Lead Story - 9/15/2020
Season 10 ALL-STAR GAME RECAP
The Season 10 All-Star Game, played in the home park of the Gas-House Gorillas, will go down as the closest thing to the apocalypse that the BNBL has seen so far in its history. It wasn’t the play on the field so much, although there were some strange moments to be sure, but the atmosphere surrounding the game.
Johnny Logan was a hitting machine for the NorthEast-Atlantic team at the Season 10 ASG.
The game was played in California, with wildfires burning out of control all around the stadium, some as close as just a few miles away. Everyone from the surrounding area had been evacuated earlier in the day, but for whatever reason, the local authorities forgot that there was a game going on in the stadium, appropriately named “The Rabbit Hole”. No fans were allowed to show up for the game due to the pandemic, so there were only a few buses parked nearby, and the authorities must have presumed that the stadium had been vacated.
The players, coaches, umpires, RagingSol and a holograph of Commissioner Gus were the only ones in attendance.
RagingSol threw out the first pitch, sang the National Anthem, and also sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th Inning Stretch, even though he was soundly booed by the players and 2 of the umpires for his rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner earlier in the evening.
Sol was also seen walking up and down the stadium stairs trying to sell beverages, popcorn, peanuts, and crackerjacks to the cardboard cutouts, but luck wasn’t on his side. The only coin he made was the $14 USD that Gus agreed to money-transfer to his bank account in exchange for Sol pouring a beer over Gus’s holographic image during the top of the 9th inning.
Okay, enough nonsense for now – on to the game action.
In spite of starting off with two fantastic Gorilla starting pitchers, the SouthPacific side found themselves quickly in a hole (not the Rabbit Hole, although they were technically in that hole too, but a more figurative hole, scoring-wise … you know what I mean).
Johnny Logan started off the game by singling up the middle off starter Bob Veale. Veale was not in rare form on this night, (more like smoked), as the NorthEast-Atlantic hitters ended up with 3 base-hits and a Sac-Fly from Bernardo Brito, scoring Logan for the games’ first run.
NorthEast-Atlantic starter Dave LaPoint, conversely (although he was actually wearing Nikes), had little trouble in his half of the 1st, retiring Thomas, Peckinpaugh and Reynolds in order.
Joey Jay had even worse luck than Veale in the top of the 2nd. Orestes Destrade singled to start the inning. Jay struck out Terry Kennedy and got Billy Gardner to pop out harmlessly to SS Peckinpaugh, but then Johnny Logan got his second hit of the game, doubling home Destrade on a liner down the left field line. Tom Tresh then reached on an error by third-baseman Willie Kamm, and Dave Kingman followed with a 3-run bomb that was launched high, high up into the smoke-filled night. The ball seemed to have landed across the street from the stadium, perhaps somewhere on the roof of a neighbouring apartment complex that towers four stories above the left field bleachers. More on that later. Jay finally got Brito to fly out to end the inning, but not before the NorthEast-Atlantics had put up 5 runs over 2 innings of play.
The home team got a couple runs back in the bottom of the 2nd, getting to LaPoint with a Ron Kittle blast over the center-field wall, and three singles by Kusick, Triandos and Kamm, separated by outs to Johnny Rucker and Bret Boone. Kamm’s knock resulted in Kusick scoring from second base to make the score 5-2 after two.
The North-East Atlantic bats kept smoking for the next two innings, scoring single runs in the top of the 3rd and the top of the 4th. In the 3rd, Don Lock singled home Wes Parker after Parker had doubled to lead off the inning. In the 4th, Brito doubled home Woodstock teammate Johnny Logan after Logan had reached base on his third hit of the game, a sharp single into right field. That made the score 7-2 for the visitors, and left most of the South-Pacific players with tears in their eyes, although that may have been related to the smoke-filled air.
The home team wasn’t giving up though. They wiped the tears from their eyes, and scored runs in the next four innings, chipping away at the visitors’ lead. Triandos hit a solo homer in the 4th, Kittle and Kusick hit back-to-back doubles in the 5th, and Triandos hit his second consecutive solo home run in the 6th, cutting the lead to 7-5.
In the 7th inning, substitutions were made on both sides, with just a few starters remaining in the game. The South Pacific crew would score another run in the bottom of the 7th on a solo homer by Eddie Joost, but not before the NorthEast-Atlantic countered the home side’s attempted comeback with 2 more runs in the top half of the 7th on another string of hits, including a Milt May single, a Lonny Frey double, a Johnny Logan RBI single (his 5th hit of the game) and a Pat Kelly RBI single. After the 7th was complete, it was a 9-6 lead for the NE-A.
With Kingman (or Kong, as Raging and others like to call him) out of the game, the lanky slugger began to focus, not on the game being played on the field, but in retrieving his earlier home run ball from the high rise across the street from the stadium.
With all the evacuations, there was no one to open up the building for him, so he decided that the best way to reach the roof was by scaling the outside of the building, climbing up various fire escape stairs and ladders to reach the 11th story of the 12-story building. In what can only be called an epic BNBL moment, the 8th inning unfolded on the field, while, off in the distance, Kong could be seen scaling the 12th story of the apartment building, hand over hand, finding footholds on window ledges and imperfections in the brick facing. He almost lost his grip at one point, letting out an ear-splitting, Gorilla-esque roar which caught the attention of the players in the stadium. The action on the field came to an immediate halt as all ASG participants’ eyes were on Kong, who finished scaling the building, pulled himself up over the lip of the complex’s roof, quickly retrieved his Home Run ball and held it up over his head in victorious fashion, emitting another Gorilla-like roar in front of a back-drop of burning hills, thick smoke and water-bombers flying overhead. I wish I could show you a picture, but my holograph forgot his camera back in Canada. As the Isotopes’ mascot would say … “DOH!”
The hurlers took over the game in the 8th and 9th innings, with neither side allowing a run. In fact Mike Adams was the only batter to reach base, hitting a one-out, seeing-eye single off of reliever Paul Giel of the Rednecks. Among the pitchers starring in the final frames, Jim Duffalo continued his amazing Season 10 run by retiring the only 2 batters he faced. Buzz Capra retired the NE-A batters 3-up, 3-down in the top of the 9th, while Al Worthington retired the final 2 batters of the game, including an R.J. Reynolds flyout to deep center-field to finish the affair.
Johnny Logan was named the game’s MVP, going 5 for 6 with 4 singles and a double, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI. Other stars included Gus Triandos with 2 Home Runs for the losing side, Bernardo Brito with 2 hits and 2 RBI, ASG vote-in winner Zane Smith who retired the only 2 batters he faced, and Craig Kusick who went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI for the home team. Dick Ruthven of the Knights also had a strong inning of work, giving up a soft single, but retiring the other 3 batters he faced. We should probably also mention Dave Kingman for obvious reasons. He finished the game 1 for 4 but his Home Run, 3 RBIs and late-inning heroic climb will be remembered for years, or maybe minutes, by all who witnessed it.
Many thanks to RagingSol for hosting, Foghorn Leghorn for doing the play by play, Elmer Fudd for color commentary, Bugs Bunny for sawing a gigantic hole around the stadium, plunging it into the depths of hell during the 7th Inning Stretch just as Raging was finishing up his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, and the Warner Brothers animators for getting the stadium back to its original condition by the time the commercial break was over. Also, thanks to Wile E. Coyote for dropping anvils on the heads of Roger Peckinpaugh and Tom Tresh, the Roadrunner for “meep-meeping” throughout the game, and Speedy Gonzalez for defeating Lonny Frey and Derrel Thomas in a fun foot-race as part of the pre-game ceremonies. Porky Pig ended the broadcast with his iconic “th-th-th-th-th-th-that’s all folks”. And Yosemite Sam emptied his six-shooters into the sky in an understated but fun attempt at a replacement for post-game fireworks. The Tasmanian Devil couldn’t make it due to travel restrictions, which is too bad, I’m sure you’ll agree.
With the victory, the NorthEast-Atlantic team broke the streak of 4 wins in a row by the SouthPacific crew and also tied the overall series at 5 games apiece. (Our History page lists the All-Star results along with MVPs for each year if you’re horribly bored and have literally nothing else to do with your time).
The Season 11 All-Star Game will be held in Springfield, a little too close to the Nuclear Plant. Looking forward to that one, as well.
Please send any ASG questions to your friendly Commish.
And good luck to all in the 2nd half! Have fun with it!