Sunday, July 5, 2009
Visiting McCoy Stadium was not originally on our plan, but yesterday someone tipped us off to it being where the longest baseball game in history was played. Thus it seemed liked a fitting place to stop and get a photo of the banner commemorating that game. Plus it was very on the way from Boston to New Jersey, as McCoy Stadium is located just a little off of the Interstate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
McCoy Stadium is the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who are the Boston Red Sox's Triple-A Minor League Team. The longest game in baseball history started here on April 18, 1981 with the Rochester Red Wings as the visitors. Play went until the President of the International League postponed the game at 4:07am on April 19 when the game was in the 32nd inning. The game was picked up and finished on June 23, 1981 (interesting that both stops today had a connection to one of our birthdays, as this one is related to Mik's birthday). The game ended with the Pawtucket Red Sox winning 3-2 in the bottom of the 33rd inning. Future Hall-of-Famers that played in that game were Cal Ripken, Jr. for the Red Wings and Wade Boggs for the Red Sox.
Before heading south towards New Jersey and the Yogi Berra Museum, we headed back north to Boston. Originally I had meant for us to see the site of the old Red Sox park, Huntington Avenue Grounds, but I totally forgot the day we went to the game. Yesterday would have been convenient to do it, too, since we drove through Boston to get to New Hampshire, but I did not remember about seeing the former MLB ballpark site until last night. The site is now occupied by Northeastern University, but they have some plaques and a statue to commemorate the site.
The main thing to see is the Cy Young statue. I really thought this would get Mik interested in the stop, as he really likes Cy Young, but I had to force him in front of it and then quickly take a photo of him before he rolled away from it. The statue is located where the pitching mound used to be. Cy Young is one of the significant players that played at Huntington Avenue Grounds not just for helping the Red Sox (called the Pilgrims at the time) win the first World Series in 1903, but also for pitching the first perfect game of the modern era there.
Another thing to find at the former Huntington Avenue Grounds site is a home plate shaped plaque. It is not obviously there, but if you just walk in the direction Cy Young is looking getting ready to pitch you will stumbled upon it somewhat hidden in the grass. Engraved in the stone home plate is a little about the First World Series. The info includes stating that the first game was played on October 1, 1903 on this site (exactly 84 years before I was born) and that general admission cost 50 cents.
The one other thing commemorating the old park that we found was a plaque on the side of the Cabot Building on the Huntington Avenue side. The plaque marks approximately where the left field flag pole stood.