Monday, August 23, 2010

He Gave it His Best Shot – Willie Fordham (1927-2010)

The baseball world lost a great ambassador to the game as Negro League legend Willie Fordham passed away yesterday (8/22/2010)

Fordham, was a member of the 1952 Eastern League Harrisburg Senators and the Negro League Harrisburg Giants from 1953-1955, an accomplished author, and motivational speaker. He had the tools to make it in the Major Leagues and almost did (try out with the Dodgers in 1952) but his color held him back. I recently asked Willie how he wanted people to remember his playing days, he said “I played with and against the best players to play the game” and he followed that up by saying “I ALWAYS gave it my best shot”.

My condolences go out to Willie’s family and friends.

He inspired countless people over the years to find the best within themselves and to never give up.

Willie’s legacy will live on through his books, family, friends and those he inspired over the years.

Negro League Remembrance night will not be the same without you.

Services will be held on Saturday 8/28/2010 at 11 AM in Harrisburg (I will provide more details tomorrow).

EDIT: Services will take place Saturday at the Camp Curtin Memorial Mitchell United Methodist Church, 2221 N. Sixth St., Harrisburg. Viewing will be from 9 to 11 a.m., with the service to follow immediately afterward.

Book Review: I Gave It My Best Shot By Willie Fordham

Harrisburg Living Legacy: Willie Fordham

Mode Weekly: Willie Fordham

Penn Live: Susquehanna Township native, former Negro League standout Willie Fordham dies at 83

York Daily Record: Willie Fordham, 83, remembered for Negro League career Willie Fordham Negro League Pitcher Dies at 83 (1927-2010)


Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Back.....

I'm Back, well kind of. This site will remain inactive but I just opened my own photography website: Will Bentzel Photography.

I just started the site today so it might be a little while before it's really up and running. It will feature a sports images, non-sports images, a photo-blog, links to some of my favorite photographers, and some of my publised work.

So stop over, visit often and hopefully you will enjoy the images.



Thursday, December 31, 2009

Final Post

The time has come to shut down Senators Fans Unite. I’ve been debating about ‘pulling the plug’ since April 09. Countless times I’ve wrote similar posts to this that never saw the light of day. Simply put, there is not enough time in a day for me alone to continue researching and writing articles, trying to poke around for information, taking and editing images (for both this site, MiLB and others), and posting articles. This does not include spending time with my wife and kids’; working my 8:30-5 job and life’s many other challenges.

First and foremost I want to thank my wonderful wife and kids for having patients and understanding while I devoted long hours to make SFU possible.

I want to send a special thank you to my good friends Bob and Jane for their help and continued support since I was a young kid running around collecting autographs at Senators games.

Thank you to the Senators front office for allowing me the opportunity to cover the team, the grounds crew for keeping things entertaining in the 3rd base ‘cubby’, and Steve Eddy for all the valuable information you shared with me.

Last but not least, I want to thank all the visitors of this site over the past two years. I hope you enjoyed the information, articles and photos I shared with you. It’s been a lot of fun trying to keep you updated on all the latest info regarding the Senators.

Plans are to expand and grow in my role as a photographer. I will still be around Metro Bank Park, as well as other stadiums, serving as a photographer for MLB Advanced Media. You will still be able to see my work at, and various other places. My email box will still be open, so keep in touch.

Thank you and best wishes,
Will Bentzel


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Q&A with Zech Zinicola


Senators Fans Unite: How is the off season going?
Zech Zinicola: My off season has been going very well, trying to just stay low and visit some friends and family. Nothing too crazy.

SFU:The Blue Jays recently selected you in the Rule 5 Draft. What are your thoughts on going to Toronto and the opportunities offered to you as a Rule 5 pick?
ZZ: I can't express to you the excitement I had seeing my name come up in the rule 5 draft when I was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. It's a great opportunity and I'm ready for the challenge.

SFU:Have you had any conversations with the Jays? If so, what did they say and did they list any expectations they have of you going in to spring training?
ZZ: Dana Brown was the first member of the Blue Jays that I spoke to and he just wanted to say congrats and to make sure I come in to spring training in great shape and ready to compete for a job.

SFU:In 09 you were “lights-out” with the Senators, but after a promotion to Syracuse you struggled a little bit. Dana Brown, former Nationals director of amateur scouting turned special assistant to Blue Jays general manager, is quoted as saying "I think what it was, he had inconsistent command mixed in with a little bad luck," Brown said. "But stuff-wise, he's up to 96 with a plus slider. I think once he can get the command, get the ball down a little bit, I think he's going to have a chance to take off." What are your thoughts on Brown’s assesment of why you struggled in Triple-A?
ZZ: I know my numbers in Syracuse were not flattering but I felt like I took tremendous strides as a player and I feel I'm ready to make the next jump in my career as a ball player. My strikeout to walk ratio was the best it's ever been in my career and if you take away a couple outings I think it would be a different story.

SFU:After playing parts of 4 seasons in Harrisburg, Senators fans are sad to see you leave the Nationals organization. Do you have anything you want to say to them?
ZZ: The fans in Harrisburg have always been very supportive to the team and to myself, I'm gonna miss that place but I will never forget it. I think the renovations they made this year were spectacular - and after the second part of the renovations are complete the city of Harrisburg will have one of the best places to enjoy a ball game in all of minor league baseball. I would just like to say thanks to all the families who allow us ball players stay in their home while we are away from ours. Without them a lot of guys like me would never have a chance to fulfill our dreams of making it to the show.

Thank you to Zech for taking time during the holidays to answer a few questions. Good luck in Toronto.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Toronto Picks Zinicola In Rule 5 Draft

Zech Zinicola

The Jays took righty Zech Zinicola from the Nationals in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

According to Baseball America “Players selected must remain on the selecting team's 25-man major league roster throughout the next season or be offered back to the team from which they were drafted (for $25,000).”

For complete coverage of the Rule 5 Draft please visit: Rule 5 Draft

For additional details on Toronto's selection of Zinicola please visit:


Friday, December 4, 2009

Senators Announce 2010 Coaching Staff

The Harrisburg Senators and Washington Nationals announced today that Randy Knorr is the new manager of the Senators. Knorr replaces John Stearns who had been the Sens manager the past two seasons. He becomes the 15th different manager for the Sens since 1987. He leads a staff familiar to Sens fans as Troy Gingrich, Randy Tomlin, and Atsushi Toriida all return for 2010.

For more information please visit:Senators Announce 2010 Coaching Staff



Here is a news release from the Central Penn Business Journal:

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation today announced that the non-profit organization has added MARK BUTLER of Carlisle, its 30-member board of directors. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to at-risk youth, through the use of baseball and softball-themed programs in America’s most distressed communities.

For more information please visit: Central Penn Business