Batter Up Socialites
Spring Training's Arizona icon Don & Charlie's closed in 2019 before we could visit this sports-museum-steakhouse with its hundreds of baseballs signed by the legends, jerseys & celebrity photos - all gifts to owner Don Carson who never paid for any of the memorabilia hung there and since we're not astronaut-trained-ready, we're outta luck because when asked what Don was going to do with his collection he said "I'm going to send it up to the space station"... Now that's really knocking it out of the ballpark - and out of our league! So what else is happening here around the Cactus League? We asked the other Don 'THE WAK' Wakamatsu - former professional baseball player, scout, coach, world series winner, manager & current Bench Coach of the Texas Rangers and boy have we got some home run hits for you!
As The Great Chicago Cub Ernie 'Mr. Sunshine' Banks used to say -
"It's a beautiful day for a ballgame, let's play two."
SCENE + SEEN
WHO THE HECK IS PAUL???
Paul "the drone" has saved the day for Cactus League's spring training games - spraying down stadiums with a cleaning solution that protects surfaces for over a month with a 6 foot wide wing span to disinfect areas and keep the fans safe! Who was the genius behind this? None other than "The Wak", Don Wakamatsu, Ranger's bench coach and baseball lifer! (See full article here) video credit - NY Times
Q&A with Don 'THE WAK' Wakamatsu
You started off as a professional baseball player. How old were you and what was your early inspiration to play baseball? I started playing baseball at 8 years old in little league. No one in my family played baseball and I was good enough to continue to play and I had great coaches and was lucky enough to play on winning teams. My neighbor took me to my first game when I was 10 years old in 1973 and I watched the Oakland A's win the World Series! It is so important to have success at an early age to gain the confidence to move forward.
What was the highlight of your coaching career thus far? Winning the World Series in 2015.
What is your favorite place to chill in the Scottsdale area during Spring Training? When do we get to do that? We can't go anywhere. We are here for 45 days and this year I am lucky because I get 2 days off. To answer though it's Steak 44 when I can.
What would you title your autobiography novel? Changing Sprinklers
Favorite pre-and/or post game song? Killing Me Softly (inside joke)
Please tell us about your foundation. I started it to get players involved in the community, to teach them humility. It evolved into feeding the future and everything that it encompasses. We honor the past farming values through new technology. Precision Agriculture - managing natural resources to produce better crops, teaching the next generation BEST farming practices and sustainability through innovation of new products with small farm partnerships.
How do we learn more about your celebrity made jams and where do we purchase them? Our website wakway.org. We have invited athletes & celebrities who believe in our cause to create their own limited edition signature jams - each has named and signed their creations. First runs have been produced and we are adding more soon!
Please consider supporting the foundation at the Wakway Foundation.
Throwing out some curve balls...
In between watching the games - HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS
Newly opened Chill lounge by the pool at hotel ARRIVE Phoenix. Scrummy pineapple Caipirinhas (led by acclaimed cocktailian - Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour & Little Rituals), Tiki-style bites (we loved the Huli Huli chicken), ping pong and foosball with a girly twist, Lilly Pulitzer-style day beds, and excellent service from Lylo's lovely Cara! What's not to love?
ZUZU lounge - Retro meets the Jetsons vibe. Happy Hour by the pool!
The Saguaro Scottsdale poolside cabanas & margaritas near Old Town
Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Inductee Chef Chris Nicosia - farm to table kitchen with traditions of American craftsmanship. The COAST TO COAST ROLL (lobster, Dungeness crab, local greens with lemon puree and tarragon butter jus) H E A V E N L Y & Craft Cocktails!!!
Summer Anesin welcomes you to her new O.H.S.O brewery joint - a laidback neighborhood hangout with burgers, barks & beer. Just down the street from Historic GRAND AVENUE arts district, murals & shops
THROWBACK 2013-14 when we had the pleasure of working with
baseball Hall of Famer, Edgar Martinez and Mogul Gene Juarez
to help brand their infamous Mezcal, El Zacatecano!
That's a walk-off for now! Join us next for our pre-Patty's Day issue and please sign up and share with all your teammates.