The Stuff Childhood is Made Of

Thursday night lights.  Rockport Little League Play-offs, Major B. Game One.

A sweet little Thursday night game under the lights at Parisi Field with the High School field of dreams looming in the background.

National Anthem, 6 innings, team BBQ (for both teams of course), laughter, running, more laughter, and then ice cream over at the Dairy Train.

Quintessential small-town Little League and the stuff that childhood is made of.


Game 1 Intertown Twilight League Championship Manchester-Essex Vs. Rowley

The Manchester Essex Mariners and the Rowley Rams squared off Saturday afternoon in game one of their best of 5 championship series. Manchester-Essex Mariners took control early and won the opener 9-3. Rory Gentile got the win and Mike Cain went deep for the game’s only home run.


Founded in 1929, The Intertown Twilight League is the oldest active amateur baseball league in the country, and is recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame as such.


Game 2 of the series is played Sunday at 4:00PM in Rowley with Game 3 on Wednesday at 5:30PM back at Memorial Field in Essex.

Live Red Sox v Twins Update

Well, it’s my last Sox game of the trip, and it’s a night game!!! This weather has been perfect, and the boys are looking great.
It’s the top of the 3rd, and no score. But Pedroia just let one slip past. Rare. Stay tuned for some night photos.

Sitting just behind 1st, sweetness!

LIVE FROM FENWAY SOUTH: Twins @Sox – #gloucesterma, #fenwaysouth, #theherd

Game Time folks! And guess who wants my autograph first??
Colin Cowherd!

Then he has a moment. ( Most do when they finally meet me)

Hate the shirt, not the season.

Oh, and my sponsor and favorite Sox Fan, JOANY!!!

What a park!!

The retired folks waiting room to heaven.

Stay tuned for game time updates all week!!
#craigshoots to follow!

Live Spring Training!! Bon Voyage!! #gloucesterma

And I’m off to FENWAY South to report on the RedSox! JetBlue would like to remind everyone leaving Boston that your leaving Title Town. BOOOOM #


imagejetblue, #bestairline

It appears that only one is missing…

Stay tuned for live updates from the games!


I’m feeling a little down and out as the 2014 Red Sox season comes to an all-too-early-end this coming weekend.  I find myself reminiscing back to Opening Day and the giddiness that comes with new possibilities, green grass, crisp white uniforms, cold beer, Sweet Caroline, the boys of summer, and magical nights inside the hallowed grounds of the one and only Fenway Park.

Opening Days, especially those that involve a ring ceremony, always give me the chills.  I can’t get enough of the sound of the crowd, the vivid colors that blend together to paint a portrait like none other, and the goosebumps. I’ve been fortunate to breathe in the awesomeness of Opening Days from the field.  To look up and around….to pan the crowd…and see it in almost slow motion.   It may come as no surprise that I may possibly be the world’s biggest sap, but Opening Day gets to me in a way that I have trouble putting into words.  So, it isn’t supposed to end this way. The years with no post season play feel like a year without Christmas, July 4th, beach days, and grapefruit beer.  The horror.

For me, it isn’t just the baseball.  The post season is about the camaraderie that is palpable while ordering your morning coffee after a late night win, while coexisting with strangers during mundane errands prior to rushing home for the first pitch, or while cheering on the Sox at a local bar.  Never mind the 9 inning marriage of 37,400 fans cheering on the team inside the park!  It is impossible to not feel like all of Red Sox Nation are immediate best friends come late September and October….if, that is, we’ve made it.  Which, of course, we haven’t.

With no wild card run, American League Divisional Series, American League Championship Series….and, sigh, no World Series….I’m feeling like I’ve just arrived to a luxurious beach vacation and the weather forecast is calling for 7 straight days of torrential rain.  And that, my friends, may be an understatement.

Sure, we’ll fill these fall days with plenty of fun…but, something will be missing for sure.

















Take Yourself Out to the Ball Game (and maybe bring the family)

Absolutely… spending a day at Fenway Park is one of the best ways to enjoy a day here in the Boston area, but, let’s be honest, it is not always that easy to score tickets that are affordable.  And…if you have young children, you can’t guarantee they’ll care much about the game.  I’ve seen more grumpy moms and dads grudgingly leave the ballpark because their young child was “done.”  OR….you spend a gazillion dollars on ice cream, popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, big foam fingers, Wallys, inflatable bats, and other souvenirs as tokens of hush money….all to no avail.  3rd inning…out the door.

I’ll never recover from a day a few years ago when I brought Thatcher onto the field with me pre game to take photos of the players warming up.  He was a super cute 4 year old at the time and was wearing a “Pedroia” shirt. We walked past the dugout and Kevin Youkilis started to raz Thatch for not wearing his # instead. Within a minute Thatcher had the attention of Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Josh Beckett.  They were all chatting him up and joking with him and I couldn’t have been happier.  Thatch?….you may ask.  Over the moon?…you may assume. Well, not exactly. After a minute of tolerating the attention, he turned to me and said, “Can we go back to our seats before Finn eats all the popcorn?”  Alrightly then.  Bye guys.

So, while my boys are now old enough to love Red Sox games, and they get through a whole 9 innings or more with only a little bit of bribing, it is still something that we can really only pull off a couple of times each summer.

The solution??   Three words.  Minor League Games!   My boys are almost just as happy to head to the Lowell Spinners, the Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox), and, hopefully soon, the Portland Sea Dogs.  The venues are incredibly family friendly, affordable, and FUN.  The children get much closer access to the players and can often times score themselves a run around the bases, an autograph opportunity, or a chance to catch something chucked into the stands in between innings.

I, just a moment ago, received an email from the Spinners reminding me of the Family Sleepover.  Come on….talk about fun for kids!   You go to the game, head back to the car for a minute, grab your tent and gear, set up shop, watch a movie on the scoreboard, and spend the night sleeping on the field.

If you have a budding baseball fan in the family and haven’t taken advantage of the minor league teams in our area, you’re missing out.  I highly recommend looking into tickets….and, might I add, there really isn’t bad seat in any of those houses!

Play Ball my friends!

Family Sleep Over at the Lowell Spinners

The Lowell Spinners

The Pawtucket Red Sox

The Portland Sea Dogs



Defy Terror This Weekend

As I pointed out in this post, non-violent defiance is the best weapon against tyranny.  This weekend we all have a chance to defy the terrorists by going out as planned.  If you haven’t yet made plans, there’s even more going on than we knew about when we posted yesterday.  Tonight alone, you’ve got a choice of 10 shows starting at 6pm.  See the full live music schedule here.  Plus it’s Earth Day Weekend with over 20 Cape Ann events planned and nicely mapped out for you by our boy Joey here.

Whether it’s music, movies, eco-scavenger-hunting, shredding, clean-up, planting … whatever … don’t be shy — defy!  Let Music & Mother Nature cleanse your soul.

Even Yankee fans are showing us love by singing our tune …

Dylan Maki starts in Exhibition game against the Red Sox

Congratulations to Northeastern University Baseball Captain Dylan Maki former GHS Student Athlete for his performance in an outing, pitching against the Boston Red Sox last week.  (story in Gloucester Daily Times)

Dylan Maki0009

This photo was taken during the playoff game his senior year at Gloucester High School in which he threw 173 pitches to defeat St John’s Prep.

How Does Curt Schilling Get Inducted Into The Red Sox Hall of Fame and Not Pedro Martinez?

I just read on the Eagle Tribune’s Smitty on Baseball that  that Curt Schilling will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.  Looking at the list of inducted players I see that Pedro Martinez isn’t in there.  How can that possibly be?

If it wasn’t for Pedro’s willingness to throw inside and intimidate opposing players I just don’t see us winning a World Series. Pedro played for the Red Sox from 97-2004 and was dominant throughout.  Schilling had two good years and then was injured for his remaining two.   This is ridiculous in my opinion.  Your thoughts?

From wikipedia-

Pedro Martinez Red Sox 1997-2004-

The seven-year contract he received from the Red Sox had been considered a huge risk in the 1997 offseason, but Martínez had rewarded the team’s hopes with two Cy Young Awards, and six Top-4 finishes. Martínez finished his Red Sox career with a 117–37 record, the highest winning percentage any pitcher has had with any team in baseball history.

Curt Schilling with the Boston Red Sox 2004-2008

On October 19, 2004, Schilling won Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. Notably, he won this game playing on an injured ankle—the same injuries that contributed to his disastrous outing in Game 1 of the ALCS. These injuries were so acute that by the end of his performance that day his white sock was soaked with blood, which is now referred to as “the bloody sock”. Following the game, Schilling took the famous sock and threw it away in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse. The win forced a Game 7, making the Red Sox the first team in MLB history to come back from a three-games-to-none deficit. The Red Sox would go on to win Game 7 and the ALCS and make their first World Series appearance since 1986. Schilling pitched (and won) Game 2 of the 2004 World Series for the Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals. In both series, he had to have the tendon in his right ankle stabilized repeatedly, in what has become known as theSchilling Tendon Procedure, after the tendon sheath was torn during his Game 1 ALDS appearance against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As in Game 6 of the ALCS, Schilling’s sock was soaked with blood from the sutures used in this medical procedure, but he still managed to pitch seven strong innings, giving up one run on four hits and striking out four. This second bloody sock was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame after Boston’s victory over St. Louis in the World Series. A four-game sweep of the World Series erased the Curse of the Bambino.

Schilling was once again runner-up in Cy Young voting in 2004, this time to Minnesota Twins hurler Johan Santana, who was a unanimous selection, receiving all 28 first-place votes. Schilling received 27 of the 28 second-place votes. Later, the entire Red Sox team was named Sports Illustrated’s 2004 Sportsmen of the Year, making Schilling only the second person to have won or shared that award twice.

Schilling began 2005 on the disabled list due to recurrent ankle injuries. He returned in July as Boston’s closer. He eventually returned to the starting rotation and continued to struggle. The Red Sox made it to the playoffs, but were swept by the Chicago White Sox in three games.

For the 2006 season, Schilling was said to be healthy. He began the season 4–0 with a 1.61 ERA. He finished the year with a 15–7 record and 198 strikeouts, with a respectable 3.97 ERA. On May 27, he earned his 200th career win, the 104th major league pitcher to accomplish the feat.[6] On August 30, Schilling collected his 3,000th strikeout. Schilling has the highest ratio of strikeouts to walks of any pitcher with at least 3,000 strikeouts, and is one of four pitchers to reach the 3,000-K milestone before reaching 1,000 career walks. The other three who accomplished this feat are Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddux, and former Boston Red Sox ace and teammate Pedro Martínez.[citation needed]

Gloucester American 11-year olds Win District Championship

The Gloucester American 11-year All-Star Team won the Massachusetts District 15 Little League Jimmy Fund Tournament with a 7-5 win over the former two-time champion Danvers American.  The score was tied 5-5 after six innings of regulation play, and the game was extended three extra innings before Jeremy McCollum’s walk-off 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning sealed the victory Gloucester.


Gloucester advanced to the playoff round by winning 3 of its 4 games in Pool Play.  Gloucester first “mercy-ruled” Amesbury 10-0 in 4 innings to open the tournament.  Gloucester then lost its sole defeat in the tournament 5-4 to the hands of Hamilton-Wenham.  Gloucester came back to beat Beverly East 7-1.  Gloucester closed out Pool Play with a 13-3 victory over Manchester in 5 innings to advance to the playoff round.  Pool play featured 2 home runs by staff ace Eric Chalmers, as well as a home run apiece for Jake Horrigan and Jeremy McCollum.

Gloucester’s playoffs started with a 10-4 win over Middleton.  Gloucester received stellar pitching from workhorse Willie Moore, who helped to keep Middleton to just 2 runs over the first 4 innings.  Offensively, Horrigan, Matt Smith, Salvi Costanzo, and Cody Burke each scored two runs for Gloucester in opening playoff round.

In the semi-finals, Gloucester faced top seed Beverly West, who came into the game with five victories and no defeats, and leading all teams in scoring.  Beverly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  Gloucester fought back in the bottom of the first with three consecutive doubles by Smith, Chalmers, and Costanzo, followed by a single by Jon-Jon Mondello, and ended the inning up 4-2.  Beverly West came back with 4 runs of their own in the top of the third to go up 6-4, but the lead was short lived.  Gloucester battled back in the bottom of the third with back to back solo home runs by Costanzo and McCollum to tie the score at 6-6.  Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth, but the dynamic duo of Costanzo and McCollum struck again in the 5th inning.  With Costanzo on base, McCollum hit his second home run of the night to put Gloucester ahead 8-6.  From there, Gloucester’s defense took over, shutting Beverly West down the rest of the game.

Near record heat of 104 degrees was the top story of the day as Gloucester faced Danvers American in the winner take all Mass District 15 Little League 11 Year Old Jimmy Fund Tournament final, which was hosted by both Danvers National and Danvers American Little Leagues. Gloucester jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when McCollum’s first homer of the night, followed an RBI single by Costanzo.  Danvers battled back scoring single runs in both the second and the third inning to bring the score to 3-2, with each team having left the bases loaded on one occasion.

Danvers went on the offensive in the fourth inning, plating 3 runs and taking a 5-3 lead.  But lightning struck twice as for the second night in a row, Gloucester received back to back solo home runs from Costanzo and McCollum, and tied the score at 5-5 after 4 innings.

Costanzo relieved starting pitcher Mondello in the sixth inning and pitched 4 solid innings of shutout baseball. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Gloucester made a bid for the victory.  Smith led off with a single.  Following a hit batter, Costanzo singled into left center field, but a perfect throw by centerfielder Matt Reidy and a strong play by Danvers catcher Max D’Amora nailed Smith at the plate.

The game was held scoreless for the next two innings as both teams held defensively.  In the bottom of the third extra inning Smith led off with a single.  Two outs later, Jeremy McCollum hit a walk-off round tripper, his third of the game, and his fifth over two days, to seal the victory for Gloucester.

The Gloucester team included Cody Burke, Eric Chalmers, Eric Cilluffo, Salvi Costanzo, Adam Goodick, Jake Horrigan Evan Leaf, Jeremy McCollum, Jon-Jon Mondello, Willie Moore, Chris Noyes, and Matt Smith.  The team was coached by Chip Smith, Donny Chalmers, and Jack Costanzo.

The coaches praised the total team effort that helped bring the championship to Gloucester.  While McCollum stole the show with his home run extravaganza, the coaches noted that the title would not have been possible without the hustle, defense, and stellar pitching delivered throughout the tournament.  Coaches offered special praise for baserunning of Cilluffo and Goodick, the hustle plays of Noyes, the catching support of Leaf, and some spectacular defensive plays by Horrigan, Chalmers, and Smith.  The pitching was led by Chalmers, McCollum, Mondello and Costanzo.  Collectively, the team blasted a dozen home runs, as McCollum (6), Chalmers (2), Horrigan (2), and Costanzo (2) each went long on multiple occasions.