Sergeant Tony's Blog

Batter Up? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/18/2016

Friday, Mar. 18th 2016 10:19 AM

The group I was traveling with in upstate New York wanted to go to Cooperstown. They were excited to visit The Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Baseball Hall of Fame was not on my bucket list, but I was happy to go.

I’m just not much of a baseball fan. I know that sounds unAmerican. But baseball, to me, is just too dull. Plus I’ve always thought of baseball as a game invented to give non-athletes something to do.

Playing baseball as a kid was kind of uneventful. There’s just too much sitting around in the dugout. Too much standing around in the field. I quit playing baseball when I realized that I could think of at least ten other things I’d rather be doing than standing around in center field yellin’ “swing-batter-batter-batter-swing!”

(As an aside, one of my teachers regularly challenged us with this: Give me a list of why ‘XYZ’ is a good thing or a good idea. It stuck. I’ve done this in my own personal management, and have lived to regret any time I didn’t follow the logic of the list. Give me ten good reasons why … )

So, back to baseball.
Watching baseball is just too boring unless it’s the playoffs or the World Series. Plus there’s too much spitting and scratching and grabbing in the MLB. When the camera pans across the dugout and all of those millionaires are spitting and dribbling sunflower seeds out of their mouths and into their beards. It’s just nasty.

And what’s up with the coaches (managers) wearing a uniform with a number on it? Really? I mean, when was the last time one of those guys called their own number and took the field? Could you imagine any other coach of any other sport wearing a uniform; Coach Mike Krzyzewski wearing a Duke uniform while coaching the Blue Devils? Picture legendary Dallas Coach Tom Landry wearing a Cowboy’s uniform instead of his suit and tie and trademark hat.

Back to baseball. (See how hard it is to stay focused on baseball?) I’ve tried to like the game. I have. I just can’t wrap my mind around the whole thing. I mean, it’s like 2 minutes of action stretched out over two hours. Somehow, though, my oldest son is a YUUUUUUGE baseball fan. He’s also in the Marine Corps and just before each of his multiple deployments he’s had to write his Last Will and Testament. Writing out your Will is standard stuff in the Corps. And nothing gets your attention quite like being a 19-year-old being required to sit down and write your Will. My son’s Will explained what I was to do. He wanted to be cremated. And he wanted me to scatter his ashes in three different places: 1) Japan, 2) the Mississippi River, 3) Busch Stadium in St. Louis (He LOVES the Cardinals!)

Oddly, though, I love baseball MOVIES. Two of my favorites are “Field of Dreams” and “The Natural.”

So there we were in Cooperstown, and I was walking around The Baseball Hall of Fame, the Mecca of avid baseball fans. I’ve even known people to relocate to Cooperstown, just to live near the Hall of Fame! Did visiting the Hall of Fame change my attitude toward the game? Well, the historian in me loved it. The history was incredible! I enjoyed that!

But after a couple of hours, I excused myself from the group and took off! There was some place else in Cooperstown, NY that interested me!

I walked a mile from the Hall of Fame and found the home of James Fenimore Cooper. The town is actually named after him. You might remember that he wrote “The Last of the Mohicans.”

I enjoyed walking through Cooper’s home, now a museum. Being in the place where the man lived, worked, and died was educational though no one else in my party felt the same. None of them joined me.

Remarkably, “The Last of the Mohicans” wasn’t written in that home in Cooperstown, on the edge of a lake surrounded by forest and nature. Cooper wrote about the struggles on the American frontier of 1741 while he lived in New York City in 1826.


I know, right?

Harper Lee wrote about Alabama in “To Kill a Mockingbird” while living in NYC too. Hundreds of novels about somewhere else have been written in New York City. I think the next time I’m in New York, I might just go ahead and crank out a novel or two about somewhere else while I’m there!

Anyway, back to baseball … again! I don’t care much about baseball, but I DO care about hot dogs and beer. I will gladly go to the ballpark because those two things are there! In fact, I’ll go with you to any empty ballpark and just look at the luscious green grass so long as hot dogs and beer are there! Hot dogs and beer are good.

But there’s also another reason I like going to the ballpark. The enthusiasm and passion of the true baseball fan is awesome to me.

I’m drawn to people who have a passion for something. Anything! A person with hobbies and interests is fascinating to me, even if I don’t share their passion. Maybe especially if I don’t share their passion; that way I’m sure to learn something new.

Once I listened to a woman talk at length about wine. I don’t drink wine, and it’s a subject I don’t know anything about. She didn’t speak in a “Sideways” snooty kind of way about wine. She had a great passion and interest and knowledge about vino and listening to her talk with passion and animation about it almost turned me into a connoisseur. But sadly, my pallet is entirely too pedestrian! I can’t tell the difference from a glass of pinot noir and Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill … or grape Kool-Aid.

I’m always amazed by the Facebook status updates of people who write: “I’m bored.” I don’t get that. I don’t understand it at all. (I guess they must be updating their status from a ballpark! hahaha) Sounds like passionlessness to me, if that’s a word. Why don’t they read a book!? Or write one! Draw something! Paint something! Turn on the Discovery Channel! Do an internet search of some topic of interest. Download some new music. Come over and clean my house. I can’t think of a bigger turn-off than hearing someone say while sitting in their home with so much at their fingertips, that they’re bored.

No passion.

No thanks.

I end every day disappointed that I’ve run out of time to read, and research, and learn and must go to bed because my alarm will go off at 0400 and it’s already after Midnight.

Back to Cooperstown: within walking distance from Cooper’s home is Christ Episcopal Church. Cooper died in 1851 and is buried in the churchyard. Wandering around his old home a few blocks away were people who had a passion for history. Wandering around The Hall of Fame nearby were people who had a passion for the history of the game. And buried there in that old cemetery was at least one man who lived with passion and wrote about it!

How bout you?

Got passion?

— 30 —


If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check!


by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

I’ve given our RD the day off as she recovers from LASIK eye surgery.

Today, I’ll give you the talk I’ve had with three non-Boot Campers in the past 12 hours.

That includes every exercise program and approach you’ve ever heard of. Including mine.


If weight loss is your goal, start using the MyFitnessPal app! Log your eating, count your calories, and adjust your calorie intake. (You Weight Watchers can count your points!) Conservatively speaking, losing 2 pounds a week is about right. More weight than that is either a loss of water weight and/or muscle.

If you want to
be stronger,
sleep better,
have lower blood pressure,
have a better quality of life,
have less stress,
be more productive,
have more energy,
be able to relax,
have a better mood,
have more confidence,
be able to lead a more active lifestyle,
be able to play with your kids or grandkids, etc., etc., etc. … then EXERCISE!

Plus it DOES contribute 20% to your weight loss goals!

When you quit moving, it’s over!


What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

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