I am finally back from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was there earlier this week as the sideline reporter for the Versus Network during the recently contested TripleA World Series at Isotopes Park. Thanks to I.L. President Randy Mobley for inviting me to participate. The highlight of the evening for me, was the interview I conducted with All-Time, Los Angeles Dodger Great, Steve Garvey. Garvey answered all my questions thoughtfully and patiently. He was in the “Duke City”, where he played Double A ball as a young Dodger farmhand. Garvey looks like he could still put on a uniform and hit .300 for somebody. I also had the chance to speak to Pat O’Connor, the Pesident of Minor League Baseball as well as Ken Young, the congenial owner of the Isotopes and the Norfolk Tides. Young was involved with the opening of the Providence Civic Center, back in the bearly 70’s. It was a pleasure to join forces with Robert Portnoy and, believe it or not, Bucky Dent, on the broadcast.
My trip home left a lot to be desired. My Delta flight that was scheduled to leave New Mexico at 8:50 a.m. didn’t depart the “Land of Enchantment” until after 12:15 p.m. The $6.00 food voucher handed out by Delta did little to soothe the savage beast. After a nondescript trek to Atlanta, I endured a layover of more than three hours there. Absoultely exhausted, I finally landed at Green Airport in Warwick, R.I. at 11:30 p.m. It was a long and completely wasted day.
This Saturday will mark the seasons’ final episode of “PawSox Insider”. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, the PawSox will conduct their annual Season Ticket holder and Sponsors’ batting practice at McCoy Stadium. It is one of the most fun and successful events of the year. Fans, CEO’s, workers, men, women, young and old get the chance to hit catch and throw on the same field as their heroes. After they’ve tired themselves out, they are treated to a terrific ballpark lunch under the red and white tent on the first base side at McCoy. Everyone leaves smiling. I sit by the batting cage and introduce the hitters over the P.A. system. It is one of the highlights of the year.
I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a R.I. legend. Former Providence College Basketball Coach Dave Gavitt passed away last week. I know Gavitt was so much more than a basketball coach, but that was how I heard of him first. I was a young kid growing up in Newport. My best friend was a transistor radio that took me away to where ever the Friars were playing. Chris Clark was my eyes and ears and he turned me into a Friar Fanatic. Names like Jim Larranaga, Ernie Di Gregorio, Kevin Stacom and Marvin Barnes became more familiar to me than the Presidents and statesmen I studied in school. Dave Gavitt was the architect of sports greatness that this state may never see again. I still wonder, 38 years later, what might have happened if Barnes didn’t get injured in that national semi-final game against Memphis State. Thanks, Coach. Thanks for the memories.