In the late '90s, I was a fan of a Providence-based indie band called Purple Ivy Shadows. I knew of them and got to know the band members through friends who were mutual inhabitants of a similar music scene, but I've remained friendly with, and a fan of subsequent projects by, singer/guitarist Chris Daltry, a charming southernish gentleman who once was a batboy for the Richmond Braves.
I'm pretty sure Chris used to live—and maybe still does—in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He still plays music, currently in a rootsy band called the 'Mericans, when he's not running What Cheer Antiques and Vintage, the store he co-owns and operates with his wife.
Purple Ivy Shadows' most acclaimed record was probably 1997's No Less the Trees Than the Stars—although 1999's White Electric is probably my personal favorite—and its opening track was a song named for the aforementioned Providence suburb. It's a good song, no doubt, but the thing about it that has stuck with me for all these years: Daltry's raspy/twangy song-closing rendering of the word Pawtucket, whether intentionally or not, sounds an awful lot like "aww fuck it."
Alright, so I'll admit that was a rather pointless intro to a post about an outing to baseball game, but KJ and I took the boy to his second game this past weekend, a Labor Day trip to McCoy Stadium, home of the AAA International League Pawtucket Red Sox.
Their opponent for their final regular season game was the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (or Empire State, whichever it is) Yankees. In the alternative reality that is the International League, the Yankees did not squander a comfortable division lead and the Red Sox also qualified for the playoffs as a wild card. In fact, this game was just a tune-up for a postseason series between the two teams.
I'm really curious as to why this matchup is happening in the first round, considering Indianapolis finished with the league's best regular season record. In most playoff systems, that would draw them the wild card. I even asked Tamar Chalker (@jeterian on Twitter), who writes about the Yankees minor league system for It's About the Money, Stupid, but even she didn't know the answer.
It then occurred to me that, with the exception of the players involved and the fans in those smaller cities and towns, nobody really cares about the minor league playoffs. Even a writer covering those teams for a major league team-oriented blog is really only interested in how the prospects are doing. But, Tamar's interest in finding the answer seemed seriously piqued, so maybe this mystery will eventually be solved.
Monday's game was Little Chuck's second professional baseball game and he was just as well-behaved as the first, lasting until around the 8th inning before he started acting a little overtired. This time he stayed awake, though, but mom and dad had work to do back at the home front, so we left early.
I'm not even going to try to give the impression I paid much attention to the game. I saw former Boston Red Sox Darnell McDonald hit a solo homer for the Yankees, but beyond that I can't really recount the highlights. I could look them up, of course, but so could you, and minor league game recaps are not what you're here for. (What are you here for, while I'm on the subject?)
At this point, a ballgame is basically just a family outing to a place we enjoy spending time. McCoy Stadium is a great little park, with an added bonus being—for parents who might otherwise be stressed about whether or not they sufficiently applied sunscreen to their pale little baby of German, Irish, English and northern Italian descent—a good percentage of seating is in the shade.
While we're on the subject of family-related amenities, the changing station in the men's room was adequate and, more importantly, situated in a spot that wasn't over-run with traffic. There was also a family restroom, which we strategically used so we could take turns holding LC while the other took care of business. (I'm sure KJ will be pleased I included that detail.) The concourses were quite congested, however. Actually, they weren't that crowded, but since New Englanders walk like they drive, we felt like we were constantly trying to avoid people running into us while carrying the little guy. In fact, at one point KJ used her arm to shield LC from being brushed by a bag of garbage carried by a PawSox employee. Needless to say, she was not pleased.
Overall, though, Little Chuck's second baseball game was a successful adventure. We did finally find an infant-sized ball cap suitable for a boy and it looks nothing like the Bosox ripoff that is the standard PawSox cap: