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October 29, 2006 October 29, 2006

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Off-Season Fluff: Nope, not even going to try to sugarcoat the purpose of this one.

Anyway, as someone who’s seen a grand total of 239 Atlantic League games, I’ve got a lot of fond memories from my time covering the league. Rickey Henderson playing like Rickey Henderson during Joe Gannon’s no-hitter, Lincoln Mikkelsen spinning a no-no of his own, any one of the dozens of Ryan Radmanovich bombs I’ve witnessed; all firmly etched into my mind.

But what’s your favorite Atlantic League memory? What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen at an Atlantic League game? As an example, there were a few triple plays in the AL this season, and I’ve still yet to see one of those in the roughly 350 games I’ve been to all over. Therefore, I’m envious of those who got to see one of them.

So, in order to use the comments section for what it’s intended for (imagine that!) post your favorite AL moments.

Don’t Forget: That you have until December 31st to register for your chance to win official Atlantic League baseballs signed by the 2006 Somerset Patriots. Fire off an e-mail to balls@mikeashmore.com with “Contest” in the subject, and you’ll be entered into the contest.

I would loooooove to do this with other teams in the future, as it is our most popular contest and gets hundreds of entries each year we do it (this being the fourth season of the giveaway), so hopefully I can get some other teams on board for this contest for 2007. – Mike Ashmore


1. RadioVoice - October 29, 2006

Demetrius “Meatball” Heath’s straight steal of home vs. Somerset during the 15 inning marathon this year was cool, but the coolest thing was Mikkelsen’s no-hitter. I not only had the chance to call it but the class and acknowledgement from the Lancaster fans was just outstanding. They understood that this was history in the making and the standing ovation they gave him after was tremendous! It was in their house and they showed why they are the class of the Atlantic League on AND off the field.

2. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - October 30, 2006

You failed to mention me gracing the booth for your pre-game show that day haha.


3. Tom - October 30, 2006

My 3 top AL memories are:

#3- 5/25/2001 – When Ducks pitcher, Rod Henderson, pitched the first No-Hitter in AL history against the Surf. Then the next day a few of us presented Rod with a large bottle of champagne (which he and his catcher, Francisco Morales, consumed that night after the game).

#2- Sunday, September 26, 2004 – When the Ducks swept the Riversharks in Camden to win the championship. After the game, when the players found out that a lot of the fans that had traveled to Camden for the game were waiting outside the stadium, they came out with the trophy and let us take pictures with it and joined in the celebration with us.

#1- August 9, 2004 – When the Ducks defeated the Bluefish 5-4 in Bridgeport to take the one game playoff to determine the first half champion. We had 1000+ fans make the trip over thus making Bridgeport’s stadium Citibank Park North. The best part, aside from the win, was when this massive crowd was waiting to board our special ferry for the return trip to Long Island and the reaction of the crowd when the team bus pulled up and the subsequent party that followed on the ferry with the players and management.

4. Amy - October 30, 2006

Gotta go with the championship game in Lancaster this year…that a no doubter for me. But the Mikkelson no hitter was awesome too. Both of these events were made more special by the involvement of our fans..like John Leon said. ( And then again i did meet boosterbabe which was pretty nice too…)

5. Amy - October 30, 2006

And Mike too..and surffanjohn.

6. BrickCityBruins - October 30, 2006

Mike, I witnessed one of those triple plays – 9/22/01 (Bears 8 – Pride 6). I remember it happened so fast, the fans just sat there stunned, not knowing what had happened. The p.a. announcer had to cue our applause by telling us what had actually occurred. Cool moment. Frank Thompson threw one pitch, and it was all over. He got the win with one pitch. Glad I was there to see it.

One of the most memorable ATL experiences for me was the extra-inning Wednesday day game on June 14, 2001. I took the day off from work and witnessed 14 innings of pure baseball drama. What made the memory extra special was the message board entry made by a fellow Bears fan Jim Huggans. Back then, the team had a message board that would rival this very active blog of yours. You would have loved it, Mike. But Jim’s entry was so well written for a message board entry, it captured the drama of the end of the game better than any re-cap. I don’t know where Jim has been over the last few seasons, but I printed it out his narrative and saved it. Now I’ll type it out for you to share in the memory …

June 13, 2001 – Bears vs. Bluefish

Fun in the sun in the 14th by Jim Huggans

“Time dragged on. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. Most of the crowd of 4400+ had departed, leaving a handful of the Bears faithful still in attendance, soaking in the hot afternoon sun.

It was a wild sight. Pito Ramirez, a catcher, was playing left, Jose Canseco, usually in left field, had been shuffled to center field for probably the first time in several years. Alonzo Powell, who started the game as DH, was now in right. Not exactly the best outfield in the world, but Tom O’Malley was working with what he had left, as this war of attrition had made Reggie Williams and Joe Mathis leave the game with injuries.

Yet somehow, it worked. With two outs in the top of the 14th, a high fly ball was lifted to right field. It stayed up in the air for what seemed like an eternity. Alonzo, staring up into the sun, managed to find his way under the ball to make the catch.

Now it was the Bears’ turn to try to end the game once again. It had been prolonged because the slim 2-1 lead was blown in the ninth when ex-Bear Rolo Avila finally drew blood against his ex-mates with an RBI single.

The players were weary, but determined. Alonzo Powell worked out a lead-off walk. As Ozzie Canseco was working out a walk of his own, pitcher Jason Pierson was taking swings in the on-deck circle. He was in the line-up because when the starting DH, Alonzo Powell, was moved into the field, the DH was lost for the Bears, and the pitcher became part of the line-up. Would Jason be sent up to bat?

No, Tom O’Malley had one more player left in his dwindled arsenal, and it was Eduardo Reyes. Eduardo had been dutifully watching the game for the 4.5 hours, and now his time had come. He was asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, which he did perfectly.

Ramsey Koeyers was walked intentionally, leaving it all up to Steve Hine to send the few remaining fans home happy. Steve was responsible for half of the six Bears’ hits up until that point, and everyone wanted him to get his fourth hit of the contest.

Hine hit a little looping line drive to right field. Right-fielder Billy Rich darted in on the ball, he had a lead on it, and he dove forward …

And the ball bounced inches in front of his glove and was trapped. Powell, not sure if the ball was going to be caught initially, now headed for home. Oh brother, the last thing the Bears wanted to happen was to have a runner forced out at home.

Rich got up and threw off target. Powell had the throw beaten, and the game was finally over. The Bears players, with what energy they had left, mobbed Steve Hine by first base. Handel’s “Haleluja Chorus” played over the p.a.

The reaction of Ramsey Koeyers, who had caught all 14 innings of this hot marathon, neatly summed things up. He weakly raised his hands in triumph as he touched second base. A relieved, but joyous smile was on his face as he slowly walked toward Steve Hine to eventually give him a big embrace.

What a day. What a game.”

What a memory.

– Jane Jubilee

7. BrickCityBruins - October 30, 2006

That was June 13, 2001. Sorry for the typo on the date.

8. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - October 30, 2006

Just seeing the names of the Canseco brothers on there makes me regret not stopping by Somerset to see them play while I had the shot.


9. MLemi - October 31, 2006

My favorite AL league moment is much more personal. Taking my daughter to her first ball game (and second and third…). Somerset, AC and Newark are just so much more fan friendly and fun than the bigs.

10. pridefan - October 31, 2006

i cant really decide. either james lofton’s 2 run walk off homerun to beat bridgeport with 2 outs in the 9th sending the pride to the championship series, or brian becker’s walk off homerun ending a classic nashua-long island series in which all 3 games were walk offs.

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