Excellent Adventure Day # 99
29 years ago today I went for the first and only time in my life to see Niagara Falls. I remember it well and find that the video we took actually did it justice. I do not, however, remember a lot about either of the two games we went to that evening – the 109th and 110th of our trip.
We were camping, I think, at a campground in lovely Youngstown, New York, right on the shores of Lake Ontario and spent most of the day on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Then, we headed for Community Field in St. Catharines for the first of two games.
If you ever have cause to look up St. Catharines, Ontario, it probably isn’t spelled the way you think. I had the darndest time trying to find a game story about the first of our two games that Tuesday evening until I realized I was spelling the city name wrong – there is an a not an e after the h. The Blue Jays played the Pittsfield Mets that night and ended up winning 7-2 after we left.
We got to Niagara Falls in about the 7th inning and, despite the fact that we had switched up our original schedule and decided to attend Welland after Hamilton the previous night instead of coming back over to Niagara Falls (see story image – Confusion Takes Over at Sal Maglie Stadium) the team was happy to see us and welcomed us on the stadium scoreboard. The Niagara Falls Rapids came from behind to beat the Watertown Pirates 7-5.
Sean Bergman, who won 39 games, mostly as a starter, in the Major Leagues was on that Rapids team that night but the shortstop in the lineup ended up having an intriguing story. While the fable of a player who gets just one at-bat in the majors is often romanticized, it is not particularly common statistically. But that’s exactly what happened with Rapids shortstop Kevin Morgan. Morgan made it up to the majors for just one game with the Mets in 1997 and popped out as a pinch hitter late in a 10-1 loss to the Red Sox. He also played two innings at third base and that was it for his major league career. The next season, though, Morgan began a 21-year career with the Mets in their player development department and just took a similar job with the Minnesota Twins last fall.
The New York Penn League continues Friday with the Batavia Clippers, we’ll also have our first weekly highlights video…from Week 14 of “Bill & Sue’s Excellent Adventure.”