Tim Sommer was drafted out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles and spent 8 years in the organization. He experienced great joys and elation as he progressed through the system, learning the ropes from experienced veterans and wise coaches. He also experienced the ruthless and heartless treatment that can come upon individuals attempting to achieve the ultimate dream.

Tim joins us on this episode of the Cover the Bases podcast to discuss his experiences documented in the book Beating About the Bushes.  The book is published by Infinity Publishing.

The motivation for getting this personal story in writing came from Tim’s family.  As he would regale them with his endeavors in professional baseball, it became apparent that in order to record and share these life experiences, he needed to document them in a book.  That is what we are attempting to do here at Baseballisms.com, collect and curate personal baseball stories for posterity sake.

Growing up in rural Ohio, Tim was fortunate to have been discovered by a bird dog scout traveling the area looking for prospects. The scout, with a day job in a steel mill, had come across a slim kid with glasses who could fire a blazing fastball.  Upon signing his first professional contract, Tim had one thing on his mind and that was making a visit to the home of Lefty Grove.  Upon greeting one of the newest members of the brethren of professional ballplayers, Lefty took Tim into the house and spent the afternoon chatting about baseball.

Throughout the book, Tim provides a look at events and human interest stories that were transpiring during these revolutionary times in the country.  He has an exquisite tale about a hitchhiker he encountered on a roadtrip down to spring training and how they would cross paths later in life.  It is an example of the influence that baseball can have on us, no matter what life’s circumstances may bring.

Tim had numerous influences in his baseball career, including three significant managers.  His manager at Ohio University was Bob Wren.  Coach Wren had the decisive conversation with him prior to accepting the contract from the Orioles.

Within the Orioles organization there were two managers who stand out in the telling of this story.  One was a stalwart of the organization who epitomized every aspect of the Oriole legacy, Cal Ripken.  The other was with the organization for only a short period of time, had major league success with another ballclub, but unquestionably derailed Tim’s progression to the majors, Darrell Johnson.

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