Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Boys of Summer's Going Out of Season Sale

Tomorrow night after an absence of seven years, the turf at Dodd Stadium in Norwich will be in use this late in September as the Connecticut Defenders (the Double A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants), regular season champions of the Northern Division of the Eastern League (Double A) meet the New Britain Rock Cats in the first round of the 2009 playoffs.

I'm a Yankees fan-you may be a Red Sox fan. The guy down the street could be a born-again Rastafarian country and western fan but we can all root, root, root for the home team in one of the great places to watch baseball in the history of Western Civilization (DANGER! Will Robinson! Hyperbole alert!), aside from Yankee Stadium, of course (I told you I was a Yankees' fan, right?), so you really should think about catching a game to help celebrate the end of summer.

What's not to like? Dodd Stadium is close, the seats are great and cheap (maybe inexpensive is a more elegant word, but you get my point), parking is on site and a bargain, refreshments (to include both sparkling and bubbling), as well as eats of all kinds, aren't going to cost you your child's college tuition, and the quality of baseball is excellent. This hasn't exactly been the Summer of Love in these parts in a number of areas, so why not put the world on pause for two and half hours and watch young guys chase their dream across a patch of grass so green you'd swear it was painted, except it's not. Does a heart good some time to watch people do something they love for a living.

Read a sports page and make a note of how many guys on the Giants' roster were here in the last two or three years. It's staggering, so the team here is doing its job and getting guys up to The Show. But you know what? None of that means anything now. It's the playoffs; our team against those other guys, and the Defenders need to win six games to be crowned Eastern League Champions. The Rock Cats are a perennial EL power, but this season the Defenders have owned them.

It's a best of five series and game time Wednesday is 6:35. Wear or bring something warm as it can get chilly that high up on the hill at the stadium this late in the season-haven't had to worry about that for awhile, but it's nice to be rummaging around for a sweater while thinking about grabbing for that brass ring to crown the ride on the merry-go-round. It's great to be part of the human chorus of a Baseball Song.
-bill kenny

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