Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Born and raised  just a few blocks from McCoy Stadium, I walked by that  baseball mecca  daily on my way to St Joseph's School--now part of Saint Raphael Academy. So I am saddened but not surprised by the  announcement that new owners would be taking the PawSox to Providence. It seems that the working class and the  lower middle-class will not be allowed to retain any of the simple pleasures that filled our hearts with delight and hope  and made dreary hours of mill work less oppressive.  How did we  enjoy our days--let me  count the ways--ways that are mostly gone and possibly largely forgotten. In my childhood in the late 40s and 50s we had Dunnell's Pond  behind Prospect Heights---for free swimming on the hottest days. We had the Blue Pond behind Mc Coy for ice  skating on the  coldest nights. We had Narragansett Park and we had Slater Park with its Zoo and winter skating to  music on the pond. We had the Back lots open green space  that ran behind Rhode Island Avenue from Dunnell's Lane to Columbus Avenue.  And the jewel in our crown--we had Mc Coy Stadium.  I went to games there  whenever  they were playing; climbing  over fences and  making my way up the long winding ramps.
If the McCoy gatekeeper was busy elsewhere, I  sneaked into the infield when teams were practicing and discovered the delights of the  dugout. I learned how to chew sunflower seeds and spit out the hulls.    On Thanksgiving morning dressed in  purple and gold and with  a cow bell  around  my neck, I would walk to the stadium to see the traditional rivalry played out between Pawtucket East ( now Tolman) and Saint Ray's.

Most of those delights have passed, but the jewel remained-- shined and brightened by the glamour of the Red Sox name and the  lustre of the players who were being developed  or recovering there. Now that is to be taken from us too.  And will Providence gain anything?  Not bloody likely!!  Possibly just more debt and  humiliation; the citizens of that city, Providence, and this state will be on the hook for building a new  staduim and giving away for an empty promise and a song to the moguls of the mound the reclaimed 195  ground on which to build. The spirit of Schilling is prowling  again, we can be suckered in again,  and we can't blame it on Fox this time. Gina will have to step up to give away the land earmarked for  job development and in that single  blow remove from Pawtucket  the little that we still take pride in 
Enough moaning from me.  I am sure Mayor Grebien is devastated.   Do we have no recourse?  The pride of the poor is a precious thing. My mother used to say --you're never too poor  and it's never too late to lose what little you have left  She was Irish and spoke in what I sometimes  thought were riddles---but I get this one now-- the poor are vulnerable and sometimes all we have left is our pride.  Mc Coy and the Pawtucket Red Sox are our pride and joy.  Can't we salvage them and lay that soothing unction to our hearts? 

 Sorry to say. the machinations of the rich getting richer are beyond my ken and I have nothing practical to suggest.  Why not seize the day  and join me:  go to as many games as possible this summer;  it will be a long Irish wake--so BATTERS UP!

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