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Big Daddy Baseball League

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June 28-29, 2013

BDBL Weekend 2013: Boston

By Mike Glander
BDBL Staff

SALEM, NH - The league returned to the city of Boston for the 14th annual BDBL Weekend festivities this year, taking in a Double-A game in Manchester, New Hampshire, a walking tour of the Freedom Trail, and a MLB match-up between the Red Sox and Blue Jays at Fenway Park.  With just five league members (myself, Ryan, Scott Romonosky, Matt Clemm and the legendary Jim Doyle) in attendance, it was the smallest group in BDBL Weekend history, though we all managed to have a good time just the same.

The weekend began at Logan Airport, where I met up with Scott at Jerry Remy's bar.  We enjoyed a couple of burgers and beers while waiting for Matt's flight to arrive.  By the time we fought the northbound traffic on I-93, briefly stopping at the Glander residence on the way, we managed to arrive in the middle of the first inning of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats game.  There, we met up with Doyle and his pal, Benjamin Franklin.  As it was the first meeting between Romonosky and Doyle, it was especially entertaining to witness a newbie's introduction to the Whirlwind of Wackiness that is W. James Doyle.

As the game progressed, we learned a great deal (some would say more than we'd ever want to know) about the 1978 Red Sox, the history of the NHL and other illuminating topics from Jim's friend, Ben.  We also learned the details of the story about how Jim was once hit on the top of the head with a foul ball while seated behind home plate -- a nearly impossible feat made possible only because: a) Doyle was too busy writing in his dopey scorebook to pay attention to the game, and b) Doyle's "friends" were too busy ducking for cover to alert Jim to the impending danger from above.

The Fisher Cats' home park (which is named after a bank or something) is a very nice, state-of-the-art, modern ballpark with all the amenities you would expect from such a facility: wide open concourses, a large selection of food and beverages, and endless between-innings distractions from mascots and folks dressed like sumo wrestlers or hot dogs.

As for the game itself, I can't recall who won or lost, although I'm sure Jim could give you all a detailed play-by-play recap from the first four innings.  (After which, he stopped keeping score, as is the case with 90% of the games in his scorebook.)

Following the game, we all headed across the street to a sports bar, where we inhaled a bunch of bar food (nachos, wings, sliders, etc.) and beer, and listened to more stories -- including an exhaustive history of the AFL -- from Mr. Franklin.  As we had an early day the next morning, we decided to call it a night after that.

On Saturday morning, we ventured south to Boston in the Glander family minivan.  On the way, Doyle and I engaged in a spirited debate over the issue of illegal immigration.  We learned that Jim (an attorney, by the way) believes that some laws don't need to be followed because they are "unjust."  (Note: the question of who decides which laws are "just" or "unjust" was never resolved, but it is assumed that Jim himself would decide such matters.)  And we learned that Jim believes that even a just law should be broken as long as the person breaking the law doesn't have enough money.  Basically, we learned that Jim is a hippie anarchist.

After a short van ride and a quick ride on the T, we all arrived at Boston Common, where we were met by a far-too-enthusiastic young woman dressed in Colonial attire.  She then guided our group (along with about 100 others) to a plaque, where she proceeded to shout at a great volume about the man pictured on the plaque.  From there, we proceeded to a statue, where she shouted with great enthusiasm about the statue.  We then walked 25 feet further to a map, where she shouted with unequalled enthusiasm about the map.  Eventually (and inevitably), Doyle got into the act, and began enthusiastically shouting about inalienable rights -- to the great delight of the tour guide.

This went on and on, every 25-50 feet or so, through various plaques, buildings, statues, gravestones, etc., until we finally tired of all the enthusiastic shouting and decided to end our tour prematurely and grab some lunch.  It has become a tradition and requirement of every BDBL Weekend to walk aimlessly for a given period of time, so we did just that, before finally arriving at a place called "Joe's" overlooking the harbor.  There, we all filled our bellies with delicious and hearty food -- except for Doyle, who ordered (get this) a WEDGE SALAD.  Seriously.  A freaking wedge salad.  And he then had the audacity to question my manhood for putting a wedge of orange into my beer.

From there, it was another quick T ride to Fenway Park.  Although the pre-game weather report had called for cloudy skies and intermittent showers, it was a bright and sunny day, and the ballpark appeared to be filled to capacity.  Incredibly enough, it seemed as though half of those in attendance were from Toronto, as indicated by both the number of Blue Jays jerseys and the unusually frequent usage of the word "hoser."

While Matt went off to spend his kids' college funds on souvenirs, the rest of us found our seats in the grandstand section of right field, just beneath the upper deck.  I chose these seats for two reasons: 1) to keep us dry in case it rained, and 2) to keep the sun out of our eyes in case it was sunny.  As soon as we took our seats, however, we noticed that a mystery fluid was constantly dripping on us from an overhead girder (most likely a leaky A/C unit from the luxury suite of the beautiful people above us.)  And by the 5th inning, our seats in the shade had become seats directly in the sun, which required us to stare directly into the sun in order to view any of the action on the field.

It was a fairly exciting game.  The standing-room-only crowd appeared to be split almost evenly between Sox and Jays fans, and while both sets of fans were competing to out-cheer each other, the teams on the field competed in an evenly-matched, back-and-forth game where the Jays took the lead and the Sox eventually rallied late in the game.  But a mammoth blast by Jose Bautista (his second of the game) sailed over the Green Monster in dead center field, and appeared to smash into the Citgo sign several blocks away, giving Toronto a lead they would not relinquish.

After the game, we ducked into a Pizzeria Uno to escape from the mob for a while.  There, we were treated to some decent pizza while witnessing the weekend's only trade -- a deal between Doyle and Clemm.  We then did some more aimless wandering around the Fenway area before finally heading back home.  And we wrapped up the night with an impromptu best-of-seven pool tournament at the Glander house, which was won by myself (and, to a lesser extent, my teammate Matt.)

On the heels of the worst-ever-attended BDBL Weekend, plans are already underway for BDBL Weekend 2014.  The plan, set in the same concrete as the famous obelisk of Chevalier de Saint-Sauveur (which is a reference only those who attended will understand) is to celebrate the 15th anniversary of BDBL Weekend with TWO BDBL Weekends: one in the spring (a tour of Phoenix-area spring training sites) and another in the summer (Toronto.)  So start saving your pennies today!