Sunday, Aug. 26—Today’s game started at the unusually early time of 1:05 p.m., so it was the bottom of the third inning with no score when I arrived at The Dutch after singing at noon Mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit. John and Mike, whom I had alerted yesterday about my late arrival, quickly updated me and I settled in to watch the Renegades defeat Aberdeen 3-0 to sweep the series (their third series sweep in a row), extend their season-high victory streak to nine games and extend their lead over Brooklyn to seven games.
Richie Shaffer drove in two runs (Felix Gonzalez and Joey Rickard) in the sixth while Leonardo Reginatto dropped a sacrifice bunt to send Marty Gantt across the plate with an insurance run in the eighth. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
IronBird first baseman Cameron Edman, today’s K-man, came through for the fans with two strikeouts, which meant a free round of miniature golf at Fun Central in Wappingers Falls. Realizing that I was not going to get to Fun Central in time to use them, I gave my accumulated chits and ticket stubs for mini golf to young Thomas and his family, with whom I had a nice chat after the game.
It was quite warm in the afternoon sun, so warm that the family in the Interstate Battery seats abandoned the front row for a shadier location shortly after I arrived. But the seats were soon filled by the teacher (along with his family) who took Susanne’s place in the North Rockland Central School District when she retired, so I had pleasant company and good conversation all around me today.
Besides my late arrival, the only downside was the glare on the scoreboard and my scorebook. Sunglasses definitely were in order, although mine have seen better days, making it a challenge to see details as well as I would have liked. Adding to the challenge was the shadow cast by my hand as I was writing. Oh, well, if that was my biggest problem today I should be grateful to the good Lord (which I was).
The early game start left plenty of time for some special post-game activities on what is traditionally a family-oriented day at The Dutch. First was an opportunity to work out on the outfield with fitness guru Larysa DiDio, a vibrant woman who quickly had several hundred folks (including a few Renegades) going through an exercise regimen. I remained in the shade in the first-base picnic area with Hal and Grant, partly because I was still in my good churchgoing clothes (I had put my Renegades jersey on over my dress shirt, tie and choir cross as I left church and hurried to the stadium) and partly because of an opportunity to partake of leftover hot dogs, hamburgers and watermelon (I had not yet eaten today).
The workout was followed by a concert by American Idol contestant Tim Urban, who performed from an impromptu stage on the back of a flatbed truck that set up shop behind home plate. Tim graciously posed for pictures during the setup and after the concert.
I did not remain inside the stadium for the full post-game program but shifted back and forth to the corral, where celebration was in high gear. We had a nice chat with Charles Epperson, whose hand I had shaken as he passed the picnic area, and the newest Renegade, Jordan Harrison, who looked sharp Saturday as he threw 3.1 scoreless and hitless innings. Jose Molina gave hugs to me and several other fans. Joe, the setup man for Tim Urban, joined us for a most appreciated beer after the concert. After the players departed we became the beneficiaries of some leftover eggplant parmesan, complements of Paul’s son, John, the assistant clubhouse manager.
Because of the early hour there was no sign of our regular wildlife, but we left our leftovers by the garbage bin for the critters. When I got home, however, I saw different sorts of wildlife as I took Bob Gantt’s suggestion to watch Call of the Wildman on Animal Planet. For four episodes totaling two hours I watched as the Turtle Man and his “Live Action!” team rescued and relocated assorted creatures ranging from a groundhog that chewed its way into a cask at a winery to snapping turtles in a hog wallow and a golf course pond to an escaped emu. Bob was right—it was fascinating subject matter.
Renegades’ Victory Streak Snapped on Staten Island
Monday, Aug. 27—With the Renegades on the road on Staten Island I was all set to field Round 2 of Home Run Derby at The Dutch when I received a call from Bob Hand around 4:30 p.m. informing me that the derby had been canceled because a local downpour had left a lake on part of the field. Bob and I briefly debated whether we should go to Staten Island to see the Renegades play the Yankees. I declined, given the unlikely prospect of getting from northern Westchester through rush-hour traffic to Staten Island by the 7 p.m. game time, and instead gave my lawn a much-needed mowing.
Bob told me later that he had gone to the game from his Elmsford office, arriving in the sixth inning to see the Yankees snap Hudson Valley’s nine-game winning streak 8-3. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
While none of us wanted to see the Gades lose, a few of us had suggested over the weekend that a loss or two before the end of the regular season might be a good reality check, reminding the team to play hard and take nothing for granted—as long as it’s only a game or two and doesn’t become habit forming!
Next home game: Tuesday, Aug. 28 vs. Staten Island Yankees, first pitch 7:05 p.m.