On Sunday, May 19th, I went to see my first Pawtucket Red Sox game of the season at beautiful McCoy Stadium. I went with a group of kids and parents and it was a great time. I got to the ballpark early enough that I was able to peek at an old-time 1880s exhibition baseball game. Men were on the field playing with no gloves and interesting uniforms. After killing time peering through the fence and waiting for my group, I danced with both Paws and Sox, the mascots for the Pawtucket team. Sox is a much better dancer than Paws. That girl can really get down!
The players proved just as good as the atmosphere, as they soundly beat the Indianapolis Indians 11-3. The Paw Sox now have a 26-18 record thus far this season. I was there for Jackie Bradley Jr.’s return to center field. He has not been in the outfield since April 27, 2013, after one stint as designated hitter, and then another on the disabled list because of tendinitis around the right bicep. Jackie looked good Sunday. He could have batted better, but I think he is still a bit tentative after coming off the DL. His on-base percentage is still in the .400s. In today’s baseball, getting on base is important. During this game, Bradley Jr. got on base three times and was able to score all three times, thanks to his teammates’ hot bats against a weaker team. His arms were full-on pumping as he bolted by us sitting on the 3rd base line.
I was also impressed with Brandon Snyder’s work. All of the writers were right about him. He gets his bat on the ball, makes great line drives into center field, and is a solid defensive fielder. The pleasant surprise award of the afternoon had to go to Jeremy Hazelbaker who definitely caught my attention. Hazelbaker scored two runs.
A big win became even sweeter, as fans have the opportunity to run the bases after every Sunday game. It was fun to see children and parents run where many greats of the past–and future ran before. We ran as the day’s sprinkles just began to fall. It was another memorable day at one of America’s finest minor league ballparks.