The Red Moustache Manuscripts

The Red Moustache Manuscripts contains vignettes chronicling over a half century of adventures. Some of the stories are amusingly funny while others can be seriously enlightening. So come in and enjoy a truly unique experience!

On Their Sleeves: Part Six

The Norton Mavericks traveled to Killington, Vermont in early July of 2004 to play baseball on one of the most beautiful little league diamonds I had ever seen. Bordered by tree-covered mountains on all sides, with fresh white lime baselines contrasting against the manicured purple clay of an infield that was surrounded by thick, deep green perennial ryegrass, and with a brilliant yellow sun beaming in the clear blue sky above, the red, white and blue of the stars and stripes waving nonchalantly just beyond the fence in center field; it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was after we removed our caps, while standing still and listening to the National Anthem that suddenly it all appeared surreal, and in that flash of great clarity I was momentarily overwhelmed- This field was a healthy slice of baseball heaven begging our indulgence.

Up 6-0 in the final game of the three day tournament, and with victory clearly in sight, our ace, 13-year-old Brandon Paulhus, was working on a no-hitter in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and two strikes on Killington’s last hope, Nick Bent. He decided to throw a changeup, the only one he threw all game. Up to that point his 68 mile per hour fastball released from 46 feet away had been unhittable. Bent made Paulhus pay for his poor decision and took him deep for Killington’s only hit and run of the game.

Before we left Vermont with the trophy and bragging rights, I told Killington's Coach Ray Foley that we would be hosting a "Tournament of Champions" later that summer, in early August.  He definitely wanted in. In a friendly but competitive way, we looked forward to facing each other again…

Two players from our tournament team were unable to participate in the “Tournament of Champions” and had to be replaced. While many of the kids vying for the spots had similar skill sets, I was more concerned with desire than ability when making my final decision. I chose Ryan Fleming and Teddy Francis. They were both unable to play in the first tournament; Ryan traveled to the Carolinas on a family vacation and Teddy broke his thumb.

Ryan and Teddy desperately wanted to play in the “Tournament of Champions”- I could see it in their eyes…

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