Season 13 ALL-STAR GAME RECAP
The BNBL's 13th All-Star Game was held north of the border for the first time, in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, home of the Charlie Browns. Strict protocols were in place to keep everyone safe, and 13,333 fans were in attendance, separated by plexiglass barriers, physically distanced, and sprayed down with mosquito repellent because Ontario had run out of every other kind of spray they could think of.
Bob Veale was perfect in his 2 innings of work and was named ASG13 MVP.
Woodstock Park was shiny and clean, ready for all the dignitaries from all the BNBL clubs. The usual assortment of "Peanuts"-themed attractions were located at various points around the park - including a few "Psychiatrich Help - 5 Cents" booths, one located at each of the entrances. A number of the All-Star players and owners were seen putting their five cents down and pouring out their problems to the handful of trained therapists (and one groundskeeper who was filling in) who were working the booths. Here are a few of the comments overheard by Woodstock staff:
"I mean, we love hitting home runs, but our owner won't go out and get pitching. We can't win without pitching. It's depressing. We've been the league's biggest losers for 12 straight seasons!"
"I'm telling you, it's like a Zoo down where we play. It's crazy! Oh, I'm probably not supposed to use that word. Okay, it's, it's, it's bonkers! It's insane! It's looney tunes! The owner is always talking about spells and jinxes and magic and she keeps giving us all these weird nicknames. She calls me ‘Kitty’ for ***** sake!!”
"I don't think I belong in this league. Isn't it supposed to be for losers? I'm not a loser. I was a pretty good player in my day. I even threw two consecutive no-hitters one time. And now I'm in this loser league. It's humiliating. No respect."
"I need some serious help. I just want to play the game, but the owner is always on me about my stats, and switching my seasons, and going on and on about my rank. I don't care about any of that. Is there any way you can get him off my back?"
"I think I'm an addict. I try to stop using emojis but I just can't stop. Do you have any pills for that?"
Each fan was given a package of mini York Peppermint Patties upon their entry into the park, and each of the team owners were given 30 mini packages to take home for their players and coaches.
As for the pre-game festivities, the first pitch was thrown out by an older local gentleman named Charles Brown. Charles was dressed in a yellow shirt with a thick, black zig-zaggy line across the middle. He threw a two-bouncer to the catcher, threw his glove in the dirt and yelled “Good Grief” before shuffling off the field. (btw, the Browns get him to throw out the first pitch at every single game - same result every time).
The American National Anthem was sung by Snoop Dogg, of course, whose gangsta rap rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was mostly drowned out by a chorus of boos. The Canadian national anthem was sung by the Van Pelt family singers from Sarnia, Ontario. The music technician, a young fine arts student named Schroeder, refused to play any of the players’ walk-up songs, substituting every single one with a different concerto, sonata, or orchestral offering, all from Ludwig Van Beethoven, some of them lasting more than 15 minutes. Classic ... (al).
As for the game, there was a slight delay before first pitch as a flock of yellow birds landed in center field and had to be chased off by a pack of beagles. The beagles then hung around in center field and had to be chased off by a low-flying airplane piloted by Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen III. Sadly, as Richthofen pulled up and back out of the stadium, he became disoriented by a huge flock of yellow birds and lost control of the plane, which was last seen plunging into Lake Erie. No word yet on whether there are any survivors but a committee has been struck to decide on which country has jurisdiction in order to begin a rescue mission.
Eventually, some actual baseball players took the field and it looked like a game might break out. The P.A. announcer announced the lead-off batter for the South Pacific stars. At least we presume that’s what she announced. There were some technical difficulties with the sound system throughout the game, so everything sounded like “Wah wah, wah wah, wah.”
Johnny Vander Meer, starter for the home team breezed through his two innings of work giving up just a walk. His counterpart, Bob Veale, was even better, retiring all six batters he faced including two strikeouts.
Pitchers continued to dominate through the early innings for both squads, with only three singles being surrendered until the sixth inning (Lonny Frey and Dan Driessen for the home team, Bill Russell for the visitors).
In the top of the sixth, the home team ran into some trouble as visibility became an issue. One of Woodstock’s grounds crew members, affectionately known as Pigpen, decided to start performing his post-game “dust-up” ritual a bit early. The ritual consists of Pigpen scuffling around the base paths as fast as he can, around and around, kicking up as much dust as possible. It’s a big hit for Woodstock fans after each victory, but it wasn’t really welcomed on this night. Most of the dust had settled when action resumed, but both Aaron Boone at 3rd and Bill Tuttle in center field made costly errors, misplaying balls that they later would claim they “lost in the dust”. Jim Duffalo's bad luck also include a wild pitch that catcher Choo Choo Coleman also blamed on dust in his eyes. The errors were costly, as the game’s first run came into score, unearned, giving the visiting South Pacific stars a 1-0 lead.
The seventh inning stretch saw Charles Brown come back onto the field to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Just as he was opening his mouth to sing the first word, one of the Van Pelt family singers ran up and swiped his microphone right out of his hand and ran off toward the outfield. Security guards from the Linus Security Corps were able to surround her, cover her with security blankets, and haul her off the field.
Driessen got his second hit of the game, another single, in the bottom of the 7th, but was unable to score. The 8th inning was marked by more pitching prowess as both offenses continued to struggle. Also, the owner of the Silver Sox was seen dozing off in his seat. The Bankees' owner was also seen sleeping, although he may have been in a diabetic coma. His face was contorted in pain and he was holding his stomach after having eaten all 30 packages of mini York Peppermint Patties meant for his players and coaches.
The South Pacific stars nearly added to their lead in the top of the 9th as Will Ohman gave up a walk to Carmelo Martinez and a single to Gorman Thomas (just the second hit of the game for the visitors) before hometown hero Mudcat Grant came into the game and retired three in a row without surrendering a run.
The real drama came in the bottom of the 9th with the home team still down a run. South Pacific brought in their last remaining pitcher, Fernando Arroyo of the Gorillas, who loaded the bases with nobody out. Things were looking promising for an exciting walk-off win for the home town heroes. Everyone was on the edge of their seat, except for the owner of the Bankees (still in a coma) and the owner of the Silver Sox who was awake, at least, but now was yelling “Bo-ring” over and over at the top of his lungs.
Arroyo managed to retire Driessen on a shallow fly ball to left field, Hee Seop Choi on a hard liner to 2nd baseman Jerry Adair, and Terry Kennedy on a four-pitch strikeout to give the South Pacific their second straight victory and a 7-6 lead in the all-time All-Star series. It was an exciting, if low-scoring game, unless you compare it to life in Las Vegas, in which case it was a colossal yawn-fest.
Congratulations to Bob Veale, starting pitcher for the South Pacific, who set the tone with 6 straight outs in the first two innings and was named the ASG13 MVP.
Please send any ASG questions to your friendly Commish.
You will be able to view the game and/or see the box score by checking out the Message Center links on the right side of our league's home page (at least for the next few weeks until I erase it from my Sandbox League)
Good luck to all in the 2nd half! Have fun!