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Hiring of Darnell Coles brings back memories

It's funny how hearing one name can take you on a trip down memory lane. In the case of the Brewers naming Darnell Coles as the new Nashville manager, it brought back memories of 1993 World Series and Joe Carter's historic blast.

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If you haven't already heard, the Milwaukee Brewers announced Thursday that Darnell Coles has been named the new Nashville Sounds manager. He managed Double-A Huntsville in 2012-13.

As I read the various news stories about his promotion, I stumbled across a tidbit about him that took me on a trip down memory lane. During his 14-year major league career, the former utility player, who played for eight different teams, was a member of the 1993 Toronto team that won the World Series.

Frankly, I didn't remember Coles playing for the Blue Jays during that Series, but I felt better after I looked up the stats and saw that he didn't have any at-bats during the Series.

What I do remember is that I watched Game 6 in a trailer in Arkansas with a relative named Elvis. I was rooting for the Phillies, which of course means Joe Carter ripped my heart out with his "touch ‘em all Joe" home run.

But I should probably back up.

My grandparents were from Arkansas. When my sister and I were young, they would pile us into the car (without air conditioning) during the summer and we would road trip from Omaha, Neb. to a little town in town in Arkansas called Hazen. After my grandfather died in 1985, I made several more trips to Hazen with my grandmother before her passing in 2002.

I'm thankful to have made those trips because it helped me to understand where I come from - hard working, salt of the earth farmers. They had dirty hands and a clean conscience because they worked too many hours to get into any real trouble.

As much as I appreciated those trips, I didn't always understand how I was related to each couple's home we visited. I just knew we were related somehow.

That was the case with Elvis. He was married to a woman named Mary who was related to my grandmother somehow. I want to say Mary was my grandmother's niece, but even if that was the case, I have no idea if that would have made us cousins, or something else.

Doesn't really matter.

While my grandmother was busy catching up with Mary, Elvis and I would watch sports, talk Arkansas and Nebraska football, and in 1993, we watched Game 6 of the World Series together - in his trailer, on a 12-inch, black and white TV.

But it was still baseball, and it was still the biggest game of the year. We didn't need no stinkin' color TV.

I was a Royals fan, but the Phillies were growing on me. Darren Daulton had one of the most beautiful swings I had ever seen - second only to George Brett. And who didn't like John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra and Jim Eisenreich?

Former Royals pitcher Danny Jackson was on that team. Curt Schilling was coming into his own. And I always liked Terry Mulholland, maybe it was because he rocked a mullet when mullets were still cool (and maybe I had one, too, but I'll never tell).

Now that I think about it, Daulton, Kruk, Mitch Williams, and probably a few others on that team had mullets, too.

Anyway, they were a fun team to watch, and I was hoping they could push it to a Game 7.

Elvis was rooting for the Blue Jays, probably because I was rooting for the Phillies. When Joe Carter blasted the Series-winning home run, we both got caught up in the moment, shouting, "Ohhhhhhhhh." It was one of those moments in which you remember where you were when it happened.

Elvis didn't rub it in too bad. And I was thankful for that because it really was a beautiful moment.