Red Sox alumni come to Gorham

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The Narragansett Elementary School field was transformed into Fenway Park North last Saturday as members of the Boston Red Sox alumni took on a team from the Gorham Athletic Boosters in a charity softball game.

Former Sox stars Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, Jim Corsi, Jeff Plympton, Rick Miller, Ken Ryan and Chris Howard all were on hand in Gorham to the delight of the hundreds of Red Sox fans, both young and old, in attendance.

The game turned out to be a thriller, with the Red Sox stars managing to squeak out a come-from-behind 14-13 win that was in doubt right to the final out.

But the score wasn’t important, the game was about having fun, and both teams were clearly having a good time with each other on the field.

Will Bailey, a member of the Gorham Booster All-Stars, said that both squads were doing their fair share of trash talking on the field, but no one was taking it seriously. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Former Red Sox pitcher Jim Corsi said he likes coming to charity events like the one in Gorham. “It’s good, that’s what you play baseball for, to try to give back to the community,” Corsi said. “We were lucky that we got to play a Little League game as adults. You don’t forget about where you came from and what you’re doing.”

Andy Morrell, another member of the Gorham Booster All-Stars, said it was a thrill to be on the field with Sox stars that he used to watch on television while he was growing up. “It’s a blast,” he said.

The player perhaps having the most fun on the field was former Red Sox pitcher Bill “the Spaceman” Lee. Known throughout his playing days for his quirky antics both on and off the field, Lee did not disappoint the fans in Gorham.

It started with his dramatic entrance. Lee pulled into the parking lot just minutes before the game was due to start, and immediately dashed into the nearby woods to change. He emerged minutes later in a “Field of Dreams”-style entrance, in full uniform, ready to play.

Lee said his dramatic entrance was due in part to his busy schedule. He was in Atlanta the day before doing some promotional work and had just flew back that morning. “What happened to me is that life got more complex as I got older,” Lee said with a grin. “I thought I was going to get more free time, but now I don’t have any free time.”

The exhausting schedule did not seem to hurt Lee. He pitched a complete game, keeping up a steady stream of patter, and even throwing a few behind-the-back pitches, with varying degrees of success. Lee was also a hit with the bat, hitting for the cycle, including a two-run home run in the third inning, and a long triple in the seventh, that could have been another homer, but Lee stopped at third to preserve his cycle.

Lee wasn’t the only former Sox pitcher to have success with the bat. In the fifth, Corsi hit a massive home run that was lost in the trees surrounding the field. That prompted Boyd to say “that was the only live ball we had,” and told Corsi to go into the woods to look for hit, so he could hit the same ball. Alas, the ball wasn’t recovered in time for Boyd’s at-bat, and a home run eluded Boyd.

Red Sox fans that missed the game in Gorham will have another chance this weekend to see the Red Sox stars in action.

The Westbrook Firefighters All Star Team will play the Sox alumni in softball at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at Fraser Field.

Westbrook Firefighters Presumpscot Hose Company No. 1 is sponsoring the charity game with the assistance of ECMG. Opportunities for autographs and photos with the players will be available.

Tickets, available on game day, are $10.

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