Sports Columns

Keeping Score: Caught looking

Good morning! A while back I wrote a column about a local teacher who aspired to be a major league umpire. His career path began in the New York-Penn League, and on a summer evening I watched him ump a Single-A game in Lowell. We met in the umpire’s room underneath the grandstand, where he was rubbing up game balls with mud taken from the Delaware River (another story for another time). In the press box, I told Dick Berardino of my assignment. Berardino played 0

On the Trail: Nuts & bolts

Photographer friend Erik Hoffner, whose eclectic interests intersect mine in several areas related to nature, worldview and politics, chimed in from the wilds of Ashfield this week speculating that, judging from what he’s seen thus far around home, there’s a bumper-crop of acorns this year. Although I haven’t toured my favorite high ridges, where freeborn spirits whisper in primitive tongues I cannot understand near geological wonders of our little world, I tend to agree with my friend. On the bottomland terrain I daily tour with 0

Jaywalking: Ravenous pro

It has been a while since I checked in with the local fighters from Team Ravenous. For those who don’t recall, Team Ravenous is a mixed martial arts (MMA) team residing in Greenfield that has now been around Franklin County for about seven years. I have not heard much from the group in the past year or so, but a recent text message from Ravenous founder and Greenfield resident Jeremy Reipold piqued my attention. Reipold explained that he had recently made his professional debut in 0

Keeping Score: Summer travels

Good morning! My annual sojourn to Saratoga Race Course resulted in a whopping $5 profit. I put the pen away this trip and enjoyed sitting with friends under a television carousel near the Big Red Spring where brave hearts with strong stomachs drink mineral water that tastes like stale pickle juice. I had taken the scenic route through Brattleboro on Route 9, stopping at Dutton’s Farm for apples and pastry and overheard the give-and-take from the drive-up window of a nearby Dunkins Donuts. “Okay. You 0

On the Trail: Sales jobs

Why not traipse back this week to that old, familiar topic of salmon? Yes, salmon, specifically Connecticut River Atlantic salmon, which I once spent a lot of time and energy on before wandering off to other subjects that tickled my fancy. But now, briefly back to the fish fit for kings and noblemen. Who knows how long before I’ll revisit it again, if ever? For that matter, who cares? The impetus for this step back in time is twofold — 1.) a recent rereading of 0

Jaywalking: Cup visit

I didn’t think I’d be late when I arrived at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield at about 10:20 a.m. Sunday. When I spoke to Franklin County Hockey Association president Sean Lavoine last week in advance of Sunday’s visit to the rink by Los Angeles Kings head trainer Chris Kingsley and the Stanley Cup that he helped his team win this season, Lavoine admitted that he didn’t know what kind of turnout to expect. Sure, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for area hockey fans 0

Keeping Score: Bottom’s up

Good morning! The long slog up Crittenden Hill is the closest that today’s Bridge of Flowers runners will come to what a local quartet accomplished on June 21 when they completed the 54th annual Mt. Washington Road Race. Leverett’s Ethan Nedeau, 41, was the fastest to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast, covering the 7.6-mile climb in one hour, 19 minutes and 49 seconds, good for 55th place in a field of 1,060 finishers. Not far behind was Amy Rusiecki, 34, of 0

On the Trail: A teaching moment

This subject’s been sitting handy on my desk for three weeks now, printed and pushed aside at least twice to allow for bear banter that came my way the same way most things seem to find me: by email, phone or personal conversation. So, having now put the bear discussion to rest for a while, let’s take a few steps back to that lingering subject, the genesis of which was mention right here in this space of a hen turkey my spry, 10-year-old springer spaniel 0

Jaywalking: Trade diary

Boston Red Sox fans have now had five days to absorb their team’s demolition that occurred this past Thursday during the MLB Trade Deadline. Over the past two weeks, the Sox have traded away or released eight players from their 25-man roster. That’s quite the overhaul, although it should have come at no surprise given the fact that the team is in last place in the American League East and is among the worst teams in all of baseball. Perhaps some people have even begun 0

Keeping Score: Fade to Green

Good morning! Former Deerfield Academy teacher, administrator, coach and Mr. Everything Bob Merriam passed away last week at age 90. Merriam was interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Deerfield, a pastoral burial ground that holds the remains of many of the school’s iconic figures, including legendary headmaster Frank L. Boyden. The eulogy was delivered by Peter Ives, the retired senior pastor of the First Churches of Northampton and a Deerfield graduate. He told of how Merriam nurtured him from being a scared kid on a 0