Take me out to the ball game -- 06/20/09
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.
I went over to Newport last night to join some colleagues at historic Cardines Field to watch a Newport Gulls baseball game.

This is the outside of Cardines Field. Note the two "trolleys" on the street to the right of the stadium. I put the quotation marks there because they are really buses (running on compressed natural gas) that are made to look like old time trolleys, part of the historical ambiance that Newport likes to portray.

Cardines Field is one of the oldest baseball sites in the country. This field was being used for baseball games in 1893 (and perhaps for years earlier). The outfield wall is a century old and the main part of the grandstand was built by the WPA following the devastation caused by the Hurricane of 1938. During World War II games were played here by men stationed at the Newport Naval Base (including players such as Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto). The George Donnelly Sunset League -- the oldest continuous amateur league in the country -- has played here since 1919. (The Sunset League, by the way, was racially integrated years before professional baseball was.)

The Newport Gulls are a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League -- a summer amateur league for college baseball players (who stay with host families in town).

I was there with a group of colleagues from work (Not all are in this picture; there were probably a dozen or so altogether, plus kids.) I hope we do this again sometime.

Oh, and do you see the group standing in the upper right corner of that picture? Here's a closer shot of them...

Yes, that's a huge Irish flag they are holding. There is some sense to that because they are all from Ireland. Apparently there is a fair sized group of Irish college students with summer jobs in the Newport area (which makes sense to me because I can recall working with Irish students with summer jobs in the Catskills summer resort area more than 40 years ago)... and they seem to have become fans of the Gulls and they show up at every home game (with their flag) and cheer and chant and sing and shout encouragement throughout the entire game.

The Newport Gulls defeated the Danbury Westerners 1 to 0.

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