Results tagged ‘ Self-Funded and Clueless ’

On Location in Lowell

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As regular readers of this blog may recall, I spent a week in New England earlier this month. During my time in this beautiful part of the country, I was able to visit both the Lowell Spinners and Vermont Lake Monsters. I was not “on assignment”, per se, just motivated by the desire to visit that which I write about.

What follows are a variety of observations and images from the nights of July 7 and 8 at Lowell’s LeLacheur Park.

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On both nights, I enjoyed a pre-game dinner in the so-called “Gator Pit”. This picnic area primarily services season-ticket holders, those attending a game as part of a group outing, and free-loading media types:

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Vegetarians Beware:

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As for the stadium itself, one has room to maneuver. The open concourse provides plenty of vantage points from which to view the game.

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The Spinners are one of the best draws in the New York-Penn League, with a sell-out streak that I believe dates back to the late 19th century. But during the two days I was in town the weather was horrible. Mid-afternoon downpours led to soggy conditions, and the temperature was in the low 60s. Needless to say, it did not feel like July. But that did not deter appearances by INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTARS.

On July 8 (as well as the 9th), the national anthem was sung by Cassandra De Rosa. She is a cousin of Spinners vice president of corporate communications Jon Goode — and also a bona-fide Italian pop superstar. Check out her website HERE.

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This woman was big time, but nonetheless had no problem posing for a picture with the suit-wearing assistant general manager of the visiting team (Tri-City’s resplendent Vic Christopher) and a making-it-up-as-he-goes-along baseball writer:

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When it comes to game presentation, the Spinners definitely ascribe to the “more-is-more” philosophy. Hardly a moment goes by without a sound effect, video clip or song snippet. These guys are really on their toes:

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And, of course, the mascot is a big part of the action. I can’t recall the premise here, but here’s Canaligator-as-Superman:

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The team also provides an ever-changing roster of “Spinner-tainment”. One of the acts when I was in town was this grandmaster of “Simon Says”. In a sing-song drill sergeant cadence, he systemically eliminated those who did not do what Simon said.

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The first night I was in town, I threw t-shirts into the crowd while riding in the Spinners’ Scooby Doo-influenced “Mystery Machine.” I was not pleased with my performance. I had four t-shirts to throw, and got rid of them much too quickly. I spent the
final 30 seconds of my ride feeling quite ashamed, as the eager, enthusiastic crowd stretched out their arms toward me in anticipation of what I could no longer provide.

Spinners fans, please forgive me.

The following video comprises the first footage ever shot with my new “Webby” camcorder (meaning, of course, that there is nowhere to go but up). It contains a variety of Spinners moments — including exclusive Mystery Machine footage —  and concludes with the special gift bestowed upon me by Spinners media manager Jon Boswell, left over from the club’s recent Politically Incorrect Night:

Big thanks to editing maestro Joe Pisch for putting together the above video, and big thanks to the Spinners for their hospitality. At this point I’ve learned not to promise a specific timetable when it comes to this blog, but rest assured there is more to come from Lowell.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

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