2012 Elite Series - All-Star Semi-final Lake Shelbyville - Decatur, IL, Sep 20 - 21, 2012

All-Star Fan Favorite: Gerald Swindle

Don Barone
Gerald Swindle 2011 B.A.S.S. All Star...qualified...

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“And it made him feel so happy,

it made him feel so good…”

Dateline:  5AM

It was the longest noodle suck of all time.

I would have cut it, the noodle, or wrapped it around the fork, but from across the kitchen table, with his head bent down, and his eyes looking up at me, the longest noodle suck of all time…was buying him think time.

Behind me, the pasta sauce still bubbled on the stove, my aunt stilled hum, and I still waited for my answer.

Had I known the spaghetti hadn’t been broken up before going into the pot…I would have waited.

You see, I had the misfortune of asking a short question during a long noodle.

On a long noodle suck, spontaneity ain’t going to happen.

While we wait for the noodle suck to stop here, let me set the stage.  It’s a decade or so ago. ESPN has sent me home, Buffalo, to do some sort of story. I don’t remember what story, Bills or Sabres I’m betting, but whenever I came home I always knew where I could catch a free meal…and still get the per diem.

My aunt & uncle’s house.

Aunt Noreen.

Uncle Sibby.

Sibby Sisti, a MLB Utility Player for 14 seasons in the “Bigs” playing from 1939-1954 with the Boston Braves/Milwaukee Braves (in 1946 he played in the minor leagues and was named the Minor League Player of the Year while playing for the Indianapolis Indians).

I’m buttering some fresh Italian bread…and the noodle suck continues…

Uncle Sibby, “Call me Sib, Donnie, call me Sib…” had career stats of .244 Batting Average, 27 Home Runs, 260 RBI’s.

Sib played in the 1948 World Series and played with baseball greats Warren Spahn, Johnny Sain, Eddie Matthews, Eddie Stanky and was managed by Casey Stengel.

In the Robert Redford movie, The Natural, Uncle Sib played the manager of the Pittsburgh team during the film’s final sequence when Redford (Roy Hobbs) lights up the stadium with a home run shot to the lights.

“What was the question again Donnie?”

I’m 40-something years old, and up until the day Uncle Sib died, he called me Donnie.  I protested ANYONE else calling me that name, would even correct them on doing so.

...2012 B.A.S.S. All Star voted in by the fans.

Except Uncle Sib.

“I asked, ‘How does it feel to be elected into the Boston Braves Hall of Fame?’”

Uncle Sib was one of the first four players elected into the Hall along with Spahn, Sain and Johnny Holmes.