The 2008 Whately Pioneers
By Buck Fluff
Our great luck with the Weatherman came to a close May 3rd, when our road game with the Wheelmen was washed out. The Wheelmen home field is a cozy all-grass beauty, and the rainout was a big dissappointment. Our schedule this year doesn't have flexibility for postponed Pioneer games. A rainout is a cancellation, with no chance for a rain date.
As luck would have it, we have the Wheelmen in a Home and Home series; so the May 3 rainout in Chicopee is immediately followed by a Herlihy Wheelmen-Pioneer match. So far, we have played our Chicopee big brothers 3 times and have beed drilled each time.
Pioneer vs Wheelmen, take 4 May 10, 2008...(mark this day on the calendar)
Ah, but the Whately Pioneers are getting better, and now, if we play our best game, we can beat a good team like thew Wheelmen. Fueled by by the hurling of Bullet and Termie, and the striking of Pops, Termie and Bullet; and an overall team effort from every Pioneer, we pulled it off.
Pioneers 8, Wheelmen 7.
Rain would continue to bedevil us, as the Hartford Senators vs Whately Pioneers was washed out in the 3rd inning. The Senators are a classy group, and drove a long way to drink beer with us, but that's life.
At least they drove up to Herlihy on a sketchy weather day. The Taverneers, Muffin-like, just blew off the Herlihy return match the previous week. But no worries, we have an 1860's game, our first, followed by a road game in Boston vs the Colonials on June 6-7
Once again, the weather was very shaky at Herlihy on the evening of June 6, but, the Hartford Dark Blues showed up resplendant in their Civil War era uniforms, and Buck found another way to lose the home field, this time the 'Bat Toss'!
After 5 innings of madcap mayhem, in the drizzle, the Dark Blues were bludgeoning the Pioneers 16-2. Now kids, let this be a lesson to you about quitting. The Whately Pioneers rallies for 16 runs and won this game with a walk off, testing the tinsel strength of the Dark Blue sportsmanship. It will need some repair work.
Pioneers 18, Dark Blues 17
Several of the Pioneers
had a hardball game the morning of june 7. The weather was murky and H O T. And it was going to get hotter, as we caravaned to Brighton to play the Boston Colonials on the road.
This was going to be the first real hot day of Summer, with the temperatures nearing 100. The Pioneer mobile the Deathmobile and the Hammer captained GPS mobile careened down the Mass Pike at the speed limit...pause... and we found the Colonials home field, in Brighton near a resevoir. The Pioneer mobile avoided a $100 ticket when a passerby took pity on me and told me where we could park without falling prey to the parking tickets. OK, one good sign, one bad sign.
Did I say it was hot? By the time I got to the nice little field, sweat was dripping off the brim of my Pioneer hat. Here is a picture of our dugout. It had that scratch and sniff coziness that we like on a hot day too.
But what the Colonials lacked in base ball amenities the had 'in spades' hospitality and sportsmanship...pause... Hey, we love drivbing across Massachusetts to self umpire a Vintage Game, especially while being heckled by a drunk chimpanzee in a green and white uniform. Pretty cool. But, no worries, somehow the day was a lot of fun, stopping for a hamburg and traveling home with the Pioneers after a road trip. And it does give us an experience to compare stuff to.
Like, the Colonials are the new Mendoza line for sportsmanship. You can fall above or below the 'Colonials Line' and we can put it on the map, so to speak.
Boston Colonials 15, Whately Pioneers 10
Well , the Providence Game Muffins didn't make the Herlihy game on the 14th of June, but we did get to play a Friday the 13th game with a new team from Chicopee, the Chicopee Skipmucks. John Dziel has a group of ball players that play the game right, are fun to be around, oh, and are GOOD! Not only that, they have a legion of Cranks that come to their games.
The Skipmucks make great defensive plays and can hit. Old School has the nicest swing this side of Grit I have seen. By the end of the first game we knew we had neighbors that we can have a nice friendly rivalry with . Our game was followed by a first class brat beer inning.
Skipmucks 10, Pioneers 8
We would have an intervening game with the Beaneaters in Waterbury, but the second game with the Skipmucks was a thriller, with the Pioneers pulling it out in the 9th for a 7-6 win. We had a steamed hot dog beer inning and the world was right.
Pioneers 7, Skipmucks 6
Another Boston team on our schedule is the Boston Beaneaters. They are an excellent 1886 team as well as an 1860's team. We once again played the game as a twin bill, a hardball game in Whately followed by a road trip. It's fun is you don't mind all the effort, which we don't. It was another scortching day, so we had plenty of liquids for the trip. Today we were pitching Slappie, who already had a 9 inning gem under his belt. The Beaneaters were pitching a young rubber armed ace, and he was good.
The field was all grass, my favorite way to play, and we got there is just the right time. The Beaneaters were wrapping up a 10-9 win over the Hartford Senators. Our game wouldn't exactly feature offense. There were 7 base hits total in the game and 5 runs. Too bad we only got 2 of 'em. There were flashes of defensive brilliance by both teams. Blast..
Boston Beaneaters 3, Whately Pioneers 2...Waterbury June 28, 2008