(The Corporation For Public Broadcasting will probably sue me if they find out about this, but I couldn’t resist. If you’re one of their lawyers, I’ll save you some time and trouble. The Count couldn’t even get to ONE (ah,ah, ah) if he tried to add up the dollars I’m making by using his likeness. So, feel free to bring me to court. Anyway, I’m still pissed about you canceling Mister Rogers, so I figure YOU owe ME.)
Remember the other day, when I told you about the possibility of a unique occurrence happening at The M Street Softball League in Southie? If not, and you have a couple of hours to waste, you could go HERE and die of old age before you get to that part. Or I could just give it to you in a nutshell, which I think I will.
On June 28th, for the first time in league history, three members of the same family were slated to be the starting pitchers in the three games played on that evening. Since the league has been in existence for 41 years, spanning perhaps 4,000 evenings of play involving 600 different pitchers, I felt this event was worth mentioning.
(Those figures are not fanciful, and I tried to err on the conservative side. It could be 6,000 evenings and 2,000 pitchers. Either way, it’s an amateur league and even a stat-obsessed idiot like me wouldn’t spend the hours needed to come up with the concrete numbers unless there was serious pay involved. Suffice to say, a lot of games had been played before this happened.)
I’m thrilled to report that not only did Jack Atton, Big Jay Atton, and Drew Atton each start their respective contests; they all came away with victories. If, in the future, some other family matches them for the starts, they’ll now have to win every game to completely match the feat. The scores:
Telegraph Hill - 14 Dorset Club – 3
Stats/BSB - 11 Tom English’s Stingers – 10
SWINGERS – 24 Newark Group – 7
(In the prose that follows, I'll be referring to myself in the third person. This is not due to an ego problem, but because I'm writing this partially as a possible report for the M Street website. And also, just a bit of an ego problem, OK, I admit it.)
To begin the evening, Jack Atton notched his league-leading ninth win, running his overall record to 9 – 1 by defeating a game Dorset Club.
The boys from Dorset were 2 - 6 entering the contest, while Jack’s Telegraph Hill squad has led the Moran Division since opening night. Jack was never in serious trouble, but it took a little while for his teammates to put some distance between themselves and the opposition. Mark Preziosi and Pat Kelly both hit two home runs, while Eric MacDonald and Bill Davis had one apiece, to provide the cushion needed.
The most suspense-filled game was Big Jay’s.
The Stingers began the night at 6 – 3, two games in front of Stats/BSB in the Feeney Division standings, and had to be considered the favorites to win. And they jumped out to an early lead, plating six runs in the first inning. After that, though, Big Jay settled down, holding the opposition off until the cavalry could arrive in the form of a six-run inning of their own. Stats/BSB took the lead in the fourth, and Big Jay withstood a furious final-inning rally by the team in yellow, recording the second Atton family victory (which was followed by an eruption of fireworks from the park abutting the field, a nice coincidental touch.)
Finally, it was time for young Drew Atton to take the hill and find out if he could complete the trifecta.
Considering that the Swingers were in the midst of a six-game losing streak, and that Drew (0 – 2, entering the game) had yet to notch a league victory, it was far from a given. His team gave him some immediate breathing room, however, going up 6 – 0 before he threw his first pitch. Joe Murphy drove in the first two runs of the game with one of his two doubles, T. K. Skenderian added to his league-leading RBI total (25) with a sac fly, a two-out single by manager Jim Sullivan resulted in two more runs scoring (with Sullivan going to third on a throwing error), and first baseman Jimmy Bickford plated Sullivan with another clutch two-out singleton. From there, Atton led all the way, scattering 12 hits while walking only two (his previous starts had been marred by control problems, but some recent coaching by his more-seasoned family members had helped him straighten out that problem.) Other big contributors to the win were catcher Joey Baszkiewicz (4 hits, bringing his team-leading average to .645, and also providing a veteran presence behind the plate for Drew); Brett Bell with a clutch triple that scored two in the second inning; Carl Iannacci, reaching base four times (his patience at the plate resulting in his league-leading ninth and tenth walks); and Drew’s older brother, Pat Atton, who played CF and made two catches on his knees to end possible rallies.
So, a great night for the Attons, and a fun night at the M Street Park for the 35 or 40 softball-loving fans who were there to enjoy it.
Stuff like this is why I love the game.
Soon, with more.