Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Eulogy for McCoy

And its not even dead yet.

Melvin emailed yesterday with a link to an essay in the New York Times reporting
"a group of high-powered investors announced their purchase of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Class AAA franchise of the Boston Red Sox, as well as their plans to build a shiny bauble of a stadium for the International League team in downtown Providence, the capital city just south of Pawtucket — but not Pawtucket."
The author, Dan Barry, also wrote Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game.

I am charmed by McCoy Stadium, having visited three times; in 2005 with Melvin, on my own in 2012, and with Kevin a couple years ago. McCoy was included hypothetically when what became Baseball Byways was just a concept.

The real or perceived need for state of the art ballparks is how minor league baseball operates now. PawSox fans will go through some variation of the five stages of grief. However, rather than ending with decathexis, the withdrawal of emotional investment, the process here will end with nostalgia.

Often the local fan base will abandon a team when it announces it is going to move. I doubt that will be the case here. The team isn't going that far and the "Red Sox Nation" is as loyal as they come. I bet McCoy draws record crowds in its final years. I hope to be among them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

One Week

Friday the 13th
Valentine's Day
"Obamacare" enrollment deadline
Presidents Day
Fat Tuesday
Ash Wednesday
Lunar New Year or, if you prefer, pitchers and catchers report for spring training!

Or, more precisely, the Giants, Phillies, Pirates and Reds have scheduled their first work-outs for next Thursday. "Thirteen other clubs will work out pitchers and catchers for the first time the following day," according to MLB.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Traded for Nine Paragraphs

The New York Times published yesterday an obituary of Charlie Williams, "a pitcher best known as the trade bait the Mets used to land Willie Mays in the twilight of his career...." Two-thirds of the nine paragraph obit is related in one way or another to the May 1972 trade.

Even the summation of Williams' career—23-22 in 268 games, 31 with the Mets—is preceded by the statistics for the Giants Hall of Famer. It must be strange to be remembered for something that was entirely outside of your control, although all reports indicate Williams wore it well.

Image: Associated Press

The remaining three paragraphs provide Williams' place and cause of death, survivors, and place of birth. Williams was born in Flushing, but 17 years before the Mets moved to Shea Stadium.

Image: centerfieldmaz

According to Brian Joura at Mets360, Williams is the only player in team history to hail from the Queens neighborhood. Joura's obituary runs to 14 paragraphs, provides more detail about his career—including the minors—and generally treats the player with more humanity.