baseball


DODGER GREATS ROY Campanella, left, and Don Newcombe spent their first year in (white) organized baseball in 1946 playing for the Nashua (N.H.) Dodgers, performing brilliantly and winning the New England League Championship. Jackie Robinson played that breakthrough year in Montreal, so the Nashua Dodgers were the first integrated U.S. baseball team in organized professional baseball. Courtesy of the Nashua Telegraph
I have wanted to go to a game in Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H., for a long time because of the park’s historical significance. Finally, this summer I did, on Aug. 12, the very last day of the season for the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures College Baseball League, the same league whose championship was won by the Vermont Lake Monsters (well-done, Monsters!). I traveled solo for an afternoon makeup game, watched the home team lose, 6-5, with about 100 other fans (at most) on a sultry day. I sat for an inning or two with the dad of the Knights DH, a Nashua boy, a senior at Emerson College...

TED WILLIAMS, PERHAPS baseball’s greatest batter in the game’s century and a half history, batted left-handed and threw right-handed. Many of baseball’s greatest players demonstrated this mix-handedness (including Red Sox Yaz, Wade Boggs, Rafeal Devers). A medical study noted that 32% of the game’s greatest players, batted left and threw right.
You want your kid to be a major leaguer, and make a ton of money, so you can retire and live on Easy Street? Well, turn him around! Make sure he bats left-handed, from day one, from the day he first picks up that fat red plastic kid bat, or some other kiddie cudgel and attempts to bash something with it. It doesn’t matter if he appears to favor his right hand, eating, say, or scrawling primitive scribbles: just gently instruct him to put his left-hand on top of the right when he first picks up a cylindrical object and goes about smiting. The next thing you know he’ll be whacking the ball...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE PROFESSOR of English Brett Millier worked for three summers for the San Francisco Giants prior to coming to Middlebury. Here she is in 1984 with one of her favorite players, pitcher Mike Krukow. “Kruk” has been a Giants broadcaster for 27 years.
As she was exploring the campus on her very first day at Middlebury College in August 1986, young professor Brett Millier encountered Frank Kelley, the director of residential life, who engaged her in lively conversation as was his wont. Frank learned that Prof. Millier was at Middlebury to teach American literature, so he encouraged her to lead a discussion of the book all first-years were asked to read and discuss during Orientation, Carson McCullers’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” He suggested she come with him to the dean of students office in Old Chapel to meet with the associate dean...

TYLER PELLAND, SHOWN here in a Division II championship game appearance at Centennial Field, compiled eye-popping statistics in his Mount Abe high school career. Among them were 40 straight scoreless playoff innings in his junior and senior years as the Eagles won two titles.
CRAFTSBURY — For six years Monkton native and former Mount Abraham Union High School and Addison County American Legion standout pitcher Tyler Pelland played professional baseball. Although the Boston Red Sox drafted the left-hander in 2002, he spent most of his baseball career in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He reached the highest rung of the minor leagues in 2007 — excelling that year — and 2008 before serious shoulder problems derailed his chance of playing Major League Baseball. But Pelland, 37, rarely thinks about baseball these days. He and his partner of seven years, Anners...
This is a sidebar to this feature story on former Red Sox draftee Tyler Pelland. CRAFTSBURY — Tyler Pelland, now 37 and a happy family man in Craftsbury, compiled eye-popping numbers as a left-handed pitcher at Mount Abraham Union High School before being drafted into Major League Baseball. His minor league numbers, particularly late in his career for Triple A Louisville, also reveal potential for a Major League career, if significant shoulder problems had not cropped up. Here are some milestones and highlights from Pelland’s baseball career: •  In the 2002 D-II Final struck out 19 in a three...

FORMER BOSTON RED Sox and Montreal Expo pitcher Bill Lee, a longtime Craftsbury resident, smiles with Jane Lindholm, daughter of Lee’s friend and Independent columnist Karl Lindholm.
This week’s column is written in a similar spirit to those of the other sports columnist, the angler, who takes us to lakes, ponds, and streams through sylvan glades to his favorite fishing spots. He describes with precise detail the bliss he feels casting his line in the water, surrounded as he is by the austere beauty of the natural world. I don’t fish but I know his bliss: I get mine at baseball games. I go to a lot of games and watch the Red Sox on TV, but in my dotage I find attending major league games kinda wears me out — the crowds, the hassle, the noise, the expense.  I have been to...
ADDISON COUNTY — Eleven members of the Mount Abraham, Vergennes and Otter Valley union high school baseball teams earned postseason recognition from either the Lake Division or the Southern Vermont League’s B Division. Four Eagles received First Team honors from the Lake Division: Neil Guy, Colby Lathrop, Adam Mansfield and Zeke Savage. Commodores joining them on the Lake First team were Barret Barrows, Jarret Muzzy and Tucker Stearns. Two Otters made the SVL B Division First Team: Fraser Pierpont and Alex Polli. Ryan Whitcomb from Mount Abe and Elijah Duprey from VUHS received Honorable...

RAY FISHER WAS manager in Vermont’s Northern League for Burlington in 1937 and Montpelier-Barre in 1946 and from 1948-50. A Middlebury native and graduate of Middlebury High School and Middlebury College, Fisher pitched in the Major Leagues from 1910-1920 and coached baseball at the University of Michigan for 38 years. He returned to Vermont each summer to his family camp on Lake Champlain in Ferrisburgh. Courtesy of the Fisher Family Archives
In the last game of his sophomore year at Michigan State in 1946, Robin Roberts lost 2-0 to archrival Michigan, coached by a 58-year-old Ray Fisher. At game’s end, Fisher asked the Michigan State ace if he would like to play summer ball in Vermont. After a four-year wartime hiatus, the Northern League, a fast independent league in Vermont and New York, was reviving and seeking fresh talent from the collegiate ranks. Fisher was coaching the Montpelier-Barre entry. Roberts immediately agreed, and thus began a productive and warm mentor-player relationship. Roberts was 11-8 that first summer (“...
WESTMINSTER — A big inning in each game in a Friday doubleheader propelled the North to a doubleheader sweep of the South in the 2021 Vermont Baseball Coaches Association North-South Senior Classic Friday night at Bellows Falls Union High’s Hadley Field. The North won the opener, 11-3, and the second game, 12-1. In the opener, the North scored two in the first, six in the second, two in the third, and one in the fourth. Justis Orton of Enosburg and Shreyas Parikh of Mount Mansfield each hit a pair of RBI singles, and doubles by Ryan Eaton of Champlain Valley, and Spaulding’s Zack Stabell and...
ADDISON COUNTY — For the second straight summer, there will be no Addison County American Legion baseball. Bristol American Legion Post 19 officer Ron LaRose confirmed last week that not enough candidates showed up at two recent tryouts to allow Addison County to field a team. In his role in 2020 as Vermont American Legion Department Commander, LaRose had to make the decision that April to call off American Legion baseball statewide. Then LaRose cited both safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide restrictions on clubs and restaurants that limited Legion posts’ ability to...

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Addison County Independent