Catching up with former Eagles
We’ll take the opportunity of the end of the 2010-11 athletic year to catch up with a bunch of former Eagles trying to make it as professional athletes.
Leading off, right-handed relief pitcher Tim Combs became the first EMU baseball player to land a professional contract in 2011, signing with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League. The Grizzlies play in Sauget, Illinois, a suburb of Saint Louis. The Frontier League should be somewhat familiar to sports fans, because it is the independent minor league of which the Oakland County Cruisers — who operated as the “Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti”, playing at Oestrike Stadium, in 2009 — are a member.
Cornerback Arrington Hicks has signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, where he will join former Eagle Johnny Sears. Sears, who signed with the Bombers after being a late roster cut with the Cincinnati Bengals, is now fighting for a starting spot. Interestingly, in the first pre-season game this Thursday, the Bombers will face the Montreal Alouettes, and Sears may find himself covering another former Eagles, Montreal slotback Éric Deslauriers! I don’t know if there’s any way to watch or listen to this game here in Michigan (if you find something, please share in the comments), but the chance to see three former Eagles in a professional game certainly makes it appealing. If the NFL lockout continues, we may be seeing more of these three this fall.
I’ve noted previously that an experienced offensive line should be one of EMU’s strengths this fall, but EMU did lose an experience starter in Dan DeMaster, who started 5 games at right tackle and 4 games at right guard last year, after starting all 12 games at left tackle in 2009. DeMaster recently accepted a contract with the Utah Blaze, in the Arena Football League.
Finally, former EMU quarterback and recent EMU Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Batch has declared bankruptcy.
Mr. Batch’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition listed $2.3 million in assets, including his pension plan, versus $8.3 million in debts. He is keeping most of his assets, including his Franklin Park house and his Super Bowl rings, but allowing a townhouse in Novi, Mich., to go to foreclosure. Most of the debts were incurred in business ventures, including Batch Development Co., Kings Bakery LLC, and Courtland Place LLC. The lenders will still have liens on the properties those firms own, but they won’t be enforceable on Mr. Batch. Mr. Batch also reported $718,000 in earnings in 2010, and noted that his 2011 earnings depend on labor negotiations between players and the National Football League.