Dustin Pedroia, a 1999 lawn chair and a 2005 birthday gift from Naomi and Anna Silver

1999 cropped

The chair and toy helmet signed by Spikes the mascot won by Eugene Kramer at the August 14th, 1999 game at Frontier Field. Photo below: the Kramers (l-r) Leslie, Eugene, David and Carol at Garrett Memorial Chapel overlooking Keuka Lake, taken by Deborah, August 1999

Yesterday, after having read some of our histories of the Rochester Red Wings (SEE AT END), Nick Sciarratta Director of Corporate Development at Rochester Red Wings, asked if I’d like to contribute to the upcoming 2019 Red Wing yearbook.

Absolutely and we talked about some possibilities: the 2010 Stephen “Hat Gate” Strasburg game; the 2012 Bryce “Autograph” Harper game; the 2012 Andy “Pick Off” Pettite game. In addition, I had another potential story: Dustin Pedroia, a 1999 lawn chair and a 2005 birthday gift from Naomi and Anna Silver.

Two days ago, the Democrat and Chronicle described how the popular but oft-injured Boston second baseman is not yet giving up on his career.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 2/7/19

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 2/7/19

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 19 May 2018

“Red Sox star Justin Pedroia is in Rochester on a rehab start with Pawtucket.” Democrat and Chronicle, 19 May 2018

The story triggered a recollection. Hadn’t I watched Pedroia play at Frontier Field as a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox?  I knew it wasn’t last year when Pedroia was here on a rehab assignment.

Scouring the memorabilia shelf in the attic, I found the dusty program, team inserts, ticket stubs, bumper sticker and newspaper clippings. And the date, August 15th, 2005, the day after my father’s 76th birthday. Original, the game was scheduled for Sunday the 14th, but it rained. So instead my father and I went the following day to a doubleheader.Library Document Station 3

Library Document Station_2

Pawtucket Red Sox at Rochester Red Wings, August 15th, 2005

2005 Pawtucket Red Sox Game Worn Dustin Pedroia Jersey Used Team COA Boston

2005 Pawtucket Red Sox Game Worn Dustin Pedroia Jersey Used (worthpoint.com)

In 2005, especially as Boston had vanquished the Yankees the year before, Pawsox games drew many local Red Sox fans. Although Pedroia had not yet debuted in the majors, he was already a favorite. I went with my father and remember a few people wearing Pedroia’s jersey and ringing cow bells when he batted.

In the memorabilia envelope is one item still mysterious: a hand written note from Anna and Naomi Silver wishing my father a Happy Birthday that had contained two premium box seats tickets.

To this day, no one exactly recalls why the Silvers kindly sent complimentary tickets. I have only the vaguest of memories that I may have called in advance, asking if something special — like a P.A. announcement — could be done for Eugene’s birthday. I may have also told the story of the last time Eugene had been to Frontier Field for his birthday, August 14th, 1999.

wings

Card and tickets sent by Anna and Naomi Silver, August 2005

at-falls

Niagara Falls, Canada. David and Debbie, August, 1999. From Niagara Noir

In 1999, I was living in Rhode Island and with my girlfriend Deborah (then living in Manhattan) we visited Rochester for my father’s 70th birthday. My sister also came from San Francisco and — along with my friends Dean and Dianne Tucker — we took my father to the Syracuse vs. Rochester game at Frontier won by the Red Wings 5-4.

Back then, every game included a “Guess the Attendance Challenge.” During the seventh inning stretch, one randomly chosen fan guessed the size of the crowd. My father had the winning ticket stub!

An usher escorted Eugene to the outskirts of the field as the scoreboard — with music blaring — displayed three numbers: the real attendance, a higher number and a lower number.  I had told the usher it was Eugene’s birthday which the P.A person then told the crowd of — still unbeknownst to us  — 6,630.

Holding three placards, 1, 2 and 3 corresponding to the figures on the scoreboard, Eugene became a fan favorite.  Yelling out what they thought was the correct attendance, most cheered TWO, TWO, TWO!  Following the collective wisdom, Eugene raised the 2 placard.  6,630!

Democrat and Chronicle Aug 15, 1999

Good performance Right-hander Doug Linton earns the win over Syracuse, pitching seven innings. He is 6-1 since July 2, with a 2.14 earned run average.” Democrat and Chronicle, Aug 15, 1999

Eugene was awarded the One Step Tree and Lawn Care chair — in which he briefly sat — and a Red Wings helmet signed by Spikes the mascot.  Pictured at top, both still exist. But we still don’t know why Anna and Noami sent those tickets.

ON RED WINGS HISTORY

Frank Robinson and a glove signed at the 1988 Orioles-Red Wings exhibition game

On a Cal Ripken signed 1989 glove, prized possessions, and the Rundel Library

Street & Smith’s now defunct. Here is Kramer & Kramer’s Official 2016 Yearbook

48 years ago when Rochester saw its first “Designated Pinch Hitter”

When the P.A. announcer told us Nixon had resigned. On the passing of Anna Silver and a most memorable Silver Stadium game

Very first pitch on Opening Day. And Knot Holes

70 years ago today when Jackie Robinson broke the color line at Red Wings Stadium

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