Hello PawSox Fans!
Today was a fantastic day at McCoy Stadium as the PawSox took the field against the Sky Chiefs of Syracuse. The sun was shinning and the wind was causing a bit of a chill but at the end of the game it was a lopsided win for the good guys with a final score of 14-0! The PawSox ended up being 5-1 for the homestand.
Being a mid-week afternoon game, many youth groups come to the park to enjoy some awesome baseball and fun. A great way to spend an afternoon
Yesterday I was asked if I could handle taking the photos of the first pitches and the singing of the National Anthem. I welcomed the opportunity to do it. The PawSox regular photographer Lori was unable to make the day game and Mike Gwynn who usually takes great photos has been sidelined with a busted wheel. “Gwynnie” broke his right leg while jogging several weeks ago, and is making great progress to return to his photography duties. He still comes in every day and gave me some great tips on getting the best shots. Believe me, it’s not as easy as it seems.
He explained to me to get the shot of the pitch and also the name on the scoreboard. There were 5 first balls today. I get ready to take the first shot, and as I focus to get the pitch and the name, it’s too damn late and the ball is thrown. Ok, I basically missed the first one. I try again and get the toss and the name but the photo is off-center. You have to be quick and in perfect position for the great shot. I try again and find that I’m getting better. However, I need to get a closer shot. When Josh Reddick’s dad tosses one of the first balls, it’s a pretty good shot.
With the National Anthem it a different story. You have time. You have time to get the shot centered and the name on the scoreboard.
I even have some extra time to snap a shot of the flags blowing in the wind!
After the game, both teams take to the road. The busses are packed with the luggage and equipment. No need for me to truck the equipment because they are busing not flying. I am looking forward to having the team return. It truly is an exciting team to watch. Everyone gets to see some tremendous talent play Americas past time!
The PawSox return home on Saturday. Also, on Saturday from 8am until noon Shred-It will be at McCoy Stadium to shred all your important documents. It’s a free service. Just show up with your documents and they will be forever destroyed. Please note that it’s for paper only. No shredding of dvd’s cd’s or other non-paper items.
Dont forget on Saturday is also the first fireworks spectacular after the game. Get your tickets now! There are some great seats still available but act quickly. You can get tickets via pawsox.com, calling 401-724-7300 or right at the box office from 9-5 daily and 10-3 on Saturdays.
I just started reading the book Bottom of the 33rd. The book by Dan Barry about the longest game in history in 1981 between the PawSox and the Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium. It is a fantastic book, very easy reading. You really need to get this book. Is the 33 innings a record that will never be broken?
Head out to McCoy. Perhaps you could witness a 34 inning game. Just think, even after 34 innings, we would still be………..”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
PawSox fans know that the first game in Syracuse was rained out. More importantly, every player, coaching staff, trainers and radio guys had all their equipment and gear. It was a very uncomfortable time and I thank God that nothing fell off the truck!
Today is the 30th anniversary of the start of the longest game. After the game in Syracuse was postponed due to rain Steve Hyder, Dan Hoard along with the Chiefs radio broadcaster head over to the Change of Pace. A sports bar owned by Steve Grilli the losing pitcher in the famous 33 innings longest game. Hanging on the wall is a poster of the longest game.
Steve went on to play for the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays.
They have some great wings! Some PawSox fans can attest to that fact because they had a late night visit to the Change of Pace during a road trip to Cooperstown and Syracuse during the 2009 season. Those who took part in the late night munch are known as the “PawSox Wing Dingers!” Steve was nice enough to pose for a photo with us.
After a great dinner, a few hands of cards and a little TV watching I settle in to get some rest. In the morning I pack up to head back to McCoy, On Friday the 15th the PawSox will be hosting the book release for author Dan Barry who wrote Bottom of the 33rd Its a great book about the longest game in the history of professional baseball. The ride home is without incident which is just fine by me.
The book release party goes as well as planned. There is plenty of good food and drink. The batting cages were turned in a auditorium. Team President Mike Tamburro great the crowd and talks briefly about the game.
Dan takes some time to sign the books.
I look forward to reading the book. I have heard nothing but good reviews. Stand by the stadium and grab a copy. Looks likje the weather may be fianlly breaking. Come by and watch the game tonight and you can see Dave Koza throw out the first pitch. See you at the game! We all looking forward to being……….”Here For You!”
Yours in Baseball,
It’s our last evening in Buffalo as I begin writing from inside the warmer confines of the Buffalo Bisons press box dining area. Having just indulged in some salad, a little baked chicken and my favorite, red bliss smashed potatoes. I sit here watching the Bisons score off PawSox starting pitcher Kris Johnson. He gives up several runs early on and it doesn’t look good. I have a great seat in warmth watching the game on TV.
After the game the truck gets loaded and its off to Syracuse and the weather in Syracuse doesn’t look promising for the game according to the forecast. It’s a cold evening here and the temp drops swiftly. I learn from those who live if Buffalo that the cold comes from the little ice bergs. Coming to Buffalo this time of year you can see the ice along the Niagara River. The wind blows over the ice and takes the cold with it. They have Ice Booms to keep the big hunks of ice from going over Niagara Fall and getting in the turbines. Looking at the chunks of ice you get chilled to the bone.
The ice does make a great photo as night falls.
There are many tall and unique buildings in the City of Buffalo. The Electric Company has the Statue of Liberty on top. Quite unique. Kris Johnson gets yanked from the game after only a couple of innings and giving up 7 runs. The game moves along swiftly and the PawSox end up losing. Its “get away day” for both teams. The Bisons are heading to Scranton to play the Yanks and we are heading to Syracuse.
I now sit in my hotel room in Syracuse after the game has been postponed due to rain. It was their opening day and everyone feels a bit blue. The 2.5 hour trip to Syracuse from Buffalo was not without incident. After loading the truck I said my farewells to the great clubhouse staff until July when we return. Off to Syracuse I go.
While traveling down the highway I see the Buffalo buses and pass them honking my horn. I know the drivers because they are the same ones that drive the team to McCoy. After passing them, my phones light up, ring and vibrate. Text messages come in…. It’s Dan Brick the clubhouse guy from Buffalo. There’s a call from Dan Hoard and another from team trainer Jon. When I passed the Buffalo busses they all saw the same thing and made calls to those who could contact me. They all tell me the same thing…The back door of the truck is wide open! The Brick told me he saw when I locked the door before leaving. My heart sinks and you get that warm feeling that overtakes your body from stress!
I quickly pull into the breakdown lane and think OMG! (Oh My God) Now what? I have a vision of all the team equipment, uniforms, bats, balls, etc…all spewed all over the highway! When I get to the rear of the truck the door is indeed wide open. However, everything looks like it’s in place but I can’t be sure. I don’t know if anything had fallen off the truck. I can’t be sure! It’s not a good feeling at all. I can see that the 3 big trunks are still in place which is a good sign, but really cant be quite sure. I grab the handle of the pull down door and see that the lock is still in place, and locked! How can that be? Either I didn’t secure the latch the right way or Houdini was in the back of the truck and wanted out.
I once again secure the door and lock it. I gaze down the highway and traffic is light at this hour. I attempt to see if there is anything on the highway. I wait for several moments as vehicles pass to see if any of them pull over and tell me that some things had fallen out of the truck. I had traveled about 20 miles and the feeling is miserable. I continued on. I was still wondering if there was a problem with the door and how it could have happened. After about 5 miles I stopped again and check the door. it was secured. About 10 miles later, I check again with the same results. There is more than two hours left to go on the trip and I can’t keep stopping. I must believe that the door is secured.
The worry continues for the duration of the ride. Over and over I try to go over the inventory of the truck. Finally I arrive at Alliance Bank Field, home of the Syracuse Chiefs. I meet with Chad their clubhouse guy and he has two of his staff there to help unload the truck. I have that sick feeling in my stomach. The truck gets unloaded. Now its just a waiting game to see if anything was missing. I head to the hotel to check in. In the lot of the hotel is a Denny’s. I head in and grab some coffee and something quick to eat although I don’t have much of an appetite. I sit with Steve Hyder our radio broadcaster. Some of the players are there for a late night snack. I look at them and wonder if their stuff made it to the clubhouse. Time will tell.
I check into the hotel. I try to sleep but can’t. I toss and turn and I give Chad a call. He tells me that it looks like all the players bags are here…so far! It’s that “so far” part that makes me still feel uneasy. Once again it’s just a waiting game. I doze off for about and hour and a half. I check and there are no messages on my phone. It’s about 4:30 and then something hits me. Was the trainers bag on the truck? Did I see it when we unloaded at Alliance Bank Field? I don’t know for sure. I don’t want to disturb the clubhouse guy because I know at this time he and the staff would be sleeping to gear up for opening night in a few hours. I can’t get it out of my mind, no matter how hard I try.
Again I try to get some rest but to no avail. It’s too early to call our team Trainer Jon to ask him if he had it. I watch the time tick by and decide that I’ll call the team trainer Jon about the bag I had a question about. He is an early riser so I plan to call him at 7:00 am. I send him a text to check if he is up. He texts me back within minutes. I give him a call and explain about the bag and asked if he had it with him. His reply…”No.” Not really the answer I wanted to hear. The bag is kept in the dugout with medical supplies in it. It’s a nice looking bag, the size of a small duffel bag. I explained to Jon my thoughts and I can’t remember if the bag was taken off the truck. We decide we will head over to the ballpark at 9:15. I still can’t sleep…Time will tell.
Jon and I head over the ballpark. The weather is already a factor and we wonder if the game will be played. We head into the clubhouse. I see that all the lockers are full and all the bags are accounted for. That is good news…So far! We head into the trainers room, and there on the trainers table sits the most beautiful bag you can imagine. It’s Jon’s bag! I breathe a sigh of relief. At this point nothing is missing. All equipment, clothing and gear is accounted for…So far! I head back to the hotel a little more at ease and get some much-needed rest.
LIke I said, subsequently the game was postponed due to rain. I will be heading back home tomorrow. The PawSox return home on Saturday and on Sunday after the game the kids are allowed to run the bases. You can get tickets online, over the phone or right at the box office. Call 401-724-7300 Come out to a game. Look into the dugout and see the bag and see how we all are……”Here For You!” As of now all the equipment is accounted for. Thank God!
Would love to hear from you.
Yours in baseball,
Hello PawSox Fans!
It’s great to be up and running again with Rollin’ with Rick. Dan Hoard was able to get it up and running again and I thank him.
We are now in Buffalo and have split the 2 games played. I do feel a win tonight though.
If you missed the Welcome Back Luncheon you missed a real treat. It was held April 6th at Kirkbrae Country Club with Bill Spaceman Lee as the featured speaker. From what I understand he did not disappoint.
Every Red Sox fan knows about Bill Lee. He is truly and unique individual with his great sense of humor, quick wit and a very sharp and intelligent mind. Combine that with a passion for the game of baseball and it’s no wonder he still enjoys playing the game. Bill is a bit difference from other pitchers, he loves to hit. I mean he really loves to hit. He will talk for hours about bats and hitting.
Remember the 2004 Triple A All-Star game that was hosted by the Pawtucket Red Sox? Do you remember who the home run derby champ was? It was the Spaceman!
A couple of months ago I got to spend some time with Bill at the Axis Bat Company in Fall River. He came down to pick up some bats. His bats are as unique as he is. He loves a real heavy bat with a handle knob about the size of a small baseball. He has his own label of bats…..”The Cure”
On this particular day some gents from the Milford Woodies had stopped by to inquire about buying some bats and seeing how they are made. The Woodies are a team in a baseball league for players over the age of 62.
In no time Bill is giving them tips on hitting. He spends time chatting about the game and of players of yesteryear. Always terrific stories with a lot of yucks. He explains to the team the beauty of a nice swing.
Some of the players take to the batting cages to test their newfound talent.
Bill shoots from downtown!
He continues to yap and laugh and at the end he sunk 8 out of 10! It was great to witness! After signing some more and posing for more Bill and his wife head north. It’s been a fun time as always.
After the luncheon, Bill and his wife stopped by McCoy Stadium before heading to Connecticut for a fundraiser. He chats with the players and staff and they take batting practice, fielding drills and other exercises. He grabs a bat and a ball at home plate. He calls out that he is going to hit the right field foul pole. He tosses a ball in the air, smacks it and comes very close, falling about 8 feet short of the wall. He yells it again, tosses a ball and smacks it…………….CLANG! Right off the right field foul pole and bounces out to center field! It was incredible! Everyone is in disbelief at what they just witnessed. I still can’t believe it! He had the biggest smile and laugh and it was a great way to say so long for now. The Spaceman will be available for autographs on the PawSox Legends night.
The PawSox return home on April 16th. On Sunday, April 17th like every sunday, kids run the bases after the game. Grab some tickets online, via phone or at the box office. Call 401-724-7300 after checking pawsox.com for all the special events and promotions. You never know when the Spaceman may land at McCoy…….you will also see clearly we are………..”Here For You!”
Love to hear from you.
Yours in Baseball,
The Woodies spend about 20 more minutes with Bill and you can see they all love the stories and the humor. The Woodies bid farewell to their new friend and they shake hands and take some photos. Bill is very accommodating to them. Arrangements have been made by Greg Sullivan a sports writer for the Fall River Herald News to test the Spaceman on the Basketball court. We head to the Fall River Boys & Girls Club. As soon as Bill walks in he is swarmed by kids, adults and everyone in between. He poses for photos and signs many autographs and of course breaks out into some great stories making everyone laugh.
He grabs a basketball and heads to the court to warm up. I see him sink shots from all over the court. He talks prior, during and after each shot. Greg wants to see how many shots Bill can sink on 10 attempts. After the “warmup” he stands at the foul line and…