monastero podcast

How much damage could a hot dog do?

That’s one of the questions a new podcast examines. The Mysterious and Unbelievable Case of the Batboy and the Hot Dogs, hosted by Ashley Pace and Josh Durham, centers around the 1990 Burlington (NC) Indians minor league baseball team, which included Frank Monastero.

Monastero, a Norristown native and Bishop Kenrick High School graduate, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 59th round of the 1990 MLB draft. The West Chester University grad received hot dogs before games, against manager’s rules, from Pace. He was caught and sent to the Gulf Coast League. That was his only season of professional baseball.

Monastero coached at Norristown Area High School and Chestnut Hill Academy. He played in the Perkiomen Valley Twilight League and instructed at Diamond Baseball Academy in King of Prussia.

Thirty years later, the podcasts asks whether Pace cost Monastero his professional career.

Aside from the infamous hot dog, The Mysterious and Unbelievable Case of the Batboy and the Hot Dogs gives an inside look at minor league baseball. Pace, the team’s batboy, and Durham, who filmed pitchers and catchers, tell stories about that summer with a team that included future major leaguers such as Jim Thome and Alan Embree.

“We had a fantastic time that summer working for the team and hanging out with the players,” Pace said. “When we get together over the last 30 years that topic will inevitably come up. We’ve wanted to do something related to that summer we just weren’t sure what. That led us down this path to the podcast.”

“We’ve always wondered as well during the last three decades,” Durham said, “did Ashley Pace really cause Frank Monastero his professional baseball career? We thought giving some great stories from that summer and some good minor league hijinks as well as a true crime investigative slant to it, it might be a pretty unique and enjoyable podcast.”

Pace and Durham have tracked down players, including Monastero, coaches, front office personnel and members of the coaching staff from that team to contribute to the podcast.

They released a trailer on March 8 and the first episode on April 13. Three episodes are released so far with a few more planned.

The podcast was also supposed to be a farewell to the Burlington Indians.

“The Burlington team was one slated for contraction before the pandemic shutdown,” Durham said. “We had tried to do this in honor of the 30th anniversary of that minor league team in Burlington and an honor of what should have been the last summer of Burlington baseball, but they got cancelled a year early. To hear from some folks that this is helping to fill the void in absence of minor league baseball has been a great honor for me and Ashley to get.”

The podcast is posted on all major podcast services. Episodes are also posted on their website

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