02/20/2008 8:57 AM
Chatham Hits a Grand Slam with Baseball Expo
Red Sox World Series Trophies Lure Young and Old Alike
CHATHAM, Mass. – The first Cape Cod Baseball Expo on Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Chatham Community Center was a grand slam success thanks to an 11th-hour decision by the Boston Red Sox to bring the 2007 and 2004 World Series Championship trophies to town for a brief visit.
Mascots included K-O, Wally and Twister
CCBL Photo / J.Sherman
When word got out late Friday that the trophies would be at the expo from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, the Chatham Athletic Association-sponsored expo suddenly became the place to be on the Presidents Day weekend. The show attracted thousands of baseball fans, eager for a chance to see and be photographed with the two pieces of historic hardware.
Youngsters and oldsters alike lined up as soon as the doors opened and for the next two hours they filed past the two trophies symbolizing baseball’s world championship. Most managed to be photographed with the trophies, but as 2 p.m. approached, organizers were forced to rush the line along in order to permit as many people as possible to get at least a glimpse of the day’s star attractions.
CCBL Photo / J.Sherman
When the trophies were packed up to be transported to another site for another appearance, they were relieved by another Red Sox icon, team mascot Wally the Green Monster, who signed autographs and posed for pictures with many of the children in the crowd. Wally was surprised to find he was not the only mascot in the hall, however. Two of his cohorts from the independent Can-Am League’s two Massachusetts entries – K-O, of the Brockton Rox, and Twister, from the Worcester Tornadoes – were already busy meeting and greeting fans when Wally arrived.
The trio seized the moment by staging a brief reunion punctuated by hugs all around, then posed together for photographers.
The main hall was filled with tables and booths of vendors and organizations, ranging from the Cape Cod Baseball League to the Barnstable Bat Co. The latter set up an indoor batting cage to help demonstrate its products. Even the U.S. Military All-Stars were represented as they promoted the two-game series they have scheduled in early June against a select Cape Cod League team.
Several Cape League franchises had their own displays, as did the Brockton Rox, the Worcester Tornadoes and the Lowell Spinners, Boston’s short-season Class A team. The ECAC also was on hand and Cape League director of memorabilia Dan Dunn set up shop with a display of vintage baseball items while also offering his services to give estimated values for items brought in by fans.
The Chatham Athletic Association, which organized the five-hour expo, estimated that the day’s attendance was “about the size of a well-attended mid-summer game.” Depending on whom you talked with, that translated to between 1,500 and 2,500 people, all of them eager for the 2008 baseball season to get under way.