TROY | In many of the press boxes in the New York-Penn. League there are pennants representing the other teams in the league.
Typically they are pinned or taped to the walls as a gesture of solidarity to the rest of the clubs that make the league possible.
In Joe Bruno Stadium, the home of the Tri-City Valleycats, they even sell Auburn Doubledays, Jamestown Jammers, Connecticut Tigers, and Williamsport Crosscutters hats in the gift shop.
One of the pennants in the press box has fallen though.
It is understandable since the way the stadium is set up, even on calm days, the breeze blows through the press box pretty hard. Only tacks to hold the thins pieces of cloth to the wall, some of them are bound to fall off.
The pennant rests on top of the small refrigerator in the room.
It looks forgotten there.
Now, hang on just a sec: The Tri-City Valleycats staff is one of the envies of much of the rest of the league. They are courteous, accommodating, and efficient. I worked with them last season and even made a celebrity appearance at the park this year.
Someone just forgot to put a pennant back up on the wall.
No biggie really.
The pennant on top of that fridge is the one for the Auburn Doubledays.
There is some dust on it, but it has been, innocently, forgotten.
It will be difficult for any of the 1,250 bundled souls that endured the chilly early September evening at The Joe how that opponent went out.
Either the good of the offense never saying die or the bad pitching staff not getting the umpire to say “strike” enough the 2012 Tri-City ValleyCats will remember the 2012 Auburn Doubledays.
I know we will.
Auburn scored early, as they did when the perpetuated the season the day before, and they scored late to make it seem like another two days, at least, would be tacked on to the end.
The ERA of the pitching staff that swelled to the second highest in the league ended up being the weak piece in the hull that sank the offensive steamer which chugged to the most runs in the league, but these guys are young.
They have never been here before professionally.
They will learn.
Before it got nuts, 11 runs scored, and 20 ValleyCats batted in a six out span, the Doubledays held the lead.
The ValleyCats made a blunder that allowed a runner to move to third and score on a single with two outs.
The first pro season of many of the ValleyCats hung precariously in the balance with just nine outs left to rally.
Then Doubledays’ wheels came off, the dam broke, the straw hit the camel’s back, and another obligatory “things went badly” cliche stopped the nine from Auburn as cold as that biting breeze.
The locker room needed a few extra minutes afterward.
These now former-Auburn Doubledays will remember how hard it was to lose this day.
I know that these still-ValleyCats will remember how hard it was to win.
The scoreboard in left field held the final count for hours after everyone had left. Only the guys heaving around the final bloated garbage bags were left there to see it. But there that score remained as a reminder of the what had transpired before it.
It went off at 12:12 a.m.
Just put that pennant back up in the press box, please, these guys deserve.
Thanks for the season 2012 Auburn Doubledays.
We, I, will remember you always in the summer.