May 2012

The Perfect Summer Weekend Wrap Up

Just the other day I said  “Is it too much to ask that everyday be sunny and 68 degrees?”  Apparently not since Sunday and Monday’s games were played in weather just like that.  

The Sea Dogs won three out of four during this Holiday weekend homestand.  In addition to playing some solid baseball on the field we had a variety of promotions going on before and during the games.  On Sunday we honored some of our NextGen Most Improved Students, we were treated to a performance by the Dance Studios of Maine and a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem by the Choral Arts Society under the direction of Sarah Johnson.  Sarah also sang God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.  During the game Prime Motor Group gave away a Kindle Fire to a lucky fan, as they were showcasing some of their cars in our front plaza before the game.  And after the game we had our Sunday tradition of Kids Running the bases, also presented by Prime Motor Group.

Yesterday’s game was our Second Annual Military Appreciation Game.  Thanks to FairPoint Communications, service members and their families were treated to a game at Hadlock Field.  In addition to various Military Members and their families being here, we also had our FIRST Annual (first of many) Bangor Community Day.  This day was sponsored by the Bangor Daily News, who did a great story on it which you can read here: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/28/sports/sea-dogs-players-fans-show-appreciation-for-military-personnel-bangor-community-day-held/

Before Monday’s game we opened up the gates early for some catch on the field.  The weather could not have been more beautiful, proving a rather ominous forecast very wrong.  Families played catch under the sun until 11:15am, when we cleared the field so that both teams could begin warming up themselves.

Thanks to the Bangor Daily News, many Bangor families and businesses were able to attend yesterday’s game and take in all of the festivities.  Bangor Savings Bank and FairPoint Communications were also supporters of this day.

Pre-Game Shot from the Press Box

FairPoint provided over 500 tickets to service members and their families.  Mark Cater who works at the Military Family Assistance Center in Augusta was instrumental in making sure this day happened.  His office coordinated the ticket effort for the military members, as well as provided me with two amazing singers, a color guard, escorts for the Sea Dogs players to start the game, and dozens of kids and other family members to present our big flag.

The Air National Guard provided us with the Honor Guard, Air Force Staff Sergeant Joel Crowley sang the Anthem and Army National Guard Staff Sergeant sang God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.  It all rounded out a wonderful weekend at Hadlock.

Dogs are away until June 5th, when we start a six day series of games at Hadlock Field!

Oh the Humanity!

After hosting  a successful Division I college baseball match up on Tuesday evening, the Sea Dogs front office staff celebrated the next day with a “service day” with Habitat for Humanity.  At Springfield College I participated in a similar school wide service day called “Humanics In Action”, where students and faculty descended upon the neighborhoods of Springfield in droves to tackle over 100 community projects.  I loved this day while I was working there and I am so happy that the Sea Dogs have a similar outlook on community involvement.  Having a large number of people work in unison is a sure-fire way to see instant results after a days’ work and our staff was no different.  By the end of our work day on Wednesday there was certainly a noticeable difference in the home we were working on in Freeport.  (It was still standing for one, and with a fresh coat of paint on the inside!)

I didn’t know much about Habitat before Wednesday, having never participated in a project myself, however, many members of the Sea Dogs staff had, and we were all pleased to be giving back and be out of the office together.  I encourage all businesses and individuals-especially those with special skills- to look into participating in a Habitat project.  Their program is not only an excellent assistance to many families and individuals in need of a helping hand, but it is also a gateway to creating future independence supported by education and an understanding of the home ownership process.  While the Sea Dogs staff cannot boast any “special” carpentry or finishing skills, we do specialize in hard work, a concept that is not foreign to any of us.

We arrived at the home around 9am and were greeted by an AmeriCorps volunteer and the construction manager on site.  After a quick demo and a few self-deprecating jokes by our staff, we set to work sanding the newly dry walled living room, upstairs and stairwells of the home.  Sanding was not an easy or tidy job.  After a quick inspection (and a few necessary touch ups per the request of our on-site manager) we got started on the painting.

After a break for lunch, followed by more self-deprecating jokes, we began the painting process.  Painting was rewarding, and a shoulder work out.  Never again will I look at a finished room the same way.  We painted the ceilings and the walls, with some staffers working with small brushes to do the “edging”.  I’m not sure which was harder work, the sanding or the painting.  What I liked about the painting was that you could see your progress throughout the afternoon.

As usual, this service project was a great learning opportunity.  The things that we learned about ourselves while doing Habitat for Humanity were:

  1.  Your boss is good at a lot of things, but painting is not one of them.
  2.  Around 10:30am your breath really starts to stink, as you discover while wearing your mandated safety mask.
  3.  Dry wall tastes disgusting.

“I really wish I brought my toothbrush.”

The day was a success; everyone came back with all of the digits with which they arrived, we accomplished something tangible that helps members of our community and we had a great time outside of the stadium as a staff.  The Habitat and AmeriCorps folks were organized, engaging and working right alongside of us all day.  It was a positive experience for all of the staff and we are looking forward to doing it again soon.The Dogs are back home today with a quick three-day series, so get your fix in this weekend before they leave.  The weather looks to be spectacular!  Tonight’s game is at 6pm with a fireworks show scheduled for after (fire works, people!).  Saturday’s game is at 1pm as is Sunday’s game.  You all know how I feel about day baseball (greatest invention in sports) but if that isn’t enough to bring you here, then you should know The Kastaways will be performing in the front plaza on Saturday afternoon and after Sunday’s game all kids are invited to run the bases of Hadlock Field after the game thanks to the kind car folks at Prime Motor Group.

 

Hope to see all of you at Hadlock Field this weekend getting your fix of baseball and vitamin D!