St. Paul Saints Baseball, Fun, & Pillows
Image courtesy of Szer DesignThe last home stand kicked off against the Winnipeg Goldeyes, starting Sunday July, 19th. With a couple nail biters and an offensive explosion, the local nine took three of four from the visitors. Vinny Difazio led the battery, going 4-4 with 4 RBI in Monday's 12-6 lopsided win. Ryan Rodebaugh closed the door on the Goldeyes in his chances, earning two saves in the series.
Ben Szeremeta writes about the Saints regularly at SaintsTrain.com
Next up for the Saints were the Lincoln Saltdogs. The teams split the four-game series at two apiece. Thursday's opener was worth the price of admission for the entire weekend. Saints starter Robert Coe tossed all nine innings allowing only two hits and one run. The home team won the game 7-1 while Coe won his sixth game of the year.
My MVP for the home stand is Alonzo Harris. Not only does he play great defense and make circus catches, the guy can also hit. He had two 3-5 nights and at least one RBI in seven of the eight games, including three in victories on Thursday and Sunday over the Saltdogs. He ended the ‘stand batting .378 with seven runs, 13 RBI, three doubles, a triple, and four stolen bases.
The highlight of the week’s entertainment should be easy to guess. Need a hint? It included over 6,000 My Pillows being handed out. That's right, it was the World's Largest Pillow Fight, where we set a new Guinness World Record with 6,291 people, including actor Stephen Baldwin as the emcee and instigator of the fight. The best way to describe the one minute of craziness is: fun. Just plain old I-felt-like-a-kid-again fun.
We also can't forget the evening's other promotion, Saturday Night Live's 40 Year Anniversary. Prior to the game you could already feel a buzz in the ballpark of anticipation for the pillow fight. But stealing the early and later show was SNL alum, Joe Piscopo. He started off singing the National Anthem in character as Frank Sinatra, and he nailed it. Then later in the game he also sang and played guitar on a great cover of "Pink Cadillac," accompanied by Har Mar Superstar and Saints Musical Director Andrew Crowley on the keyboard. Har Mar and Andy also played a couple of other great songs together during the between inning breaks.
Topping off the fun was seeing and interacting with about twenty SNL characters roaming the ballpark during the game, all of them played by local improv actors and actresses to a tee. Almost every great SNL character was in attendance and a hit with the fans.
The Saints continue to find ways to amaze me with how far and crazy they will take their "Fun is Good" motto. Everything they do is geared toward fan enjoyment and fan involvement. This night set the bar very high for pure enjoyment from start to finish. The characters, celebrities, music, pillow fight and atmosphere were all epic. I don't know how they will top it. But I guarantee they are going to try. And I cannot wait to be a part of it.
A couple of other highlights for us were our friends Julie and Beto and their kids Emiliano and Luca joining us for Friday night's game. The kids were able to participate in the Broad Side of a Barn in between inning contest, where they had to use a sling shot to try to hit a barn on a huge banner in right field. We all had a blast, like we always do together.
We also won our first game-worn jersey of the year, hitting coach Ole Sheldon's from “St. Patrick's Day in July” night. The Saints auctioned off the white with green lettering jerseys for charity during the game. It marked the first time in three tries Ole's jersey has gone for more than Saints Manager, George Tsamis's. This a fact we found out about as Ole rubbed it in to George while tailgating at the 10th Inning Stretch with fellow blogger Kevin Luckow and other friends.
Following a couple of much needed days off, the Saints hit the road looking to continue their winning ways. Stopping for three games against the Gary Southshore Railcats, they won two of the three. Then they headed to Fargo for a three game showdown, where, for the first time in franchise history, they swept the Redhawks in their home park. They ended the road trip with a 52-16 record and a 20.5 game lead in the division.
Jeff Shields won his tenth game of the season joining Dustin Crenshaw and Kramer Sneed in double digit victories. It was the first time in Saints history more than one pitcher has had ten wins or more in a season. Also, Angelo Songco was named PointsStreak American Association Player of the Week for July 27th - August 2nd. Songco batted .458, with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and 7 runs scored. Way to go Angelo!
Our favorite team returns home on Wednesday, August 5th as the Lincoln Saltdogs and Winnipeg Goldeyes return to CHS Field for three more games apiece. With the team entering the last full month of the season and looking to continue their playoff push, we are so happy to be along for the ride. This season has been filled with so many big wins and so much fun.
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