Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day Guest Posting: Chippy Burdock

To-day is a fine day in the life of any red-blooded Rooter from Scituate to St. Agatha. Indeed, to-day is the day the Boston Red Stockings grace the emerald field for the first of many tilts of this year's heroic campaign. To commemorate this auspicious day, Hurdy Chadwick and Stuffy McInnes have invited a few fellow Rooters to share their thoughts on the state of Red Stockings base-ball.

Our first guest posting comes from fellow scribe and Boston gadabout Chippy Burdock, a man's man and a font of Red Stockings knowledge. Welcome, Chippy, and play ball!

Chippy Burdock
Boston, Mass.

The bunting is strung gaily ‘cross the box seats and rafters of our lyric little bandbox, but from those festive pleats drip torrents of rain water. And, alas, Jove continues to pelt the gathered Rooters with angry droplets thrown down from the firmament!

Base-ball may yet be played on Fenway’s meticulously mowed lawn to-day, or yet it may not. As we wait with baited breath to see whether the Bostons will take the field, prepared to do battle behind “ace” hurler Joshua P. Beckett, there is naught all to do but listen to the wireless and wait.

As we do, it is worth pondering the merits of the men and women of the New England Sports Network, those dogged legmen, shouters, and opinion mongers who help bring the noble game to life each eve’n’ing in our living rooms and parlours.

Of course, the voice we’ve longed to hear these interminable winter months belongs to Mr. Jerry “Doggy” Remy, a hale and hearty fellow whose time spent playing for the Bostons, three decades past, did not result in a surfeit of circle clouts, but whose fleet feet and spry glove at the second bag were inestimable assets to a team that could well have been World Beaters in 1978 were it not for the dunderheadedness of one Donald Zimmer.

Over the years, Mr. Remy has proven himself an astute student of the game, and as his crown of hair has thinned atop and his jowls have drooped (as they do in later life), he’s become a teacher of the intricacies and finer aspects of the sport. He’s a happy sort, presiding from his perch over Red Sox Nation as he hawks truckloads of personalized sundries and puffs cigar-ettes on the sly between plays.

Sharing the talking booth with “Doggy,” is Don “Announcer Man” Orsillo. Don is a rather excitable chap, given to peppering his broadcasts with punning world play such as “down by way of the K” and “home run.” He is a pleasant man, beloved by all for his cheerful demeanor, dulcet speaking voice, and bouts of uncontrollable laughter.

A native of our great home state of Maine – having grown up playing ice-hockey in Lewiston, near the mighty churning Androscoggin – Tom “Tee See” Caron is a fine and capable host, manning the desk in the network’s Watertown headquarters and enlightening we Rooters with spot-on analysis and interviews with assorted Knights of the Keyboard. Assisting him in these endeavors is Dennis “Ecky” Eckersley a Hall of Fame hurler with a unique, self-styled vocabulary ("high cheese," etc.), a shock of stylishly feathered hair, and the finest and most luxuriant moustache since William Howard Taft enacted his Dollar Diplomacy in 1909.

Finally, reporting from the nooks and crannies of the park, often bringing news via her micro-phone while standing in Canvas Alley, is the flaxen-haired Heidi Watney. Many chaps (including, rumour has it, a certain backstop who dons the tools of ignorance for the Bostons) count Ms. Watney as a beauty non-pareil. Her knowledge of the sport may be merely adequate, but she surely is a pleasant sight to behold as the summer sun shines warmly upon her pretty features, and she’s proven adept enough at soliciting post-game stock quotations from Bostons who’ve helped win contests with dramatic late-inning clouts or Herculean hurling.

Hopefully this team will enjoy many such moments throughout this coming season – wind, rain or shine.

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