Thursday, June 30, 2011


ONE Atton Win!

TWO Atton Wins!

THREE Atton Wins!

(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.

[Jack Atton - from a previous season, showing off where he was hit by a line drive.]

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.

[Big Jay Atton - so big only his head fits in the camera lens!]

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.

[Drew Atton - For The Win!]

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.


Jeni said...

WOW! Congratulations to the Attons in performing this feat and yes, I agree with you Jim, in your feelings about this event being quite a remarkable thing! I'm a bit like you in that I am often easily fascinated by things that speak to "What are the odds of that happening?"

Clare Dunn said...

Yes, yes, yes..."Stuff like this is why I love the game." BIG agree-ment!

Very cool...relay my congrats to the Atton men!

xoxoxo, cd

Craig said...

"Jimmy Bickford plated Sullivan with another clutch two-out singleton."

Man, you shoulda been a sportswriter. . . ;)

When you got to third, how long did it take you to adjust to the unfamiliar surroundings?

(Kidding! I'm KIDDING!)

But I think I need a quick review of the Atton family genealogy - are Jay and Drew Jack's sons?

Suldog said...

Craig - When you got to third, how long did it take you to adjust to the unfamiliar surroundings?

Hardy-Har-Har, Wiseguy.

Jack is father to Drew and Pat. Big Jay is Jack's nephew, thus Drew and Pat's cousin.

Carolina said...

And together they make up the local Mafia division. Just kidding ;-) It's the photos. I'm slightly frightened by them. Apparently if you are an Atton you can only produce a gleaming smile when you've been hit by something and have an impressive bruise to proudly prove it.

Congratulations to the Attons and the rest of their teams. Well done!

Michelle H. said...

Congrats to the Atton family and to the Swinger win. Your writing has become prolific now that you're writing in 3rd person just in case it appears elsewhere.

Yes, I said prolific. Not contagious.

messymimi said...

Congratulations to the Attons! There are probably no other families in the world who could reproduce this one.

silly rabbit said...

Woot! for the Attons! You make me wish I had been there to see it.
LOL "so big only his head fits in the camera lense!"

Mich said...

Yes, I've seen what you do with awards, which is why I was practically squealing in delight when I saw that you were among the last 8 commenters from the previous post who got the award.... :D

Congrats to the Attons! Sounds like y'all had a great night.

Moannie said...

Drew [0-2]yet the team made it 6-0 before he'd pitched a ball.
Sac fly
Two out singleton
Scattering hits-walking two runs??????

How can Drew have [0-2] but then 6-0? what happened to the 2 Drew had...make more sense if it was 6-2.
Sac fly????
How can walk a run?

How can you call it softball when it causes damage like that on Jack's arm?
I do not expect you to answer my questions, Jim...just to let you know that I am still persevering.

Shammickite said...

JULY 1: Happy CANADA Day, Suldog and all the Attons! You may not be aware that it's Canada's 144th birthday today, and Will and Kate are in Ottawa to help us celebrate. Actually, we don't need help, but it's great to have them here!

Daryl said...

Way to go Attons! Those are some BIG guys, unlike you they dont seem to get into shape before the season ...

Anonymous said...

i am in shape...........round is a shape

Suldog said...

Despite what it looks like, the Attons are amazingly lithe and agile, very light on their feet for big men. They are one of the most athletically-gifted families I've ever known.

Craig said...

@Moannie, if I may. . .

The 0-2 refers to Drew's season pitching record of wins and losses; in the games he'd pitched to that point, he'd lost two, and won none (so, after he won the current game, his record is 1-2). . .

The 6-0 refers to the score of the current game; the Swingers scored 6 runs in the first inning, before Drew threw his first pitch (and, as noted above, the final score of the game was 24-7)

The stuff on walks and sac(rifice) flies, etc, starts to sound pretty gobblety-gook-ish pretty quickly (and you said you really didn't expect an answer; but if you decide you do, answers, however gobblety-gook-ish, can be given). . .

And as to SOFTball, you should see what a HARDball will do. . .

Don't know if that helps, or not. . .

But you're a good sport for making the effort (I've had my British friends try to explain cricket to me, and it doesn't work a whole lot better). . .


Chris said...

Love the Attons, but this may be the first time the phrase "scattering 12 hits" has been used in a baseball/softball piece.

On another note, the Phils' pitcher I was telling you about? He was the guy who gave up the back to back homers to Petunia and Tek.

He looked good whiffing Ellsbury and Gonzalez, though.

Suldog said...

Chris - Yeah, I know, it sounds weird in baseball terms, but it's softball. I've found that dividing softball stats (at least, the brand we play) by 2/3 gives a truer approximation of baseball stats. For instance. a batting average of .450 is roughly equivalent to .300, and a .600 = .400 Look at it that way, and Drew scattered 8 hits. Better? :-)

CiCi said...

Did the Atton family grow their own food? I want what they eat. Strong and athletic sons, hooray to their parents.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Congrats to all the Attons for their wins!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I keep having this vision of you singing "it's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrr!" and it's not christmas :-D

Anonymous said...

Didn't Kenny Rogers croone a tune... "Once...twice...three times an Atton."?


Shammickite said...

Hey Sully, I watched the July 4 Boston Pops and the fireworks on TV last night, WOW, very impressive. Those fireworks must have cost a packet! All very patriotic, lots of flag waving, lots of red, white and blue, but that's what July 4 in America is all about isn't it? Hope you had a good long weekend with lots of baseball to play and watch.