Tag Archives: baseball

There’s no bleating in baseball

But first:

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This chicken shall not be grilled! – thanks to the wonderful people in my life!

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Operation chicken-rescue!

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Cats transported by me… And Queen Cece on her throne, back at my shack!

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Cece’s “Auntie” gave her cute kitty toys today …

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… plus an adorable little kitten bed and blankeys! Thank YOU, sweet Auntie!
– text+pics:R.Tirella

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There’s no bleating in baseball

By Amy Skylark Elizabeth

Dear Cubs and Indians fans,

Congratulations! As a baseball fan myself, I’m psyched to see this World Series match-up, but as someone who runs an animal sanctuary that is home to three goats, I dread seeing how the Curse of the Billy Goat is going to play out.

We baseball fans are a superstitious bunch, so I know that some Cubs fans believe that their team is in the World Series because the Curse of the Billy Goat has finally been lifted. Allow me to explain: The last time the Cubs won a World Series was in 1908. Fast forward to 1945 when they were just two wins away from clinching the title. Then, in walks a man with a goat (I kid you not). A fan named Billy Sianis took his goat, Murphy, to Wrigley field to watch game four. Even though Murphy had a ticket, he wasn’t allowed in. Legend has it that Sianis put a hex on the Cubs by declaring, “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more!” True to his prophecy, they haven’t won a World Series since.

Fast forward to today. Cue the goat abuse. Hoping to keep the Cubs curse alive, some Indians fans have been dragging goats around on leashes at Cleveland’s stadium. Just west of Indian territory, herds of Cubs fans are trying to kill the curse and extend “goodwill” to goats by groping them at local zoos. In past years, the Cubs have even tried to appease the baseball gods by trotting a goat onto the playing field to “reverse the curse.” Others are feasting on goats. According to estimates, there has been a 25 percent increase in goat meat this fall in Chicago.

None of the above would fly with my ladies. Goats do not like to be walked on leashes. I learned this the hard way when Baby Jane escaped from the pasture and into my garden. Her verdict? Leashes are bad; carrots are good.

My goats would curl their lips at having to be confined to a zoo or placed in centerfield. Every day, my girls run to greet me, wagging their tails like dogs. They know their names, and Birdie knows how to unzip my jacket pocket to help herself to treats. They like lots of room to run, play, graze, nap and climb. They have a “ruminant rec center” made from connected planks, logs and fallen trees. Many a playful head-butting battle is fought there.

A zoo could offer none of this. And petting zoos? Two words: E. coli and salmonella. Petting zoos are unhygienic hotbeds of dangerous pathogens that will definitely ruin game day if they don’t kill you first. Plus, who likes to be groped?

Prudence was so afraid of people when I first got her that it took me three months of cajoling before she would let me touch her. I am still the only one she allows to touch her, but now she stands stock still in front of me with her head bowed so that I can scratch between her horns.

All of my goats were being raised for meat before they were rescued from neglectful and abusive situations. No goat wants to be slaughtered so that Chicago eateries can offer trendy goat tacos. I also have to question whether eating more goat meat is such a smart idea when you’re trying to reverse a curse that was supposedly brought on by humiliating a goat. Really, Chicago?

The Wrigley Field officials were right to deny Murphy entrance into the stadium in 1945. Goats don’t belong at ballparks, in petting zoos or on a plate. They belong in real sanctuaries. No matter what team you root for, please be a fan of goats by donating your money or time to a local accredited sanctuary. And take it from me, a self-professed bleatnik, goats are always a blessing—never a curse.

Gordy’s parked in Rose’s space! … Worcester’s Ruby Legs!!

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Perfect Game marker. photo by Gordon Davis

By Gordon Davis

The talk by some Worcester politicians about getting the minor league Pawtucket Red Sox to move to Worcester from Rhode Island reminds me that once upon a time, Worcester had both a minor league team in the National Association and a major league team in the National League.

In 1880 the Worcester Club joined the Majors replacing the Syracuse, New York, club which went bankrupt. It seems the Worcester team was the Worcester Worcesters. Sometimes it was also known as the Brown Stockings, Brownies or the Ruby Legs.

The team played ball in the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds which were located in the general area of Becker College and divided by Highland Street.

(John) Lee Richmond was the team’s ace and stopper. Reading about him reminds me of Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1972 Carlton won 27 of the 59 games won by the Phillies.

Lee Richmond pitched three years with the Worcesters. Each year he pitched over 400 innings. His best year was when his record was 32 wins and 32 losses. It is likely the great number of innings pitched caused him arm trouble and shortened his career. He ended his playing days with the Providence Grays of the National League where he played outfield.

Richmond is probably best known for pitching the first perfect no-hit game in the Major Leagues. He did so in the second to last game of the 1880 season. It occurred in Worcester on the then Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds.

There is a marker in front of the Becker College Academic Center marking the field.

Also in the same year the Worcester club was no hit by Buffalo on the same field. The first record of a team being no hit on its home field.

In 1882 the Worcester Worcesters had such poor attendance that it financially failed. At the last game of the season there were only six paying fans. The Worcester Club was always at a disadvantage in terms of attendance. All of the other National League teams were located in cities with at least 75,000 people. Worcester at that time only had 58,000 people.

The Ruby Legs folded and the National League went looking for a club to replace Worcester. It choose the Philadelphia Quakers, a minor league team, to join the National League. The Philadelphia Quakers later became the Philadelphia Phillies of the modern baseball era.

There is some talk today about how the Worcester Worcesters moved to Philadelphia and became the Phillies. This seems not to be true. Although the Philadelphia Quakers replaced Worcester in the National League, no players nor managers nor owner went to Philadelphia.
Worcester has a long baseball history and present. The minor league Braveheart plays baseball at Holy Cross’ field. The Worcester Tornadoes, a minor league team before the Bravehearts, played in the City for many years.

Going past the Lake Park field I see the Babe Ruth League teams playing ball – many of them with players I am sure are professional hopefuls.

I have mixed feeling about the efforts to get the Pawsox to come to Worcester. It seems like a slap in face to the Bravehearts.

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Vernon Hill – you-know-what raffle – Sunday, March 20

Text and photos by Ron O’Clair

1st Photograph:

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State Senator Mike Moore and Richard “Dick” Castle who was with the Air National Guard on Skyline Drive. I have known Dick since the days he was a customer of my Father’s Texaco Station of 544 Millbury St. – back when Jimmy Carter was President and there was the Fuel Embargo, with people only able to get gas on odd or even days, according to the last number on your license plate!

2nd Photo:

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This photograph shows a lucky winner with three live lobsters from the Lobster Table. It was the only table I missed when I went out to get a smoke.

3rd Picture:

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This photo shows the lucky winner (myself!), with a Budderball 13/19 bone in ham that I chose from the last table after missing my chances at the lobsters by going out to see if my friend Gary Osher needed anything. He was waiting in my rented 2016 Nissan Sentra. I rented it from Enterprise Rental because my 1991 antique Volkswagen Golf GL is on the fritz. Then: Someone hit and run the rented Nissan the night before! Parked in front of my house! Good thing I opted for the insurance, or I would be on the hook for $3,000 in damages on the rental.

4th Photograph:

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This photo shows the last table that has my Butter Ball Ham on it.

5th Photograph:

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This picture shows the Menard family and their five children. The kids benefit from the South Worcester Baseball League run by Tom L’Ecuyer and Bill Guinette out of Maloney’s Field on Cambridge Street. That’s what this meat raffle was for – to help pay for uniforms, equipment, snacks, etc for the teams – comprised of South Worcester kids.

There was a good turnout. The 50/50 raffle paid the winner $224. So that was another $224 that went directly to the South Worcester Baseball League!

The tickets I bought amounted to $20 – out of pocket, for a good cause, at 6 tickets for $5. For each table I was there for including the 50/50 raffle.

I did alright winning the ham, and had I won the 50/50 raffle, I would have donated the proceeds to the baseball league! It is a very worthwhile thing to support our youth sports programs here in the City of Worcester!

March Baseball Registration Announcement 2016

Calling all Red Sox fans to join rally for the Jimmy Fund!

BOSTON – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund launched the 2015 Rally for the Jimmy Fund presented by Next Step Living®, a chance for Boston Red Sox fans to “rally” in their workplaces and schools leading up to Fenway Park’s Opening Day April 13 to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Rally for the Jimmy Fund encourages co-workers, classmates, and friends to form Rally teams in which each member contributes $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund. In exchange, they can wear Boston Red Sox gear to work or school on Monday, April 13 when the Sox take on the Washington Nationals at Fenway Park in the home opener.

The top fundraising workplace and school (K-12, college, or university) will win a visit from a Boston Red Sox player this spring.  There will be another opportunity to win:  all teams that raise $5,000 or more (workplace or school) will be entered to win a visit from a Boston Red Sox player.

“We’re proud to support the Rally for the Jimmy Fund as we move closer to Opening Day,” said Geoff Chapin, CEO and founder of Next Step Living. “In the spirit of the cause, Next Step Living formed its own team and will be proud to sport our Red Sox attire in April. We encourage others to create their own rally teams to support cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.”

“We’re honored to have the support of local Red Sox fans coming together to support Dana-Farber’s mission by participating in Rally for the Jimmy Fund,” said David Giagrando, assistant vice president, corporate partnerships at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. “We’re looking for everyone to fundraise with us as we head toward Opening Day at Fenway Park and hope you will join us to hit this season ‘out of the park’ for the Jimmy Fund.”

Since 2006, Rally for the Jimmy Fund has raised more than $4 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber. To start or join a Rally team or to learn more, please visit www.RallyForTheJimmyFund.org.

The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. It is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide.

They say it’s yer birthday

By Rosalie Tirella

It was the Old Injun Fighter’s birthday yesterday. Together or not, I have, during this past decade, always mailed him a birthday card and bought him a gift. This year, for the first time!, I forgot. So I called him to wish him the best on his special day.

He is a carpenter/contractor type who adores Clint Eastwood, nature, Bass ale, sparrows, chipmunks, money, seafood, rock n roll, German Shepherd dogs, trucks, vintage hand tools, a good shampoo, an even better foot massage, Cheddar cheese, sharp, with his Bass, and, up until the day she died, my mom.

My late mother adored him, too. When our relationship was at its strongest, and she hadn’t yet shown signs of the Alzheimer’s disease that made her last four years so hard, the OIF would call her from the road or a job site, to see how the Red Sox were doing during baseball season. My mom was a rabid Red Sox fan since she was 12. As a little girl growing up in Green Island she used to read HOW TO PITCH BASEBALL books or draw posters of players at the bat or have her big brother show her how to hold your hips when swinging a bat. In her early 20s she used to have the radio blaring in the kitchen of the good Bishop’s house, where she and her two sisters worked as his housekeepers and cooks – and listened to the Sox games. Sometimes the good Bishop of Springfield would pop his head in through the swinging doors and ask my mom: How are the Red Sox doing? They would all discuss the situation and vow to pray for the team. In her old age, she always had the Sox play schedule right next to her prayer cards on the little side table that sat next to her easy chair, the one in front of the TV, the one where she had artfully arranged what she needed in her 80s: Red Sox schedule, rosary, prayer cards, cup of coffee, decorative box that held here apartment key, small photos of her three daughters.

But I digress. I was saying when the OIF and I were good, he’d talk baseball with my mom, sometimes, even stopping buy her little studio apartment in the seniors housing complex where she lived to watch the game for a few innings. I was not invited. I am not at all interested in baseball, and they both knew it. Plus, I loved the fact that this smart, self-sufficient, tough guy, the Clint Eastood of my life, would spend a few hours with an old lady, sipping coffee, maybe eating a Danish that she had served him. My mom, up until the last few years of her life, always loved playing the hostess with the mostess. Coffee? Danish? Fruit? Orange juice? She’d sit you down, get the treats out, serve them to you, walking a bit unsteadily with the plates of treats. The coffee maker drip drip dripped the fresh Maxwell House.

So there they were. The sweet old lady, the not-so-sweet contractor sharing special time. Quality time. Cheering on our our boys of summer.

Most men, especially alpha males like the OIF, don’t make it a point to spend a few hours keeping an old lady company. But the OIF knew my mom knew her baseball and watched every Sox game on her big color TV. He knew she’d put the plays in context, tell him how Ortiz was doing this season or why some one was outa commission or not concentrating the way he was last season. Sometimes, when I was visiting her, the OIF would call from a work site to get the score. I’d ask my mom and then begin to explain… He’d say, tersely, Put your mother on.

She knew the score and more. So I’d say, Ma. He wants to know what’s going on with the game, and she’d toddle over, looking small and cute in her little flowered print housecoat and then … with the receiver gripped tightly tell him, very seriously, the numbers of foul balls and homeruns, the plays tripping off her lips. She’d tell him everything. It was as if she were speaking a different language! She was serious, very serious, and sometimes grabbed the phone from me with a purposefulness that was a little hurtful. When it came to her beloved Red Sox, my mother didn’t fuck around.

The OIF respected her for that. Maybe even loved her for it. He admired loyal people, someone who’d ride shot gun with you as you drove your stage coach through life. My mom, so small, dumpling shaped at the end, was your best friend if she loved you, someone willing to sacrifice her life for yours. She rode shot gun for her three girls her whole life.

And so when I called the ex to wish him a happy birthday, I thought of my mother, who always was so kind to him, even if he and I were not being so kind to each other. She didn’t take sides. She saw his strong points and always respected him for them. If only I had done the same!

I know you still love me, I told the Old Injun Fighter. It just didn’t work.

He sounded sad when he said, quietly, I love you. Nothing more. Lean prose were always his forte.

Happy Birthday, I said, wiping the tears outa my eyes, glad he couldn’t see the tears, then shutting my cell phone off to ponder my losses.