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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Martinez’

 

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On Friday Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez added another milestone to his baseball career. The Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 in his debut as manager. Before Martinez earned a World Series ring as a bench coach with the Chicago Cubs, and before he played 16 seasons as a MLB player, before he played baseball at Valencia College, he played high school ball at Lake Howell in the Orlando area.

I also went to Lake Howell and played baseball, but graduated two year before Martinez  so we didn’t play on the same team. (And if I recall correctly, I think he transferred to the school his junior year.) But the year after I graduated from high school I worked as a 19-year-old sports reporter and photographer for the Sanford Herald and covered several games when Martinez played varsity baseball. (The above clippings are from two of those games.)

Now 1981 was a few years ago, but they way I recall it is in Dave Martinez’s first at bat at Lake Howell he hit a home run over the right field fence. Like Tim Raines (also from Central Florida) you knew Martinez was special.

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Dave Martinez baseball card back in 1987

Way back in 1998 Martinez got the first hit in a regular season game for Tampa Bay Rays in their inaugural season.

Best wishes on his career as a manager in what’s already been a heck of a ride in professional baseball.

Scott W. Smith 

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“I was a big math and computer geek.”
Brian Acton
(Lake Howell High School grad and now billionaire)

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I know there’s a big football game today in Minneapolis, but just to mix it up a little here are some photos and memories surrounding an alumni baseball game I played in yesterday at my old high school. And the story of two graduates from my high school who made it big.

The mascot of Lake Howell High School is the Silver Hawks. The hawk statue in the above photo was part of a $4 million dollar donation that also included renovating the school’s air conditioning, updating the football field, building a swimming pool, and new computers.

It was an anonymous donation, but most figure it came from Brian Acton who was one of the founders of the WhatsApp and also a graduate of Lake Howell High School. Brian and Jan Koum sold their WhatsApp to Google in 2014 for $22 billion dollars. It’s estimated that Brian’s net worth today is around $6.7 billion.

Last September, Brian announced he was leaving WhatsApp.

 I’ve decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while, and now it’s time to just focus and execute.
Brian Acton

When Brian was on the Lake Howell math team his coach was Mike Bouch.

 “You wonder in your career whether you’ll ever touch the life of someone who goes on to make it really big. But this, uh, this is just beyond belief.”
Mike Bouch
Orlando Sentinel article 

Though I was more than a decade ahead of Brian, Coach Bouch was also a coach of mine when I played football there. And just a two years behind me at Lake Howell was Dave Martinez. He went on to play pro baseball for 16 years, and won a World Series ring two years ago as a bench coach for the Chicago Cubs.

This year as MLB spring training gets on its way, Dave is the new manager (what they call head coaches in baseball) of the Washington Nationals. In November, The Washington Post announced his contact was worth a million dollars a year.

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That puts a Silver Hawk in Washington, D.C. and one in Silicon Valley. And in previous posts I’ve mentioned screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall) and actor Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) are also Sliver Hawks flying high in Hollywood.

If you’ve follow this blog for long, you may have noticed that in many phots of me I have a hat on. It’s not because of the older I get, the less hair I have (which is true) it’s just that I grew up loving and playing baseball and wearing baseball hats as far back as I remember. Here’s a photo from yesterday’s game.

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Scott W. Smith

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