Fans relish the moment, share in Sox celebration
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
WENATCHEE — Just like he did all season, Casey Phillips clattered and clanged his cowbell through Tuesday night’s baseball game from the A section of Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Only this time when the game was over, he kept shaking that cowbell.
It’s what fans do when their team wins a championship.
As the Wenatchee AppleSox were celebrating their second straight West Coast League title on the field, the crowd celebrated along with them from their seats, the concourse, and, eventually, on the field as well.
After sitting through another season of AppleSox ball, Phillips and his wife Linda, Entiat residents and season ticket holders since the team’s inaugural season in 2000, were thrilled with the outcome.
“It was definitely one of the best (AppleSox seasons),” Casey Phillips said. “(This championship) has a uniqueness to it. We won it against a team that deserved to be here. It was a true championship game.”
“Bend is a tough team,” said Linda Phillips.
The fans felt all the bumps on the roller-coaster ride that was Wenatchee’s 6-5 win Tuesday.
“This was a real exciting game. It was looking grim,” said Casey Phillips.
“It was tense,” said Marlene Hickman of East Wenatchee, another longtime fan from the A section along the first base line. “I don’t like to be superstitious, but I was hanging the socks on the net (behind the home plate area for each strikeout) and started going in one direction, and I didn’t want to switch the direction I was hanging them.”
The A section was sad to say goodbye to assistant coach Fletcher Vynne, who they wildly cheered on all year as he took his position in the first base box. Vynne is leaving his assistant coach position at Seattle University and heading to Rhode Island in September to become a pilot in the Navy.
“The head coach gets to be the leader, the players get their favorite fans, but the first base coach is kind of an unsung hero,” Casey Phillips said. “(Vynne) has been great. He warmed up to us pretty quickly.”
“I love it. I told them I want to come back next year to sit and heckle with the best of them,” Vynne said.
For Mike Crawford of East Wenatchee, the championship meant a little more to him than in previous years, because his son, Eastmont alum Colby Crawford, spent his summer pitching for the Sox. Colby Crawford left the team before the championship series to return to school at Southeast Oklahoma.
“It was great. It was one of Colby’s goals to play for the AppleSox, and he wanted to stay for the playoffs,” said Mike Crawford. “It was neat to see these games. Jeff (Ames) was one of Colby’s buddies, and it was neat see him come in there.”
The fans said they were impressed with the AppleSox’ desire this season.
“I think these guys have been the most active. It’s just a real exciting team,” Linda Phillips said.
“I didn’t notice it with this team at the start, but they started picking up the pace and really came on in the end,” said Hickman.
Brent Stecker: 661-5222
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