I've gotten out in a social setting for two days in a row! My workaholic ways have enjoyed a brief respite over the past two evenings.
Friday night, it was at teammate John Carriero's place for burgers, brats and beer, after our doubleheader was rained out. Last night, it was Mary and I stepping out and heading up the road to the Winthrop/Monmouth town line for some BBQ.
Granted, I had put in a full Saturday at that point and was ready to leave the crib and not have to cook. In the morning, I headed down to Portland to cover an all-star game for 14-year-old Babe Ruth players. The game took place at Haverty Field. This ballpark had been a staple of Twilight League baseball in the 1960's, when John Haverty had built it behind his stately home on Washington Avenue, for use by his Haverty Buick Wildcats, as well as other local teams. Over the years, the field has fallen into disuse and it wasn't maintained any longer for baseball. Frank Watson, local businessman and owner of Lender's Network, as well as an avid baseball fan, former Twilight player (and current sponsor and GM), and a great supporter of local baseball, bought Haverty's home and has been involved since April in restoring the field. His son's Babe Ruth team of 14-year-old all-stars are currently using the field. I was there to write an article for next weeks Forecaster on the league.
Speaking of The Forecaster, I had an article this week on a former Twilight League player, Leif Ekelund, now playing professionally in Arizona in the new professional, independent, Golden Baseball League. I enjoyed doing the article and I especially enjoyed beating the Portland Press Herald to the punch. Ekelund hails from Cape Elizabeth and his story is an interesting one. Here's a young man who headed to the west coast to go to grad school and he attends a two-day tryout camp and is offered a professional contract. Seems to me that it was an interesting feature, but then again, that would mean some of the hacks at the Press Herald might have to do a bit of work.
Came home, spent three hours mowing my lawn at the compound and then, after a quick shower, Mary and I were off to find Little Dan's BBQ. We weren't disappointed. It is literally at the town line on the right heading towards Augusta on Route 202. It's easy to drive by, if not for the smoking train sitting out front. Non-descript and working class to the core, the barbecue was worth driving for. I had my usual pulled pork plate and Mary had half-a-rack of ribs. Both were tasty, with sauces available on the table to add to your own liking and taste. I had the corn bread and potato salad for sides. The potato salad was tasty, with just the right mix of seasoning and mayonnaise. The corn bread was sweeter than most and very moist.
I washed it down with a couple of PBR's and Miss Mary had a Sam Adams Summer Ale. They do have wine, but were out of the red variety. Knowing the rules of red with pork and other similar meats, Mary, not a big fan of beer, opted to be adventuresome on this visit.
I would recommend a trip to Little Dan's the next time you are in the vicinity of Monmouth/Winthrop. The barbecue is great, the prices reasonable and the area is worth exploring along the way.