Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sea Dogs Baseball: A fan's note

Today, April 13, begins another season of Sea Dogs baseball. The home opener begins in a few hours. Hadlock Field has a new surface and new pavilion seating that parallels, in a minor way, the Monster seating of Fenway. Our Maine Monster left field wall also mirrors, in a minor way, the Green Monster in Boston. Our Sea Dogs are, after all, the AA minor league affilliate of the Red Sox. Good news, though...ticket prices are minor too.

For those of us who can't get enough minor league ball, the Library has a few gems that may help you while away a few rain-delay hours. Baseball's Hometown Teams by Bruce Chadwick is an illustrated history of the minor leagues. It claims to include a special guide to today's minor league teams but don't count on it. Remember last year's Norwich Navigators? They are this year's Connecticut Defenders.

Twilight of the Long-ball Gods are John Schulian's dispatches of a game he loves. Schulian's writing has been compared with Red Smith's and A. J. Liebling. He writes of a disappearing time that's well worth remembering.

Jim Collins treatment of the Cape Cod League in The Last Best League is another highly recommended work that chronicles a season in the life of the Chatham A's. If you're thinking it's only a place for talented college boys who are putting off having to go to work in Daddy's linen supply business, you may be surprised to recognize names like Garciaparra, Bagwell, or Zito from among the ranks of former Cape Codders.

As for me, I'll be looking through the game program and insert from my season seat by the visitor dugout trying to figure out who may next be bound for Fenway.

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