Friday, February 10, 2006

My New Favorite Minor League Team

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.

Gabe Kapler is a famous ex-Spinner.

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

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.

Thank you!


Denise said...

Hey.. did you see my last comment on the last blog? I will paste it below. I was going on about all the ball players that are my neighbors. But, I forgot one family. The Toscas. He was the manager for the blue jays and now does something for the diamond backs. I am not really sure what though. Talk to you soon. Previous comment:
Hey... I have you all beat!!! "Santa" bought me "Curtain Call"!!!! ALL of them now in my ipod! Actually Bill's boss in Joe Magadan. His brother is Dave. Did you know Jeff Gray? Boston player I believe. He is my neighbor. Also, Mike Heath. His started out in the "Evil Empire" in the 70's and then went to the A's and to the Tigers. He is my neighbor too. Hey Mike!! It is me. How is it going? Dave.. I agree with Mike.. I remember when you were away at college, I would sleep over in your room. Those posters were pretty scary. No wonder Metal is now deeply rooted in my subconcious.

Bob said...

I was amazed initially it wasn't the Tidewater Tides. Y'know, I used to watch a lot of their games back when George Theodore powered the team.

But this is a wonderful story. Perhaps the Spinners can be my team too. Pretty soon, maybe even the Tides, who seem to be interested in having Ricky Henderson onboard, may become the Spinners.

Joe said...

People often ask me if I hate the Columbus Clippers, as they are the supposed breeding ground for Yankee-spawn. I tell them, ehhhh not so much. Yankees become Clippers more often than Clippers become Yankees. Of course, the Clippers that DO become Yankees (Jeter, Cano) are just horrific human beings. But thanks to the Clippers, I get to see Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden up close for 5 bucks. And if Drew Henson ever makes it big in the NFL, I could say I booed him playing 3rd base.

mike said...

Hey Dave,

Thanks for the acknowledgement. It truly enjoy reading your blog each day. I spread it to all my Mets fans back here in the homeland. I look foward to each posting. Hello Denise. It's been a long time. Nice to hear from you. How is Roy? Drop ma na e-mail if you want -


Dad said...

I have two favorite minor league teams, the Jupiter Hammerheads and the Brooklyn Cyclones. I have caps for both without the cheesy plastic strip in the back.

I only have one favorite blogger, as aq matter of fact I only read one blog, yours and I lood forward to it every day. I've even managed to garner a good sized grudge against the Yankees! Even frin 1450 miles away you make me proud.

deezofeezo said...

Thanks for the shout out man! As a fellow Minor League Baseball conniseur, I have to say one of my favorite teams has to be the Spinners. I love wearing my Spinners cap and having people ask what team is on my hat...When I explain, they usually are confused as to why I would like a Class A affiliate of the Red Sox...Now I have a tangible answer other than the Logo is cool.

I am also very partial to the Montgomery Biscuits, and of course my hometown team the Lake County Captains.

Tony Hartsfield said...

Thanks. It's a privilege to be singled out by you. I just wish I knew what the hell you were talking about half the time...

G-Fafif said...

Some people are the hole. Dave Murray is the bagel.

mike said...

Don't forget the Long Island Ducks.