Monday, July 27, 2015



5-22 Jun

Leaving NJ crossing into NY taking I 95 was an outrages toll fee to cross the George Washington Bridge of $76.00. Once in a life time, don’t want to do that again.

We are staying at Hanscom AFB just outside of Boston, MA. This is the place I was looking forward to all summer to get the chance to see my favorite baseball player and Kent State Alumni Travis Shaw.  Also, to see current Kent State baseball players playing summer league games in Cape Cod, MA and Keene, NH. Of course we had to throw in a few Capitol Buildings and National Parks.

Our first (all day) trip was to Cape Cod to visit Cape Cod National Seashore (part of the National Park Service). It was an overcast light rainy day; we walked the nature trail and headed to the seashore. There we saw the light house. It had to be moved as the cliff I was located on is starting to erode and fall into ocean. The light house is now located across the street and the beaches were closed off so we could not go down.  Just down the road the famous three sister light house now stand as an exhibit to the past. These three light house stood to tell ships coming into the harbor that they are at the half way point.

With a day of history behind us, we were off to see a College Summer League game in the famous Cap Code League. I decided to see the game between Bourne Braves and Orleans Firebirds to see two current Kent State players. Neither one of them pitched in this game as they are starting pitchers and is on a set rotation. All Cap Code League games are free to attend. Today’s game was played in Orleans on a high school field. As I arrived to the field a ball rolled to the outfield wall and I ask the player if he knew Andy Ravel number. I then asked for the ball and he gave it to me. My milestone 100th ball a Cap Code League from Keegun Akin (LHP) from Western Michigan. I would get one more homerun practice ball. When batting practice was completed Andy came to me without me having to call out his name. We introduced ourselves and I got a picture with him. Just as he was leaving Eric Lauer came over to say hi. I got a picture with him too. It help that I was wearing my Kent State sweatshirt and baseball hat. Both of these pitchers are in the weekend rotation and were drafted out of high school two years ago, but decided to attend Kent State. If they stay healthy both have a good shot at getting drafted again in 2016 or 2017.

Andy Ravel
 Eric Lauer

As for the game I would get two more game used balls and when walking back to the car found one in the bullpen for a total of five ball night. When Andy left the field to get on the bus he came over and thank me for coming out. Eric was stuck on the field racking the infield dirt. Now for the two hour drive back to Hanscom AFB.

One ball not pictured

Hiromi was dead tired and I let her rest as I drove to Rhode Island to see the Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox AAA). I was not on the hunt for any baseballs as I was there to see my favorite player Travis Shaw. McCoy field is different from most minor league fields. You are not at field level and feels like you are in a Rome Gladiator Arena. The only way to get a players autograph is to hang it down over the railing and call the players name hoping he signs it. I had a 5x7 Kent State Alumni photo and shouted his name, few second later it was signed. The guy next to me was there for over an hour with nothing signed, must have been beginners luck. I looked in my bag and could not find my camera, I left it back in the RV, good thing I have one more Pawtucket game on my list. Justin Masterson was on rehab and stated the game for the PawSox. As the game was over I went to the player’s parking lot to see if I could get any more Travis Shaw autographs on his baseball cards. He came out with his wife so I did not bother him for an autograph. Better luck next week.

Fans fishing for autographs
(Double click to see pic better)

Day three, and third baseball game in a row. This time I’m in Keene, NH to see the New England Collegiate Baseball League game. I’m here to watch Kent State Freshman reliever Zach Willeman playing for Keene Bats.  I was there for batting practice balls, but the league requires that you give them back. You can keep only game used balls. Zach was in the outfield shagging fly balls around the outfield fence. I walked over to lean on the fence, he saw my Kent State hat and came over and started talking to me. We talked for a while and told me that he would sign and take a picture with me when the gates opened.  Tickets were $5, but military ID was free. Free baseball games ... living the dream. After the team ate dinner, Zach walked to the dugout and I waved to him. He came off the field to talk, sign and took a picture with me. During the game I got one ball, put never took a picture of it with the field view. With the Keene Bats leading, Zach;s number was called on to close the door in the 9th and earned the team’s first win and his first save of the season.  After the game he came over one last time to thank me for coming out to supporting him and the team.  

I do have to say all three players from Kent State are class acts. Coach Duncan and Coach Berbeck are doing it right at Kent State.
  For a little history we visited the Minute Man National Historic Park, just outside the main gate of Hascom AFB. This is where the British Soldiers went to the fatherest point of the colonist to cease all the hidden weapons. Long story short, if not for Dawes, Revere and Prescott the British would have arrived without warning. Dawes retreated, Revere was captured (released later) and Prescott who fled capture to speed the word. When the British came to the farm house along the bridge the colonist defended their grounds driving the British all the way back to Boston. The bridge that stands today is not the original, it’s the six bridge built on the exact site. There is a grave stone for the British Soldiers who lost their lives that day. There is also a 6 mile trail for walking or bike from the visitor center to the bridge. We were waking in the footsteps of American history.

My second game at McCoy Stadium, this time I had my camera and Hiromi came because it was free massage at the stadium. Bad news for me Travis Shaw was not in the lineup today, good new it was because he was called up to the Majors to play for the Boston Red Sox. Another Major leaguer was on Rehab today was for the visiting team Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers.  Oh, a bit of history just in case you wanted to know... In 1981 the longest baseball game every lasting 33 innings. The game was so long that is took three days to complete April 18 & 19 and completed the next time Rochester Red Wings returned to Pawtucket on 23 June. Two big name Hall of Famers played in that game, Wade Boggs for Pawtucket and Cal Ripken Jr for Rochester. 

 Paws Sox won the 2014 AAA IL championship and the trophy was on display in the team shop. I could not find the pennant flying anywhere.

We attended historical Fenway Park home of the Boston Red Sox to take on the Atlanta Braves. I was worried about tickets to this game being sold out or scalpers selling them for too much so we got our ticket at the ticket and tours on base. The Red Sox give ticket to the base to sell to military personnel. We were first in line as the gates opened I made a B-line to the outfield wall. During the Braves batting practice I got a ball that rolled to the wall and reached over to pick it up. One was enough for me and I left to give other fan a chance to get a ball. I was a little disappointed to find out the Red Sox opted Travis Shaw back to Pawtucket. I keep missing him this year. As for the game, it was the first game I’ve been to, to see a player hit for the cycle (single, double, triple and home run in same game). The feet was accomplished by Red Sox Brock Holt, I always say “anything can happen on the field”. After the game I left my mark on "Pesky's Pole" on the  right field foul pole.
           Hiromi dressed to support the Red Sox      

Holts' cycle displayed on the video board

I wish teams would go back to using these cart 
to bring the relieve pitch into the game. NOW that's RETRO!

Our last trip to downtown Boston was to take in her history. We visited the old Navy ship in commission and boarded "Old Iron Side" USS Constitution, Bunker Hill Monument and Massachusetts Capitol Building.

Our last day here we spent it in Rhode Island to see the Capitol Building and Roger Williams National Memorial. The Capitol Building we could walk in and self-tour, just had to pass a security check point.  

Just down the road is the Roger Williams NM. Roger Williams left Boston and was the first settler and establish Providence. He left Boston for his right to free religion. Anyone who came to Providence can practice any religion of their choice or none if they desired. Because of Roger Williams, the Constitution was written to separate religion from political office and leading to the right of freedom of religion.  We also walked around downtown Providence taking in the sights.

After staying somewhere for a few weeks we like to eat dinner out on our last night. I had sushi and Hiromi had tempura.


Acadia NP in Maine.

No comments:

Post a Comment