From Minor League Baseball to Hockey East


Baseball Meets Winter

Ironically enough, this picture is from Boston. (Credit to AndWat on Flickr)

Despite the Boston University Terriers’ loss to the Boston College Eagles in the Beanpot Semifinals, it’s not all doom and gloom for me. (I got a blog post out of it. That has to be worth something, right?) If there was one good thing about the game that I saw on NESN, it was the inspiration I got to keep things going in my broadcasting career.

I noticed that the Boston Red Sox Television Play-by-Play Broadcaster, Don Orsillo, was on the call for the game. Talk about a sweet setup. Don is one of the nicest guys out there (who I had the privilege to meet), and he works as hard as anyone else. I’m not afraid to say I’m jealous of his setup. I would love to be calling Major League Baseball regularly with the occasional NCAA Hockey gig here and there. In fact, that would be perfect for me.

I’ve discovered more and more, especially over the past year just how many connections and coincidences there are that string baseball and hockey together, especially here in New England. BU’s women’s ice hockey coach has a famous relative in baseball. (Does the name “Durocher” sound familiar? Google it if not.) The championship trophy for Hockey East is named after a Cape Cod Baseball League Legend (who currently runs the New Jersey Devils). Boston University’s most well-known sport is hockey, but its most famous venue is field where the Boston National League team used to play. Oh yeah. It just happens to be on the same block as Agganis Arena. There are seven affiliated Minor League Baseball Clubs in New England, and seven teams in the AHL too. (Maybe the numbers thing is a bit much. I’m no Jim Carrey in “The Number 23.”)

With such a climate-dependent sport like hockey, it takes just the right place (or temperature) to make it and keep it popular. Although many places have the strongest ties and the deepest passions for the sports their residents play best (Exhibit A: Football in Texas), there’s something about the game of baseball that helps it become the exception to the rule. I’m grateful that my two favorite sports came together and formed a comfy community. It’s been easy to be a baseball and hockey fan here in Boston, and I don’t think people in too many other large cities can say that, even if they have teams in the MLB and NHL, or even Minor League franchises. Before any of the teams around here started winning, the Red Sox and Bruins had the most loyal fan base (sorry Lucky and Pat).

I may not have an R-deficient accent and I don’t like clam chowder, but I guess I am a Bostonian after all.

What sports are most popular in your region? Are they your favorite ones? Do you agree with any of the stuff I’ve been saying, or is it a bunch of poppycock to you? Let me know with a comment!

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