The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


June 30, 2013

A Don McCormack column: A Blair for the dramatic!

Former Falcon Zak Blair off to blazing start in Arizona


Feelin’ the heat

Blair has seen — and felt — the extreme heat wave that is gripping the Southwest.

“It really is unbelievable,” he said. “During the day, it’s 120 degrees. Right now, I just got off the field and it’s 11 p.m. and it’s 100 degrees.”

Blair admits the heat has been a shock to his system.

“I’ve eaten so many bananas, you wouldn’t believe it!” he said with a laugh. “And I’ve already been through several cases of water.

“It’s a situation that during games, every time you come off the field, you have to take several drinks of water. It’s not easy to stay hydrated. In fact, it’s very difficult.”

So difficult, in fact, it’s almost suffocating.

“Absolutely,” Blair said. “It’s kind of difficult to breathe, at times.

“I kind of feels like a sauna.”

Staying in touch

Being 3,000 miles away doesn’t mean Blair has lost touch with his family, who has been following him around from ballfield to ballfield for the great majority of his 23 years.

“Hey, I’m an only child, so I’m used to a lot of attention from my family,” he said through another laugh. “I’m very close with my family and I’ve been in touch with them quite a bit and that helps so much.

“In fact, I just got off the phone with my dad right before we began this conversation. I call him to let him know how I did, then I realize it’s 11 here, but it’s 2 a.m. back in Ohio.

“He answers the phone and he’s obviously very tired, but he always wants to know how things are going. I could talk baseball with him all night.”

Staying the course

Even though the level he’s playing has been upgraded, and while the heat is on — literally, Blair hasn’t changed his approach to the game... or life.

“I’m just trying to keep working hard, keep my nose to the grindstone and see where it takes me,” he said.

And that has yet to be decided. In the meantime, Blair is content playing second base for the AZL Cubs, managed by Bobby Mitchell, a former major-league outfielder with the Yankees (1970) and the Brewers (1971 through 1975).

“I haven’t heard anything about moving on,” he said. “The way I figure it, if I keep busting my tail, working as hard as I can and hitting the ball, they’ll find a place for me.

“And that’s all I can ask.”

Text Only
  • Taylor Outlaws edged by a run

    The slimmest of margins proved to be the difference in determining the outcome of a clash between the Ohio Outlaws Gold and the Virginia Shamrocks in the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals on Wednesday in Salem, Va.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Olivia-smile A Don McCormack column: Holt right at home at Mount

    When a young person from this area goes off to college and continues to play sports at the next level, we do feature stories on them.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Twin State Night at Raceway 7 next

    This week is the annual Twin State Club night at Raceway 7. Regular racing will be presented in all five divisions. With the points races nearing their conclusion the racing will be hot as August weather Friday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tribe Kluber twirls gem

    “The ace is gone. Long live the ace.” That’s how Indians fans might be looking at matters today.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Bearcat Gavorski on the mend

    Paying another visit to the variety store...

    On the mend
    Arguably the most decorated soccer player to every come out of the Star Beacon coverage area is down — temporarily — but anything but out.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribe Not quite enough

    Although the Indians are still very much mathematically alive in the race for a postseason berth, they continue not to look like a playoff team. And when they have put a run together, they haven’t been able to maintain the habit of playing winning baseball.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Outlaws win opener

    The Ohio Outlaws Gold did not start well at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va. on Monday, but they sure did finish their opening encounter with a flourish.

    July 28, 2014

  • Racing remains at the fore

    Raceway 7’s Crate Late Models had an unsanctioned $1000 to win 25-lap feature with Kyle Zimmerman picking up the lion’s share of the glory after leading the entire distance for his first win of 2014.

    July 28, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video