|Edition No. 12||
July 8, 2011
Here are the standings through last night, July 7, 2011:
The season has turned into a classic dogfight between the Chiefs, Wahoos, Cubs and Tribe. As we finish up the first half of the campaign, it is anyone’s ballgame at this point.
At the other end of the galaxy, Jim Ed has decided that he likes the company down near the league rectum, and so his team has joined the Bears and the Senators in a wrestling match for the penultimate spot in the standings, anywhere but in the cellar. Welcome to the league bowels, Tirebiter! You are in fine company.
After the deposition of a plastic surgeon at UMass in Worcester last Friday, I had the pleasure of spending the evening at a Pawtucket Red Sox game against the visiting Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. For those few hours at this beautiful old green cathedral, there was no place on earth at which I would have rather been.
McCoy Stadium was erected in 1942, making it 69 years old. It was named in honor of the Honorable Thomas P. McCoy, the mayor of Pawtucket from 1936 to 1945. It has 4,014 box seats and 6,017 general admission seats, for a total capacity of 10,031. There were at least that many fans present for the Red Wings game on Friday night, as the blue collar following of the PawSox (as they are affectionately known) were anxious to witness the glorious fireworks display set for that evening after the contest.
The PawSox crowd was worked up into a lather as the game began, but a bit of starch was taken out of the crowd when the Red Wings’ leadoff hitter, Dustin Martin, incinerated the first pitch of PawSox lefty Felix Doubront with a mammoth home run far over the right field fence. Nevertheless, the crowd remained spirited and hopeful even as Doubront labored to give up six runs in the first four innings, on the way to taking a loss in a game which ended up at 8 for the Red Wings and 4 for the hometown PawSox.
McCoy Stadium (I wish they would call it McCoy “Park”) is the first International League ballpark that I have visited, and it is a splendid venue. I imagine that Possum has made a number of sojourns to Pawtucket to see the Triple A team of his beloved Red Sox play. It is a fantastic place to see a ballgame, from the box seats behind the infield to the GA seats down the lines to the berm seating in the outfield‒‒not a bad seat in the house. The beer of choice is Gansett, brewed at the nearby Narragansett Brewery, and served cold and frothy. Gotta have one.
More later on this, but McCoy Stadium is the site of the longest professional baseball game ever played, a 33-inning affair between the same PawSox and Red Wings in April of 1981, featuring such well known Red Sox as Wade Boggs and Marty Barrett, and the Orioles’ Cal Ripken, Jr., who played third base for Rochester. The game began on April 18, remained tied through 32 innings, was suspended at 4:00 a.m. after 32 innings (with 19 fans remaining out of the 1740 who entered the turnstiles), and won by the PawSox the following June 23rd in the bottom of the 33rd inning, after 16 minutes of play, when Marty Barrett scored on an RBI single by Dave Koza.
I could not make a trip to Rhode Island without paying a visit to the Rhode Island State House, a beautiful, classical structure completed in 1900 at the cost of just over $3 million. The Rhode Island State House boasts the fourth largest of the four famous unsupported marble domes in the world, measuring 50 feet in diameter. The top three are St. Peter’s in Rome, the Minnesota State Capitol, and the Taj Mahal. Not bad company.
On top of the dome, 224 feet above the terrace, is the statue of the Independent Man, a somewhat doughy looking fellow who is the symbol of Rhode Island’s independent spirit. Mr. Independent was cast out of 500 pounds of bronze and stands 11 feet tall, holding a spear in one hand. Would love to see a battle royale between the Independent Man and our own Sower down in Lincoln. But maybe that’s just me.
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