This is a note from Kevin Hamm, a St. Cloud friend of mine, to his friend Dick Rengel. It was forwarded by Rengel to me, and as a local angle, it’s too good to be true:
“Curious if you know this factoid: Page 2 on Strib sports page has a photo and article on Ron Fowler, the executive chairman and part owner of the San Diego Padres. It appears Ron is a bit upset by how the Padres are performing.
“Ron is a 1962 graduate of [St. Cloud] Cathedral High School and played with my brother Tom on some of Cathedral’s best baseball teams. Great talent in that era – including Tom Burgmeier, who had an outstanding major league carrer.
“Ron was an outstanding second baseman – a real class act when he showed up in the Hamm household, while hanging out with my brother. He went to St. Thomas and ended up in the beverage industry.
“He had a big distributorship in the San Diego area that got the ball rolling on his road to wealth. One of the areas in the new University of St. Thomas athletic complex was named in his honor after a large donation by Ron.
I found the presence of this in my Star Tribune e-mail to be quite a coincidence for a couple of reasons:
Fowler had his public tirade on his team – particularly aimed at high-priced pitcher James Shields – in a radio interview Wednesday. It was national talker on cable sports and radio shows around the country.
And then the Padres went out on Thursday and blew a 12-2 lead, losing 16-13 to Seattle. They did this by giving up a total of 14 runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Meantime on Thursday, there was a happier baseball occurrence with Fowler’s high school alma mater. Cathedral defeated Bertha-Hewitt/ Verndale 3-2 in a Section 6A game.
That put coach Bob Karn’s victory total at 750. Karn is 74 and is in his 46th season as Cathedral’s baseball coach.
Bob Karn was a 1959 graduate of Cathedral. His brother Jim was a 1961 graduate. Fowler was a 1962 graduate. They were all ballplayers – along with Burgmeier, big-league lefty pitcher, and Tom Hamm, a St. Cloud legend as a lefty hitter who played four years of pro baseball.
An owner complaining about his overpaid big leaguers in San Diego, and an old acquaintance still coaching and winning ballgames at their old high school … it’s all worth a smile for old Cathedralites.
And I’m one, sort of. I covered the Crusaders from the spring of 1965 through the 1967-68 school year for the St. Cloud Times