Saturday, April 26, 2008

When I think "home", three places come to mind. First is my current home in Framingham, where I live with my wife and kids. Second is the house where I grew up in Pawtucket.

Then there's my baseball "home". Some of you may be surprised to find out it's not Fenway Park. No, McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox is the place. Growing up less than two miles from the ballpark and, well, being me meant that I spent a good portion of my summers watching the Pawsox.

So I returned home for the first time in 2008 with the kids last night to see the Pawsox take on the Syracuse Chiefs. As an extra added bonus, World Series MVP Mike Lowell would be playing the first of three rehab starts as DH. Lowell was 1-for-5, but had a big two run single in the Pawsox four run second inning. He was greeted with big cheers at each at-bat from the Rhode Island chapter of Red Sox Nation.

The Pawsox played well the rest of the night. Chris Smith had a great start, giving up only one hit in six innings and getting his first win of the season. Edgar Martinez (no, not the Seattle DH) got a three inning save. People have started calling him "El Guapo", and he certainly shares the Rich Garces body type. Jonathan Van Every hit a home run for the Pawsox.

It was a fun night and the combination of Lowell and the nice weather helped to bring a big crowd of 8,777 to the ballpark. The kids had fun scoring the game (I love the fact that they actually fight over who gets to go first) and I didn't hear one souvenir request.

However, the highlight of the evening was that I won the trivia quiz. The Pawsox have had this contest at every game forever and I probably haven't won in 20 years. But last night was my night. The question was "Who is second the American League in hitting?" I happened to know that Dustin Pedroia was the answer. I filled in the answer sheet in the program book and R. handed it in to one of the ushers. Around the 7th inning, I heard my name announced as the winner! The prize wasn't terribly exciting (a case of Coke and a $25 gift certificate to the Mill Stores), but the kids were very excited that I actually won.

So our first visit to Pawtucket was a great success. We'll be getting back there again soon.


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