I have 25 minor league baseball caps.
If you read this post in December, you know what that really means. But I'm sad to report that nowhere in that, ahem, 25-cap collection, is one worn by new favorite minor league team, the Lowell Spinners.
The Spinners, a Class A affiliate of the Red Sox, have taken up a cause that is near and dear to my heart. And that crusade is ridding the world of Yankee taint.
Oh, the weasels can stay in the Bronx. It’s better to keep Jeter, Giambi and their ilk in one place so we can keep an eye on them.
But I’m talking about the assault on innocent children. And while I’m just sitting around venting, the Spinners are stepping up and actually doing something about it.
The team is searching for youth baseball leagues for teams named after the vile pinstripes, and helping them change their name to Spinners. In exchange, the Spinners will pay for new uniforms and allow the kids to play on the LeLacheur Park field before a game this summer. The Spinners also pledge to work with each youth team to assist with fund-raising.
"Red Sox fans understand how devastating it can be for any child to be on a Yankees youth baseball team in New England," the team said in a release. "The Spinners have heard stories first-hand of children actually crying and refusing to play if they have to play for the Yankees."
I get it. I can’t imagine being forced to wear a uniform with that hurtful logo, representing that shameful history as well as all that is wrong in baseball today. Talk about trauma. You might as well pin a red pointed tail to the backs of the uniform pants.
Just because Johnny Damon has no shame and embraces the pinstripes doesn’t mean the youth of New England needs to follow his destructive path.
Spinners general manager Tim Bawmann said it becomes an issue where kids are devastated when they find out they are on the Yankees.
"Many kids actually pray they will not be on the Yankees when the rosters and teams are announced."
The team estimates about half of the youth baseball leagues in New England have Yankee teams and the other half had already eliminated them because of this issue.
The Spinners — the name comes from the textile industry — have been around 10 years and have sold out every game since 2000.
I salute the Spinners. And it wouldn’t shock me if Carl Pavano, Kyle Farnsworth and other recent arrivals to the Bronx who might not have been to the Kool-Aid dispenser approached the Spinnners as well!
I'm grateful to blogger Deezofeezo, who is always a funny read, for bringing this crusade to our attention!
In other words...
Sometime on Friday I recorded hit no. 10,000 since I added the counter in mid-June. This is both amazing and humbling. I realize that some blogs get that many hits before lunch each and every day. But I’m honored that anyone at all takes the time to invite me into their lives for a few moments.
It’s a nice round number, and a good place to pause and reflect. There are a couple people I need to thank. You see and hear about Will Christensen in many of my posts. He’s been my best friend and baseball adventure buddy since 1990. Will is an amazing baseball researcher and analyst, and you can check him out at Baseballtruth.com.
You also see and hear about Tony Hartsfield, who has been like a brother since I subjected him to all sorts of things when we were roommates at University of Missouri. Tony has been a role model in many, many ways. His great writing inspired me to try blogging.
And my cousin, Michael McMillin, is a constant source of encouragement and friendship. His new blog is here.
A totally unexpected benefit of being a part of the blogging community has been meeting some wonderful people. Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing, when not heroically satisfying my cravings for the culinary treats of the homeland, demonstrates his, well, "Amazin’" knowledge of Mets history and shows how it intertwines with our own personal stories.
Metstradamus, Deezo and Joe are just flat-out funny, Mark of Mets Walkoffs is a fantastic historian and Miracle Mets shows that there are a lot of new quality bloggers joining our ranks every day. If I list more it will seem like an Oscars speech, and the band has started to play.
I realize that a big chunk of those hits are from my Mom and Dad, sister Jen, brother John and mother-in-law -- loyal readers and people I love.
And, of course, my wife, Julie. She is not a loyal reader, but endures me talking about the blog all the time. That must be as boring as listening to a rotisserie team ower brag about his team, making her a saint.