Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zisk # 27

Mighty Joe Speaks! by David Lawton

Roger and Me (and Everyone Else in the Section) by Michael T. Fournier

How to be Ugly by Susan Petrone

Cooperstown 2016: A Municipal View by Frank D'Urso

"Why I Wasn't There": A Love Letter to the Twins, the Midwest, and Hot Dogs Eaten in Days Past by Darren E. Lone Fight

Defiling the Topps 2013 Heritage Series: One Man's Quest for Order by Rev. Norb

An Uncommon Sportstalk Host: An Interview with Rich Kimball by Mike Faloon

All-Time World Series Team: Players We Want to See in the Ninth Inning of the Seventh Game by Abby and Jesse Mendelson

"They Played Baseball" - Written and Performed by The Baseball Project, Annotated by Jay Wade Edwards

Book Review: Benchwarmer by Josh Wilker by R. Lincoln Harris

Mighty Joe Speaks! by David Lawton

Like so many things in America, baseball has become big business. And to maximize profit, the owners of big league clubs have increasingly applied corporate principles to the bucolic, poetic game that so many of us grew up on and love. The ballpark experience these days includes a family friendly plasticity, with playgrounds for the kids to escape to, Jumbotron screens with cartoons and quizzes to distract them, and costumed actors playing slickly designed team mascots who twerk on top of the dugout to Beyonce and fire t-shirts into the stands from a hand-held cannon. Anything to try and corral the public’s rapidly diminishing attention span. All this has caused me to recall a time when there was a true team mascot who had a personal connection to the players which helped relieve the tedium of the long season, making them (and the fans) feel that it helped them to win. This is what made me seek out one of the most reclusive figures from 1970s baseball history: Mighty Joe Young, the stuffed gorilla who was an essential part of the 1975 Boston Red Sox team that played in what many people still call the greatest World Series ever. I tracked him down to the sports memorabilia store in Fort Myers, Florida where he has been on display as a collector’s item for this exclusive interview:

DL: It’s an honor to meet you, Joe. Big fan!

MJY: It’s a relief to talk to anybody these days. This store owner’s got me vastly overpriced. Memorabilia schmemorabilia! It’s not like I’m Honus Wagner’s teddy bear or something.

DL: Don’t sell yourself short. You carved out a piece of history for yourself. How did you get yourself involved with The Show?

MJY: It all started with a pitcher named Scipio Spinks. Great baseball name, right? Hard thrower who came up in the Astros system, but then got traded to the Cardinals in 1972. And on a trip back to St. Louis one time, he bought me in an airport gift shop for his daughter.

DL: Aw, for his daughter…

MJY: It all started out so innocent. But as soon as he got to the clubhouse, he runs into Joe Torre, who takes one look at me and asks if I’m coming on the road with the team. So Scipio’s daughter never got me. See, Scipio was a fun loving guy. The Astros traded him because they didn’t think he was serious enough about his career. He was plenty serious on the mound, but he wanted to have fun. And he knew that one of the ways that he could help the team was by keeping the guys loose. So he dressed me up in a bat boy’s uniform, brought me out for TV interviews, sat me on the bench during the game. It took a while to win everybody over. Bob Gibson didn’t like the look of my nose, so he tore it off my face. It hurt like hell, but it was preferable to getting plunked by one of his fastballs. And the guys hung me from the rafters in Pittsburgh one time. But eventually, they treated me like one of the guys. One day, before a game, Scipio’s playing catch, and this Phillies pitcher Lowell Palmer comes up to him all pissed off, accusing him of something. Seems Palmer had bought a toy chimp for one of his kids, and found it hanging by a noose in the locker room, with a knife dripping ketchup stuck in it, and a note that said, “There’s only room for one monkey on this club!” We looked around, and saw Torre and Lou Brock laughing their asses off.

DL: So Spinks had succeeded in loosening the clubhouse up.

MJY: Yeah, but maybe got a little too loose himself. One night in midseason, he reaches base against Cincinnati and tries to score on a double, and blows his knee out running into Johnny Bench’s shin guard. He was just starting to establish himself in the rotation, and he ends his season with bad base running in a game where the team was three runs down.

DL: Pitchers can be dangerous doing anything but pitching. But he was able to come back, wasn’t he?

MJY: He was back for the beginning of the ’73 season. But then his shoulder started bothering him. Maybe from compensating for the repaired knee. But the Cardinals felt it was all in his head. They sent him to psychologist who kept telling him that his shoulder felt fine. This ticked Scipio off, because his shoulder hurt like hell. So he started bringing me to the sessions, and telling me that there was nothing wrong with MY shoulder, so I should be able to pitch. The shrink didn’t know what to do with that.

DL: But Scipio’s shoulder problems continued?

MJY: Yeah. Right on into the 1974 season. That was when the Cards decided that a change of scenery might help him. So they traded him to the Cubs. And he in turn decided to send me to his friend Bernie Carbo, who had been traded to the Red Sox.

DL: Was that hurtful for you, that he gave you away?

MJY: Not really. I think he knew he was done. His arm hurt, and no one could do anything about it. There weren’t some of the high tech surgeries they have now. And I think he knew that I still had some wins left in me. So he gave me a chance to experience the American League.

DL: Carbo was some piece of work.

MJY: You can say that again. I mean, Scipio was just having some fun with me. But Carbo needed me. He bought me a plane ticket for a seat next to him anytime we went on the road. And he would talk to me. Like deep conversations.

DL: What did he talk about?

MJY: I’m not saying I could make sense of it. The guy was high as a kite all the time, and half the time I had a contact high from him. But he was as sweet and innocent as a child. You could tell he was hurting about stuff from his childhood. You pick up on this shit when you’re a stuffed animal.

DL: That was quite a club, that Red Sox team.

MJY: Oh yeah! You had Yaz. Great guy as well as a great player. He wanted me to live on the bat rack in our dugout. Fisk and Tiant. Petrocelli and the Spaceman, Bill Lee. And by ’75, we added Jim Rice and Fred Lynn. It was another group of players who played hard on the field but kept it loose in the clubhouse. I got taken to more first class restaurants and skid row bars than the Phillie Phanatic ever dreamed of. But those guys really came to believe I was bringing them luck as that ’75 season rolled along.

DL: That was the first time in a long time that people in New England really believed the curse could be broken.

MJY: Nobody thought anyone could stop the Big Red Machine. But we went toe to toe with them for seven of the best games you’ll ever see. And I was there in the dugout in the eighth inning of the sixth game when Bernie was called on to pinch hit. He was unprepared and out of it. Rawley Eastwick almost struck him out on the most awkward swing in baseball history. But Bernie just managed to get a piece of it. At that point, I knew what Bench was going to call for. I’d been around. I pulled myself up on the top step of the dugout by my little knuckle dragging arms and shouted, “DEAD RED!”, and Bernie blasted it into the seats to tie the game. My man! Without that homer, Fisk never gets the chance to wave his homer fair.

DL: It must have been a great let-down to lose the series after that game.

MJY: Hey – we were the toast of Boston. Fans mailed me more bananas than I knew what to do with. Not to mention banana liqueur.

DL: Did the good times continue in ’76?

MJY: Not quite. Management started tinkering with the club immediately, and none of the moves worked. They shipped Bernie and I to Milwaukee in the middle of the season, and that didn’t help them either. By the beginning of the ’77 season, we were back with them, on another team with great offense, but perennial pitching problems. The Boston fans expected playoff baseball again. Free agency arrived, driving the stakes higher. And the Yankees were a juggernaut once again. At one point, the club was in a tailspin, and a bunch of the players got a hold of me, and doused me with lighter fluid to ritually burn me to change the team’s mojo. But Bernie rescued me, and left me back in his hometown of Detroit to keep me safe. Imagine having to go to Detroit for safety? But that’s baseball. One day you’re a good luck charm, the next you’re a jinx.

DL: Was it hard for you to be off the road?

MJY: On the one hand, I missed being around the guys, but on the other, I didn’t have to see things go so wrong for Bernie. He got traded to Cleveland, then back to St. Louis, and then tried to catch on with Pittsburgh. Each time playing less and getting more and more messed up on drugs and booze. He talked about being out in the outfield, and it looked like the stars were falling down out of the sky. He finally ended up back in Detroit, where he opened a hair salon. But then, the whole drug scandal broke out with the Pittsburgh Pirates players who had in-house cocaine dealers, for them and the opposing players. Even the Pirates Parrot mascot was implicated. Keith Hernandez was one of the players caught up in that, and at the trial, he named Bernie as the person who had first introduced him to coke. This brought Bernie a lot of bad publicity for his business, and embarrassment to his family. So Bernie mailed me to Keith Hernandez with a note that said, “Get the monkey off your own back!”, or something like that.

DL: How did that make you feel?

MJY: Like, “Leave me out of it”, y’know? I mean, Hernandez opens the package and tosses me down the trash chute without a thought. What does he care? If the sanitation guys hadn’t taken a shine to me and tied me to bumper of their truck, I woulda gone straight into the incinerator.

DL: And what since then, Joe?

MJY: I tried Japan, but I couldn’t adjust to the culture. Kicked around the Mexican Leagues for awhile. But enough’s enough. Scipio got into coaching, and helped Oil Can Boyd work out his stuff. I like that, as a former Bosox. Bernie found religion, and speaks out about drug abuse. I am happy for him. And I have my little moment of glory that keeps my nose-damaged, lighter fluid stinkin’, banana lovin’ ass on markup here on memory lane.

DL: Well thanks, Joe, for reminding us that the game, like life, is always better when there are laughs to go along with it.

MJY: Damn straight!

Roger and Me (And Everyone Else in the Section) by Michael T. Fournier

The worst phrase you can hear in a restaurant is “what are you doing on (insert day)?” When asked, the phrase roughly translates to “I need you to pick up some lame shift.”

I knew what was happening when the restaurant’s manager asked “what are you doing on Sunday?”

Jeez, I thought, I’m gonna have to work Saturday night, then pull a brunch shift the next morning unless I can think of an excuse.

My mind was blank.

“Nothing,” I said, with visions of hungover patrons and overpriced eggs in my head.

The GM shook my hand.

I looked down to find myself holding a pair of tickets for the Sox/Yankees game.

These were no bleachers, either: I’d been handed a pair of box seats probably fifteen rows back from the field, just past the jut of the visitor’s dugout.


The game was a big one: Tim Wakefield pitching against Roger Clemens on Sunday, 8/31/2003.

Come Sunday I walked down to the park from my Allston apartment with my roommate Brendan (who you may know for his amazing crossword puzzles for the New York Times and about a zillion other publications). By the time we loaded up on beer and found our (amazing) seats, the Yankees were up three-zip. It was one of those late summer games where the air is still, so Wake’s knuckler was flatter than a pancake. Jeter made a quick out, but the next bunch of batters—Nick Johnson, Bernie Williams— ran the Sox ragged. Such games were to be expected from Wake, I knew, particularly in the dog days of summer, but dammit, not when I had the corporate seats, you know?

To make things worse, Clemens looked dominant in the first. Like every good red-blooded New Englander, I couldn’t stand the guy, though I had some begrudging respect left for him. I was electrified by Clemens when I saw him pitch Fenway in 1986, and despite the requisite post-defection angst and trash talk I bought tickets before the season started to three consecutive Sox/Yankees games that May hoping to catch his 300th win (I wound up catching #299, as well as a spot start by Bruce Chen when Pedro got hurt).

It’s only a three-run lead, I thought. No problem.

Ortiz singled to start the second inning.

Kevin Millar was up next. In 2003, he and his wife Geana came to the restaurant I worked at a good bit, to the point where they requested me when they came in (for more on this, take a look at Zisk #22, in which I discuss both the Millars and making a complete ass of myself in front of Jim Palmer). I wanted Millar to continue the rally, so that the next time he came in I could tell him I had been there.

Clemens was pitching from the stretch for the first time.

And somehow, he was looking right at me and Brendan. There is no exaggeration or fancy present here: When he pitched from the stretch, Roger Clemens was looking directly at the amazing corporate box seats we occupied.

As Clemens prepped to throw his second pitch from the stretch, I elbowed Brendan, then flipped Roger Clemens a carefully timed bird.

Brendan, of course, thought the bird-flipping was hilarious, and did the same on the next pitch.

Then the entire section did so.

I craned my neck backwards as Clemens set. Everyone in the section was waiting for him to come to a stop and look our way before hoisting extended middle fingers.

He grimaced a little. I thought maybe I had imagined this. But the end of the inning settled it.

This is great, I thought. We’re totally inside his head. I saw him make a face when he restarted his motion to the plate. The Sox will come back and win this game, and it’ll all be because my GM gave me a pair of the corporate box seats. Maybe I can convince him to give me tickets to all the rest, too.

Pitch after pitch, Clemens looked at our section. Our synchronized birding was Olympic in its grace and timing.

Until Millar grounded into a double play.

The whole barkpark—our synchronized section in particular—let out the kind of giant ‘aawww’ specific to wasted opportunity.

Baserunners gone, Clemens resumed his normal windup, in which his gaze landed nowhere near us.

Trot Nixon flied out to end the inning.

Clemens ambled back to the visiting dugout.

Remember how I said I thought I saw him grimace as he was pitching? I’m sure, now, that I did. I say this because as he walked back, he turned his head and sought me out, narrowing his eyes as his face made that same grimace—you’re the asshole who got the whole section to flip me the bird, as if that would distract me—burning an expletive into me before shifting that same gaze to Brendan, then disappearing into the dugout en route to an 8-4 Yankees win which never felt close. 

Michael T. Fournier is the author of two novels on Three Rooms Press, as well as a book about the Minutemen for the 33 1/3 series. He still considers purchasing a Pete Rose Expos jersey.

How to be Ugly by Susan Petrone

Nine is one of the magic numbers of baseball. I would argue that it is also the optimum age to fall in love with the game. You’re old enough to play and watch baseball with some level of skill and understanding. Things like sacrifice bunts and pitch choices and infield shifts start making sense and you begin to understand why it’s called “the thinking man’s game.” However, if you’re a dorky nine-year-old girl, you wonder whether that definition can be expanded to thinking girls as well.

I was nine in the summer of 1977, and I lived and breathed the Cleveland Indians with my brother, Mike, and two neighbor kids who were close to our ages. Every morning I would wake up with the prospect of 16 hours of daylight stretching out before me like the ribbon on a birthday gift. We were all at the tail ends of large families—six in ours and seven in theirs. It was the 1970’s, and our mothers didn’t have the worries of missing children on milk cartons or poisoned Tylenol or pornography on the Internet. Nobody missed us or worried too much about us when we were out. We were free to spend each day of the summer as we wished. We would play baseball or whiffle ball all day with the neighbors, then my brother and I would watch the Indians on WUAB, the local UHF channel. That was when I learned the game, and that’s when I fell in love with the Cleveland Indians.

The 1977 Indians were not a very good team. Cleveland has had a professional baseball team since the Cleveland Blues of 1901 In the 115-year history of the franchise, the ’77 team ranks 98th  with a .441 winning percentage. They had some fine players. My hero, Andre Thornton, was playing his first season in Cleveland. He batted .263 with 28 home runs—not his best season but more than respectable. Future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley was on the pitching staff. He only went 14-13 in 1977, but he also pitched the 200th no-hitter in modern baseball history. I didn’t know it at the time, but Eckersley already had problems with alcohol, and his best friend and teammate, Rick Manning, was sleeping with his wife. My father was sleeping with someone other than my mother, but I didn’t know that either and wouldn’t for a few more years. Baseball has a way of hiding secrets and acting as a balm for the truths we’d rather not face.

The ’77 Indians were ugly both figuratively and literally. Their road uniforms were especially atrocious—red jerseys and red pants that made them look like tall glasses of Hawaiian Punch. I was ugly too. For some reason, that was the summer my parents convinced me to cut my hair short. I was a tomboy, but until that point, I had long, straight hair. It got tangled, as the hair of an active little girl will do, so my parents decided that I should have short hair. The haircut itself was an unglamorous affair. These days, most people take their daughters to a real salon for their first “big girl” hair styling. That wasn’t in my parents’ playbook.  My great-grandfather had been a barber, and apparently someone thought the barbering gene had passed to my eldest brother, John. He and I didn’t always get along, still, I don’t think he tried to give me a lousy haircut. So I had a bad, boyish short haircut, thick glasses, lots of hand-me-down clothes (primarily from my brother Mike, who was closest in age to me), and did I mention I was a little chubby at the time?

Our brother John worked as a soda jerk at a place called Meither’s Ice Cream, which was one of the last remaining soda shops on the east side of Cleveland. Mike and I would ride our bikes up, get ice cream, and play pinball. The Who’s film version of Tommy had come out a couple years before and helped to spark a little pinball revival. I fancied myself a pinball wizard (because I heard that song on the radio a lot). Like the Indians, I had flashes of brilliance and great games, but mostly I just lost quarters.

One day, while playing one of my better games, a girl a couple years older watched me for a minute and commented on my score. My brother said, “Yeah, she’s doing pretty good.” The older girl took in the bad, bowl-like haircut, the thick glasses, the worn, dark green T-shirt, and long cut-off shorts that had once belonged to my brother and said with disgust: “She? That’s a girl?”

I would like to say that I had a quick and cutting reply.

There was a ballgame on that night—in the childhood of my memory, there is an Indians game every day—and I watched it and dreamt of being the first woman in the major leagues. I knew I wouldn’t be. I knew no women played in the majors and that I would have to be spectacular to be the first. I wasn’t spectacular. I was just an awkward little girl who was made of about as much sugar and spice and everything nice as the Indians were made of future Hall of Famers. (So about four percent.) But I watched the game with my brother and learned a bit more about baseball and felt a bit less ugly, a bit less awkward.

I’ve watched my beloved Cleveland Indians go from ugly duckling to graceful swan and back again several times since I was nine. Each time, I believe the metamorphosis is permanent, but it never is. I’ve gone through periods in my life when I was called beautiful and periods when I felt like the biggest, ugliest lump of humanity ever birthed. I have my bad hair days. The Indians have their bad seasons. But each spring, each game, each at bat is an opportunity for something else, something lovely. That is what baseball does: It gives us moments of grace when we most need them. It teaches us unconditional love, it allows us unlimited opportunities to recreate ourselves. Even the least talented among us is worthy of being loved and admired. Even the ugliest among us can still become beautiful.

Susan Petrone is the co-owner and writer for, an ESPN-affiliated blog about the Cleveland Indians. In addition, she's the author of the novel Throw Like a Woman (2015) as well as other fiction that has nothing to do with baseball.

Cooperstown 2016: A Muncipal View by Frank D'Urso

I live in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, home of the starting line of one of the oldest marathons in the world. Each year, for one amazing day, tens of thousands of people flood our tiny town nestled in the woods and hills 26.2 miles away from the finish line in Copley Square. I have been a long term volunteer for the Boston Athletic Association (1985-1990) and the Town of Hopkinton, currently serving on the Sustainable Green Committee and an elected member of our Planning Board. I bought my home in December 1999 and moved to Hopkinton in January 2000. Since that same year I have spent most induction weekends on the Field of Dreams with my pals of Team GALCO (Get A Life Company). I calculate that I have spent over two solid months attending the annual Baseball Hall of Fame festivities.

I recently read of plans for the Hopkinton Town Manager and some other officials to make a trip to Cooperstown in order to learn how to make Hopkinton a similar destination for sports minded enthusiasts. There is a plan being floated by private interests to build a Marathon Museum on newly acquired town land, which, I think I can say as a private individual, is a great idea. I do, however, have a major problem with town officials taking a boondoggle trip to Cooperstown. All the information they need is online, and hey, I'd be glad to tell them all that they'd need to know and more.

So, here, in my humble view as an officially published sports journalist, town planning enthusiast, fiscally conservative socially progressive, master degree holding, Boston Marathon fan, and Boston Red Sox diehard is A MUNICIPAL OVERVIEW OF THE VILLAGE OF COOPERSTOWN AS IT PERTAINS TO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME.

Here's what Cooperstown is like, for those who have not had the opportunity:

There’s one street. And it's right out of the 1930s. Beautiful brick buildings line Main Street, most of the shops sell baseball collectibles. Most of the businesses are locally owned; CVS might be the only chain store. There’s a mix of restaurants and bars mixed into the quarter mile stretch of downtown. One side is anchored by the Hall of Fame itself, set on the grounds of an old mansion with several acres behind Victorian wrought iron gates and beautiful stone work. The other side of the street is anchored by Doubleday Field, set back a bit behind a large parking lot. The stadium is small but perfectly acceptable for at least one MLB game a year. More on that later.

The side streets are lined with beautiful homes. The nicer homes seem to be closer to the lake, and that side of the village is dominated by the grand old Hotel Otsego, which sits on several more acres of land and is adjacent to the “better” golf course. The hotel and golf course is reserved for the ballplayers and officials on induction weekend. Once I innocently wandered onto the golf course while searching for my buddy George. I yelled “Jorge” while looking peeved and that seemed to appease the security gorillas while the autograph seeking hordes clustered behind the yellow safety rope. But I digress.

The last corner of the village is occupied by a large hospital complex that sits on several acres of the former Singer Sewing Machine factory and headquarters. The Field of Dreams lays beyond here, a short 15-minute walk from downtown (your mileage may vary). There is a large field house and outdoor stage platform, which is surrounded by acres of former farmland. There is so much land that you never see the 30-foot tall fire safety training structures that are beyond the rows of hundreds of Porta Potties. These wooden structures appear to be straight out of Ape City. But I digress.

Hey did you notice I didn't mention any hotels? I mean besides the big beautiful one? There's a couple, with a handful of rooms each. One place on Main Street, and one place on a side road on the way to the field, the Cooperstown Motel, which has a parking lot. And cots. South of Cooperstown on each side of the lake there are a couple of small multiple room hotels, I imagine you'd be lucky to get a room for induction week at these fine two star establishments. Many people that come to Cooperstown stay in the larger and modern chain hotels that are just over the line in the next village, there's several to choose from, and Oneonta isn't that far away (but a hassle to get to and from during induction week).

The southern end of the lake is actually in another village/county, but there is a pretty good golf course and the Glimmer Glass Opera House. There are some much larger farms out this way and all around Cooperstown.

So meanwhile, the hills rise behind the Field of Dreams and small family farms dot the landscape, there is a great farmers market that thankfully has nothing to do with baseball, because frankly, even on just a long weekend, it's nice to take a break. (The Cooperstown Museum of Art is right across from the Hall of Fame, and The James Fenimore Cooper Museum is across from the Otsego Country Club. And Natty Bumpo’s grave is high on the hill next to the lake.)

Lake Otsego is seven nautical miles, enough for the curve of the Earth to be evident. Years ago we made the acquaintance of a local family and have been staying lakeside on their family compound. There's nothing so manly yet peaceful as waking up in a house full of Yankee and Red Sox fans. Oh what a beautiful morning!


Induction Week

With an influx of NY Staties, local cops and visiting police help keep people safe. The fire department (right near Doubleday field) are in their finery and the engines are shining and ready for action. Retired players line the streets sitting at tables in front of stores, or in the stores, signing autographs, shaking hands and posing for pictures. Restaurants have food carts and BBQs out all weekend. Events seem to kick into high gear Friday through the big event on Sunday. Local breweries, bat companies and jewelers seem to be the biggest producers of tactile things. The sports paraphernalia items seem to be all in the same place on the same shelves every year, although they probably are making money hand over fist on induction weekend. T-shirts are one of my favorite items. There's the official shortsleeve from the Hall gift shop (no ticket needed) and many vendors sell their particular take on things.

The actual Field of Dreams is large, spacious, well maintained, and community volunteers and fundraisers help out with cleanup and selling food to the throngs.

There is also a complex of playing fields and dormitories for kids (and grownups) to come play tournaments in Cooperstown. (This is also called The Field of Dreams?)

The Blues Train runs on an old line between several of the local villages. It’s privately run, mostly by train-loving volunteers. There are many types of runs. My favorite is the “Adult Only” with a live local rock band playing on the half covered platform car. There's the main locomotive, passenger car, diner car (they make great all natural pizza), bar car and caboose. The trip starts before sundown a few villages away and rides into and back out of Cooperstown. It’s a nice way to spend three hours and make friends with the locals like our buddy Farmer Dick who we find every year and gives us his homemade cider mash.


Parking. They could relax restrictions along the side streets. I mean, there’s not so many places to park the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile in this place. If the neighbors don't like it (some don't), it’s only one weekend a year.

Separating the annual interleague MLB game at Doubleday Field from Induction weekend. Sure, regular interleague play has diminished the appeal of watching the D'Backs play the Mariners, and some say the park is too small for an official game, but they say that about Fenway Park too. And many managers played their benches. I say let them play and let it count as an official game. Put it on TV and let's see a barrage of homeruns on the roofs of the neighbors. The minor league game is still interesting to watch, but let's see the big guys!  


1. Be open to a developer building a hotel. Seriously, there's no place for anyone to stay in town and hotels in the surrounding towns make out like bandits. Local room tax. Boom. 

2. DO build the Marathon Museum. It's a nice way to get people to visit year round.

3. MORE restaurants, places to shop downtown.

4. MORE emphasis on the town commons and vendors and artists perform during the weekend.

5. MORE events in Hopkinton leading up to the Marathon

6. Find a way to keep people interested in sticking around the commons on Sunday. It's a ghost town by noon since the BAA changed the starting times.

7. MORE events with retired runners and champions

8. Invite Pete Rose and his reality show wife. I digress but good.

In summary, Cooperstown has places for people to be and things to do all summer. Hopkinton would have to add lots of interesting things to do. We don't need to spend tax money sending anyone to New York to see. (Also, baseball wasn't even invented in Cooperstown.)

Frank D’Urso is an old time Zisk contributer and SABR member. He is amazed that the Red Sox have won three World Series in the past decade or so, and still plays in the annual 100 Inning fundraiser to defeat ALS. Throws a clunky knuckleball.