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Wahconah Park



By Howard Megdal ~ August 5th, 2010. Filed under: Howard Megdal, New York Mets.

Tonight, I’m visiting Wahconaah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

I’m taking my wife, who is bound to be disappointed by it. I’ve simply built it up too much, I think.
Wahconah Park was the site of my first minor league games- one each the summers of 1992 and 1993 .  Each part of the experience enhanced my love of the game.

As anyone who has attended a minor league game knows, the intimacy is striking. Just a few feet away, the Pittsfield Mets warmed up. For someone who had seen most of his games to date at Veterans Stadium, just seeing the home team in familiar blue and orange was a thrill.

The players seemed so much older and sophisticated when I chased them, along with some other children, for autographs after the game.  There wasn’t a bit of churlishness from them- they seemed excited merely to be asked.

Coincidentally, the starting pitchers I saw in back-to-back years were Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen. Obviously, that lent credence to the idea that it was a pretty straight and short path from the New York-Penn League to the majors. And it tied me, in an emotional way, to the fate of Generation K.

Now, in 2010, I am more than a decade older than the players I spoke to in Brooklyn, where the Mets now represent the New York-Penn League. All of them seemed shockingly young to me, and I am all of 30. Izzy and Pulse are still just trying to hang on. Both are still active, Isringhausen signing with Cincinnati, Pulsipher with the Atlantic League’s Somerset Patriots.

And even Wahconah Park, no blushing flower of a ballpark, holds on for dear life. The Can-Am League, after all, is where ballplayers hoping for one more shot go. It is, for most, the other end of the baseball spectrum from the teenagers I saw there years ago- a tiny Benny Agbayani, an Edgardo Alfonzo who had yet to develop either power or the back problems that ruined his career. Brian Daubach started his career there, with me watching- tonight, he is the Pittsfield manager.

The day will soon come, I know, when Izzy and Pulse will retire, when even glorious Wahconah Park will go where many other minor league stadiums traveled as well. But tonight, I’ll go, maybe for the last time, and remember what my first minor league game was like, have the moments evoked so clearly one more time.

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Howard Megdal is the Editor-in-Chief of The Perpetual Post. He covers baseball, basketball and soccer for Capital New York, MLBTradeRumors.com, New York Baseball Digest and has written for ESPN.com as well as numerous other publications. He is the Poet Laureate for SBNation New York. His book about Jewish baseball players, “The Baseball Talmud,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. His next book, "Taking The Field", is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and will publish in May 2011.

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2 Responses to Wahconah Park

  1. Jack Shea

    I can really relate to this story as a big fan of the Pittsfield Mets.
    I worked at a radio station in neighboring New York State, Hudson, Ny to be exact and I would go to the games and then report on them on WHUC radio the next morning. I would bring the tape of the show to the owner and that was my ticket to another game. It was a wonderful time in my life and i was sorry to see the franchise leave there.

  2. Stu B

    I attended a Pittsfield Cubs game there in 1986 and a P-Mets game in 1991, and my grandfather, born in 1902, grew up in Pittsfield and knew the park well…

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