La What Now?

Since the 1960s, baseball teams and players have been publishing cookbooks. I collect them and try out some of the recipes that major leaguers have shared with their fans over the years. Photos, recipes and comments included.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Porcupines - Kevin Hickey (Pitcher)


1 pound hamburger
1/2 cup uncooked rice (regular)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can (15-oz.) tomato sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix hamburger, rice, 1/2 cup water, onions, salt, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Shape mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls into 12 balls. Cook meatballs in 10 inch skillet until brown on all sides; drain.

Mix remaining ingredients, pour over meatballs.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 45 minutes (add water during cooking if necessary).  Makes 4 or 5  servings.

Kevin Hickey was born in 1956 on the south side of Chicago.  His path to major league baseball was a rare one: in 1978 he attended an open tryout held by the Chicago White Sox, and was the only player out of 250 to be invited to sign with the team.

Hickey worked his way up through the minors and played for the White Sox for three seasons: 1981-83.  He was a relief pitcher for the 1983 AL West Division champions.  He also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles for three seasons (1989-91) and eventually returned to the White Sox organization.

In 2003 the White Sox hired him as their batting practice pitcher and he spent the rest of his life in that job.  Hickey passed away in May 2012 and his #99 jersey was hung in the White Sox dugout for the remainder of the season.  He was also honoured with a memorial sleeve patch. This year, Pitching Coach Don Cooper wears #99 in tribute to "The Hic Man."

This dish is both unique and tasty.  I am familiar with using cooked rice in ground meat dishes, but the uncooked rice was an unusual twist.  It gave the meatballs both their "spiky" appearance as they cooked, but also a bit of subtle crunch when I dug into them.  Unusual, in a memorable way.

The recipe itself is a basic meatball dish, but the rice made the difference in this one.

FINAL SCORE - A winner from the Hic Man - always remembered, never forgotten.

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