the things that happened that impacted the game down the road are pretty amazing. So I had so much fun writing both of these books. And it’s been like I said, it’s been kind of therapeutic for me. Alright, my

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:45

favorite spring training story that I’m going to share with you and how can Stengel feel was you talking about things that changed spring training, Jamie Moyer trying to make a team fifth organization, soft trash, lefty, the best part was I had a beautiful wife, his father was digger Phillips and digger and I would sit and talk basketball digger would do the show with me. Like it was awesome. Jimmy pool oh my god, the late great one of the great humans. What a beautiful man Jim pool was and and and Jamie Moyer, who was least likely to make one another 250 games or whatever. Like that came out of spring training. His career was over, right. Like literally.

Rick Vaughn  32:29

That’s one of the most amazing stories of all time. I mean, we were hoping we could get maybe a year or two out of him as a fifth starter, and then he pits for like, another 12 years. Like what?

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:39

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Yeah, so I mean, that’s the kind of when I think spring training tales, and I always tell Luke, there’s a little place, right, by hugging Stangl that is really good seafood right on the right on the main drag there, and I would always go there and get a fish sandwich. So while we’re gonna be down during the spring training thing with you, I do hope to see you I hope we at least get some stone crabs or some grouper. For old times sake up, I’ll see you in a few weeks. Love you appreciate you keep up the good work. And he will say about Matt. And how’s he doing Joe?

Rick Vaughn  33:05

He’s doing well. He just had back surgery actually. And they wouldn’t let him spend the night alone after he had the surgery. So it was him and me one night together. So if he didn’t get up in the middle of the night and hurt himself, so I spent a little bit last week, but he’s doing fine. See you he thought

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:21

you were just going to work for him. And it turns out, you’re the caregiver in the end, right? Like literally right? Yeah,

Rick Vaughn  33:27

he’s doing well, he’s, you know, he’s still active with community stuff. And he plays a lot of golf. And I think he wants to get back in and manage again, I just don’t know if he’s gonna get the opportunity. We hope that he does. He’s, you know, he’s 70 years old. And he’s, he’s 70 going on 40. You know, I mean, he’s always been that way. He’s very young and hard. He’s younger than most 30 and 40 year olds, I know. So he has a lot to give. And I just know one thing. And that is that the game is better when he’s in the game. And so I’m hoping he gets a chance to get back into it. And there’s so many things that are being done now by teams that Joe did back in 2008. And everybody went, Oh, you can’t do that. You can’t do that. Well, guess what? Everybody’s doing some of those things now. So I hope he’s in the game and he’s a guy that can stretch everybody’s imagination. And that’s always a good thing.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  34:20

Well, I love the glass of wine I have with him right about left centerfield at the trop at the taste of the NFL in 19 2009. And we were in we were in a three way conversation with him and Max Weinberg, the Mighty Max from Springsteen’s band, and we were discussing how seeing Springsteen and Milan would be the place to see him or Barcelona so but you know, I’ve never had a crab cake with Matt and so you need to work that out. Tell him It’d be an honor to have crab cake with Joe Maddon and we’ll promote all his good stuff he ever comes in here for anything baseball or in Hey, our towns back to catch baseball fever again, Rick Vaughn and I hope I have a crab cake waiting for you in three weeks along with Jim Hanuman and ice cold beer. And it’ll be good to see you. Thanks for visiting. I’ll see you soon. All right, Rick fawn, longtime LPR guy and still communicating from his home in Tampa and even offering wn St. Baltimore positive a piece of his couch on a Saturday Night March back for moral WNS.

Rick Vaughn  35:14

Do that we’ll do better than that. We’ll give you the guest room.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:18

Thank you, Rick have free access to the refrigerator. No doubt if I stuck it back for more after this

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