Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cyclones and Red Sox: My Last Weekend in New England

I made the most of my last weekend here in New England.  Since I didn't take many pictures, I'm turning to the Library of Congress's photostream on Flickr for a little help.

Fenway Park


The Coney Island Cakewalk

On Saturday, I caught the Metro North to take me back to Brooklyn for the last time in order to meet my friends Audrey and Will and take in a Brooklyn Cyclones game.  The Cyclones are an A level (short season) team in the Mets' organization, managed by none other than Wally Backman.  The home team beat the Staten Island Yankees in front of 9900 fans, which is certainly the biggest crowd I have ever seen for a minor league game.

Coney Island is a noisy and crowded place that smells of sunscreen, and the ballpark is right there adjacent to the boardwalk.  There is a ferris wheel beyond the centerfield wall and a parachute drop past the bleachers in right.  You can see that in one of the few pictures I took this weekend, of my friends Audrey and Will.

At the Cyclones Game
After the game I got back on Metro North and headed back to my dorm room.  (I am grateful for the convenience and affordability of the Metro North trains, but after three round-way trips in five weeks, I have had enough of it!)  By the time I got to sleep it was nearly two in the morning, and I had to get up at six to pick up my friends Elizabeth and Darcy in Waterford, Connecticut and begin part two of the weekend--Boston.

My friends and I had tickets for the 1:35 Red Sox-Tigers game, which meant we were going to have to hustle if we were going to get to enjoy any of Boston before game time.  Luckily, Elizabeth and Darcy are no-nonsense sightseers, and we managed to pack in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow house, the U.S.S. Constitution, and a number of locations on the Freedom Trail before we had to hop on the T to get to the game.

(A quick aside about Longfellow.  Besides being a notable American poet, he was also a professor of languages at Harvard, and was the first American to translate Dante's Inferno.  He was a genial chap who fought against slavery and ignorance and adored his five children above all else.  The great tragedy of his life occurred in 1861 when his second wife, Frances Appleton, died after a horrific accident in their home.  She was burned when her dress caught fire in their library, and she died from her injuries the next day.  Longfellow was never the same after that.)

Smokey Joe Wood

It was then time to go to my second baseball game in seventeen hours.  We made it to Fenway in the bottom of the first and jostled for position in the standing-room-only section on the first base path.  It was a beautiful day, and Bucholtz was pitching a gem.  He pitched eight stellar innings before putting two runners on in the ninth.  The Red Sox brought in Papelbon to close it out, and on his first pitch he gave up a two-run double.  The next batter drove in another run, blowing the save for Papelbon and erasing a brilliant performance by Bucholtz.  The Sox went on to win in the bottom of the ninth, due to a throwing error by Tigers pitcher Robbie Weinhardt.  Read about it here.

All that was left after that was a wonderful dinner in Little Italy, and then the drive home, during which we listened to lots of Neil Diamond and the Carpenters.

It's hard to beat that.


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