Sports 08-10-2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017
By Transcript Staff

From the Press Box

The New Blocksidge Field

By: Jim Lederman

The month of August brings the start of high school football. The WHS Vikings begin practice on Friday, Aug. 18. On Monday morning, I decided to check the progress of “Renovations to Blocksidge Field.”

The trip down the Lynnway always brings back memories. Roland’s Ice Cream at the rotary of Nahant and Lynn stirs a lot of memories. Swampscott and Marblehead were two of Winthrop’s biggest rivals.

I played my first football game at the legendary Blocksidge Field in 1956. The Big Blue ruled the NEC in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Stan Bonde Levitch built a dynasty on the North Shore.

In the ’50s Swampscott Youth Football was the key to the success of Swampscott football. I watched my first Swampscott-Winthrop game in 1956. The Big Blue invaded Miller Field on a 22-game win streak. Final score Winthrop 12 – Swampscott 0. Two Frank “Buster” Ferrara touchdowns lit up the Miller Field scoreboard.

In 1959, my high school team defeated Swampscott 12-6 on a Saturday morning. In 1964, the Vikings led by Steve “The Tank” Adamson defeated the Big Blue 98-0) in the rain on a Steve Adamson 72-yard touchdown. The Vikings broke a Swampscott title run and Winthrop won the NEC title! I have not missed a Swampscott game at Blocksidge in 52 years.

The new Blocksidge Field is still under construction. The Vikings will play Swampscott on Sept. 23 at noon. Coach Sean Driscoll has a (5-1) record in the last six seasons.

After four years the town of Swampscott finally approved money for “renovations at Blocksidge.” The town meeting approved $1.65 million. The All Blue Foundation raised private money.

The project has “two phases:” The first is a global synthetic turf field. The field will be used for football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. The field has one large set of bleachers. There are no lights for Friday night games; there was not a new press box as of Aug. 7.

The rivalry with ex-Big Blue coaches, Bondy, Frank DeFelice, Peter Bush and Steve Dembrowski featured championship games.

The legendary Swampscott players included George Butis, Mike Lynch, Dick Javron, the Beatrice brothers, Charlie Cardillo and Michael Walsh.

The Big Blue has fallen the last two seasons with a (3-8) record in 2015 and (4-7) in 2016.

Swampscott will play their first home game on Sept. 15 with Triton at noon.

Make sure you put Sept. 23 – Saturday, Big Blue vs. Vikings at noon on your schedule.

If you played on the ‘old’ Blocksidge come out to see “The Rivalry.”

Winthrop vs. Swampscott

Let the Games Begin!

 

 

Picking Up the Pieces

Retire Tony Conigliaro’s Number 25! On Aug. 18 marks the 50th anniversary of the terrible beaning that derailed Tony C’s career. Tony was a local hometown (East Boston, Revere, Swampscott, St. Mary’s of Lynn) kid, who would have established many home run records!

Speaking of retiring numbers – how about Kevin Garnett’s Number 5 – to the Garden rafters. The “Big Ticket” formed a big three (Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) who led the Celtics to the World (NBA) Championship in 2008. When the Celtics traded Garnett and Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets (the result was many ‘number one’ draft choices. Anything is possible! The cry of ‘KG’ on the Garden floor when the Celtics captured their 17th NBA title.

David Price should be traded. HE is a “petulant” overpaid athlete  at $31 million per year (five wins this year). Send him to Los Angeles!

The Red Sox roster is loaded with kids! Betts and Bogaerts, Bradley and Benintendi, Devers and Vazquez! I watched three extra-inning victories this past week (as of Friday night – the Sox are (10-3) in extra innings!)

Did the Celtics ‘fleece’ the 76’ers by taking the top NBA draft pick – Jason Tatum?

The Winthrop Vikings open football practice this month. Are you ready for some football?

The Patriots have their first exhibition game tonight (Thursday). Are you worried about Tim Brady’s health at age 40?

Dennis Eckersly is by far the best Sox analyst on T.V. – Price is complaining he was criticized by a 20-year Hall of Fame pitcher.

The play of 20-year-old Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez has lifted the ‘beloved’ Red Sox to a three game lead over the hated New York Yankees (as of Saturday, Aug. 5).

Jimmy Garoppolo was (10-for 30) in passing at Patriots practice. Is Jimmy G the heir to the throne of Patriots quarterback until Tom Brady-12 retires?

The small group of NFL quarterbacks to play in the NFL after the age of 40! Bret Favre, Vinny Testaverde (41) and Warren Moon.

Trivia: Who was Vinny Testaverde’s roommate in college? Hint an ex-WHS Viking! Answer to follow!

I had a conversation with Rob Nikovich on NBA Draft Night at the Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton. He did not talk about retiring!

Jon Lester vs. David Price. The Red Sox refused to give Jon Lester a $150 million contract three years ago. Instead, they decided to give David Price $217 million!

Lester led the Chicago Cubs to a World Series in 2016. Price has won five games in 2017, and has never won a play off game.

The Red Sox open a three-game series with the New York Yankees in New York on Friday. The Yankees play at Fenway Park on Aug. 18, 19 and 20 on Sept. 1, 2, and 3. Boston travels to Yankee Stadium for the final Sox-Yankees series. The Pennant Race will be decided in the nine- games the two rivals have left. Chris Sale will pitch in three of those “big” games. Will David Price return to pitch this season? Will the Patriots dominate the Boston sports calendar in September or will the Red Sox playoff hopes ride on the pitching and be the key to another exciting October?

 

 

Triva Answer

Steve Staffier and Testaverde were roomated at the University of Miami.

 

 

Celtics Pride

Ten years ago, the Boston Celtics pulled off a 7-for-1 blockbuster trade that ended up wildly lopsided in their favor, and not only from a who-won-the trade perspective – It meant so much more than that.

On July 31, 2007, Danny Ainge and his old teammate Timber Wolves General Manager, Kevin McHale, completed a deal that sent Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes (New Bedford), Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and draft picks that became Wayne Ellington and Johnny Flynn from Boston to Minnesota for the one and only Kevin Maurice Garnett. Acquiring Garnett, a sure Hall of Fame player before he arrived in Boston to become the leader of the Celtics 2007-2008 championship team.

When “KG” came to Boston something else came with him: the return of Celtics Pride and the championship identity.

Garnett changed everything, back to the “good old days.” There was a 21-year gap between championships.

Kevin Garnett was a ferocious defender (like Bill Russell) and a very emotional leader. The “big three” – Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen played six years together.

Celtics history changed 190-years ago when Kevin Garnett came to Boston. He was the embodiment of what a Celtic was supposed to be. Is there any debate regarding whether his “Number Five” should hang from the Garden rafters? There are 21 players whose numbers are already retired!

Kevin is still helping build another championship team. There is a reason Brooklyn gave up all those draft picks for Garnett and Pierce.

My vote is to raise “Number Five” to the Garden rafters!

Let’s go Celtics!

Let the Games Begin!

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