How Tim Flannery, the Giants coach, went back to writing songs

How Tim Flannery, the Giants coach, went back to writing songs

How Tim Flannery, the Giants coach, went back to writing songs
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“Like having to choose between air and water,” he said. “I have to have both.”

Although Flannery grew up primarily in Anaheim, California, his family came from the hills of Kentucky. His uncle, Hal Smith, was a catcher who hit a three-run homer for Pittsburgh in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. If the Pirates’ bullpen had been leading 9-7, Smith would have been a hero . Instead, the Yankees tied the game and Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski won the game and earned immortality.

Smith, who played for 10 seasons, regularly took a Gibson J35 guitar with him on the road. When Flannery signed professionally at 19, he followed suit.

Flannery’s first manager, Roger Craig, told him to focus on baseball rather than playing the guitar, but the instrument remained his constant companion. Children were born: Daniel is now 37; Ginny, the mother of Tim’s three grandchildren, is 35; Kelly is 32 years old and the guitar was there through it all.

“If it was a crazy day, having that guitar sweetened it,” Donna Flannery said.

Flannery always stood out from his baseball peers. His 1988 Fleer baseball card depicted him holding a surfboard.Credit…Fleer

Another uncle, George, convinced Flannery that playing wasn’t enough and that she needed to record her songs to tell the stories of her family’s life. Among them is “Pieces of the Past,” a tribute to Flannery’s preacher father, Ragon, who was dying of Alzheimer’s. Jackson Browne and Bruce Hornsby performed on that recording.

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