Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day Guest Posting: Col. Westbrook

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. Please read Chippy Burdock's Guest Posting here.

Our next guest posting comes from Col. Westbrook, the redoubtable and lettered chronicler of local goings-on in Westbrook, the town discovered by his forebears on the banks of the might Presumpscot. Welcome, Col. Westbrook, and play ball!

Col. Westbrook
Westbrook, Maine

I share the company of so many Pine Tree Staters who so anxiously await this after-noon’s curtain-opener against the juvenile Tampas that I’ve exhausted my third piece of pure spruce gum of this hour. But amid this modest correspondent’s clamoring for the Red Stockings’ eighth campaign of the New Century lies a nugget of blasphemy so coal-colored I fear only a figurative peeling away of my matrimony-fattened breast can bleach the madness that so plagues me.

To-day, the sixth day of the month so fittingly inspired by the Latin equivalent of "the opening," should be a day sprinkled with confetti cut from the scraps of Samuel Dennis’s paper mill and marked by a celebration flowing so heavily from The Elevenses onward that my cranium is induced to a smooth state bettered only by one of Old Man Haskell’s finest productions.

Alas! This day in the month christened by Eliot as the cruellest month is made only crueller by a reminder of the cruellest day in my Red Stockings’ rooting career: 16 Dec. '04.
During the harvest of that year, the Red Stockings sprung a well so deep it flooded the long-droughted crops plaguing its fanatics' bosoms. Stout men pilgrimaged to the family plot to drip salt onto the granite graves of their perennially defeated ancestors. Paper City citizens everywhere--from the Alms House and Farm on Saco to The Elms on Cumberland--whooped for joy. Even the stern taskmistress Ms. Bertha Rice from Forest Street School was spied clicking her clogs in thin air!

Yet! For celebration on that ignominious winter's day, we Pine Tree Staters were disgraced with the presence of: Mark "Earmuffs" Bellhorn, a pauper’s "Lil’ Hands" whose habit of donning a Chester Greenwood-configured "batting helmet" does not redeem the fact that he could not grasp The Colossus’s ample undergarments; Leonard "Azzurri" DiNardo, an antecedent to ‘Ol Aches and Pains who spent more time that fateful year hopefully gulping Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey than he did sipping the bubbles of victory, stood in for our heralded warrior Der Spiegel; and D.A. Mirabelli, a player whose career highlight consists of a Pullman’s ride from the sun-splotched City of a Whale’s Vulva and a subsequent constable-led scramble atop the cobblestones of the Hub, sat astern the Forest City fire wagon instead of our steadfast Capt. Varitek. The only respectable "rep" sent from the Bostons was the marble-faced Youkilis, though I submit he was then more of the promising--and abbreviated--"Greek God of Walks" than the everyday grizzled "Yukon" we rooters have come to salute.

For all the annual chilly spring hours I have spent huddled in my parlor distinguishing the cackle of the wireless tube from the crackle of the evening fire, this is how the Red Stockings rewarded me! For all the annual stifling summer minutes I have spent lounging before the wireless on my back porch tolerating only my britches and tenement "tee shirt," this is how the Red Stockings rewarded me! For all the semi-annual autumn mornings when only a "shot" of Duffy's could solve the dark night before, this is how the Red Stockings rewarded me!

Oh, bustling boys of the Bostons: Why can't I quit you?

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