Dash players off the field

Chris Beck as a Power Ranger? That's what he wanted at the age of five (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Chris Beck as a Power Ranger? That’s what he wanted at the age of five (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

If you have attended a game at BB&T Ballpark at some point, you have probably picked up a copy of PlayBall!, our free gameday program. Inside every edition of PlayBall!, we feature some Dash players and their interesting facts off the field.

With more than half the season in the books, we have unearthed plenty of great information and stories from Dash players. Our “Outside the Lines” writers Curt and Erika have chosen their favorites, and they are available below…

– At the age of five, Chris Beck would have told you that his dream job would be becoming one of the Power Rangers. Chris said that this was his favorite show growing up and he would constantly practice his Power Rangers abilities. “It was really bad for my parents,” Chris says about his Power Rangers obsession. “I would always run around the house kicking and punching them, trying to reenact the Power Rangers.” Chris’ favorite Power Ranger was the White Ranger, Tommy. “He had the coolest suit out of all the rangers.”

– When Grant Buckner is not gobbling up grounders at third or launching balls over the outfield fence, he is helping his teammates decide what to wear. “I take pride in being the team weatherman,” said Grant. “I let the guys know if it’s gonna be rainy, windy, or if we should leave our sleeves on or not.” It has gotten to the point where his teammates will check in with Grant before they head out of the clubhouse for batting practice. “They will come to me and say Buck what is it gonna be like today and I’ll tell them fifties, overcast, with a thirty percent chance of rain.”

Jake Cose came to Winston-Salem from Kannapolis earlier this season with long light brown hair and now has no hair at all. “I feel like I ran out all the good juju in the long locks so I had to cut it up”, said Jake. “I had to make a change and I can’t grow facial hair so it was the hair on my head that had to go.” Yes, Jake is superstitious but the Summer heat also played a role in his decision. “It’s getting really hot and humid and I was tired of trying to keep the hair out of my face.”

Joe De Pinto went to a Catholic high school that had strict rules about dances. “My high school had a three strikes and you’re out policy,” said Joe. “After the third time of getting caught dancing too close to your date, the priests would take matters into their own hands by calling the girl’s father to come to the dance and then make the couple reenact their too close for comfort dancing.” Yes, Joe admits that this happened to him one time and that since then he has never danced like that again.

– On land, Micah Johnson is one of the fastest players in minor league baseball and his 62 steals are evidence of that, but when he is put into water this speedster needs some assistance. “I can’t go into water over six feet high without floaties,” said Micah. “In college we used to do training in the pool and they had to give me floaties for my arms and waist.” Micah went to Indiana University and he claims that the floaties were not a girly color, but a manly blue.

Max Peterson looks more balanced with the Dash than he did at graduation (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Max Peterson looks more balanced with the Dash than he did at graduation (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Max Peterson’s most embarrassing moment came during his high school graduation. “At my high school graduation I did trip going up the stairs which was embarrassing but also part of life,” said Max. “Apparently there were six stairs and I thought that there were seven.” Max was proud of himself for trying to get up quickly and shake off the fall in front of two thousand people. His proudest moment came later that same night. “Getting up and walking back down those same stairs without falling was a great moment for me.”

Kevan Smith played college football and baseball at the University of Pittsburgh, but was also being scouted by Michican State and Penn State coming out of high school. The decision to play his college ball at Pitt was an easy one for Kevan. “My buddy convinced me to go to breakfast instead of going to my morning classes”, said Kevan. “What I didn’t know was that the offensive coordinator from Michigan State and Penn State were both coming to my school to visit me that morning.” Kevan says that everything happens for a reason and he very much enjoyed the steak and eggs that he had that morning at Bob Evans.

Jason Van Skike’s first concert ever attended was, you guessed it, NSYNC. “To set the record straight this was not by choice,” said Jason. “My older sisters got tickets and I was too young to stay home alone so I got to go.” Jason says that he was about twelve years old when he attended this concert and he ended up enjoying his night. His sisters on the other hand were not too happy to have their little brother tagging along.

Check out more unique stories, including a great feature on Micah Johnson, in PlayBall! during our next homestand.

– Curt and Erika

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