Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday night in Pawtucket

Spent the night in lovely Pawtucket, Rhode Island watching the AAA Pawsox do battle with the dreaded Buffalo Bisons. Arrived back home in East Haddam, Ct. just in time for the power to go back on – 30 hours after it had gone off.

The Pawtucket announcer is Dan Hoard, who was my partner when I broadcast for Syracuse in 1988. (Quick trivia note: when David Isaacs and I wrote the episode of THE SIMPSONS where Homer becomes a minor league mascot, I played the voice of the team announcer and gave him the name Dan Hoard.)

Dan and his current partner, Steve Hyder, graciously invited me to sit in and do some play-by-play. Proud to say that even though I hadn’t announced an inning in well over a year I was still in mid-season minor league form. I screwed up a home run call and a strike out.

There’s nothing like minor league baseball and being back at McCoy Stadium. As an added touch of class, after the game they invited Boy and Girl Scout troops to pitch tents in the outfield and camp out all night while on the Diamondvision Board they showed THE ROOKIE. The whole experience made me nostalgic for my days in the bushes and some of the characters I encountered. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of these tales.

One of my favorites was on a Syracuse Chiefs broadcast the year after I had left to call games for rival Tidewater. The Chiefs were in Omaha playing the Royals. My replacement was on the air. He had this habit of looking down at his statistics and occasionally missing things. A batter, Nick Capra just got hit by a pitch. This announcer looked down at his stats to give some arcane statistic. When he looked back up at the field this is what he said, “Ohmygod! There’s a CRAZED MADMAN running out onto the field!!! No, wait. It’s the Omaha trainer.”

I don’t feel so bad about my blown home run call. If nothing else, it gave me a chance to plug the title of my book – “It’s Gone!…No, Wait a Minute.”


Anonymous said...

Camping on a ball field seems to be the in thing...I just read a story in the paper about people doing that at the Giants home (the fancy downtown San Francisco stadium they're in now--PacBell? I never know what the names are these days. All I'm sure of is it's not the place where Ross Martin died on the pitcher's mound at the end of EXPERIMENT IN TERROR).

Anonymous said...

Saw Kason Gabbard's debut last week. Pawtucket got him back yet? (Snark aside, he's got potential, just a bad day for the sox.)

As an aside, Jane Espenson talks about Cheers scripts. Any comment?

Mary Stella said...

I've been to the Pawsox games. Terrific fan loyalty for the AAA team.

VP81955 said...

Dan Hoard replaced Dave Jageler on Pawsox games; Dave is now the #2 guy to Charlie Slowes on Washington Nationals games. In fact, in today's Washington Times, Dick Heller has a nice piece on Charlie, who's a joy to listen to even when the Nats aren't.

Anonymous said...

Your story reminds me of when you called games for the M's back in 1992.
The 3rd inning was all yours but I dont think they scored for you until after the all-star break. Yep good times in a 98 loss season. By the way has Bill Plummer been spotted since?