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Archive for May 1, 2007

May 1, 2007 — If the shoe Pfitz

I went yesterday afternoon to do something I hadn’t done in a while: attend a minor-league baseball game.

The location was the old rattle-trap Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va., and the game featured the Potomac Nationals and the Winston-Salem Warthogs.

I developed an affinity for minor-league baseball in the 1980s when my older sister would take me to Old Orchard Beach, Maine to see the Maine Guides, the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

When I went to graduate school, I found minor-league baseball to be a source of comfort and relaxation. I rewarded myself by seeing games in Syracuse, Auburn, Elmira, Geneva, Utica, and even Cooperstown, N.Y.; Oneonta was playing Jamestown one Hall of Fame weekend.

There’s still something about the young men out on that diamond, the gleaming white of the ball and the bases, the sales patter of beer vendors, the local advertisements on the outfield wall, and a warm spring evening.

I always wanted to be able to own a team or two in the minors; if I ever got independently wealthy about the time of Major League expansion, I’d get two short-season Single-A teams and locate one in Hoboken (the location of the first baseball game ever played) and one in Cooperstown (the mythical home of the game).

My investment would build a retro-style ballpark as close to the Elysian Fields as I can get. Heck, if I can buy the whole coffee plant at the old site and gut it, so much the better. It would also make needed improvements to Hall of Fame Stadium in downtown Cooperstown.

Both teams would wear retro-style uniforms reminiscent of the 1800s — pillbox caps, short knickers, half-length sleeves. The Hoboken team would be nicknamed “The Nine,” and the Cooperstown squad would simply be called The Base Ball Club of Cooperstown.

Now, to hit that lottery …