Published: May 8th 2007May 8th 2007
me at bat
Groundball to shortstop (notice where the ball is)
Dunkerque; what a funny name for a town.
Tuesday was a national holiday, and the Bois-Guillaume Woodchucks took advantage by rescheduling a rainout game against Dunkerque.
It was probably one of the trippiest days on a baseball field I have ever experienced, from the game itself to the weather to the mood of our team. A day in which everything was off-kilter.
Dunkerque is a town just off the northern coast of Paris. It is near Calais, the town where departs the tunnel that traverses the English Channel between France and England (I cannot think of the name of the tunnel at the moment).
The field at Dunkerque is out in open air, with no trees or buildings to shield it from the winds coming in off the channel. When we began the game it was cloudy and cold and windy. By the second inning it was raining, and several times we had to clear the field because it was raining too hard. Eventually the rain turned to hail.
Josh Stone, our newly-arrived American, pitched the first game. It was clear he was nervous and felt like he had to prove to this team that
Josh is from New Mexico, just across the border from Colorado.
he was worthy of the plane ticket and the small ‘salary’ they were paying him. Unfortunately this added pressure he was putting on himself got to him, and he had trouble throwing strikes. In the fourth inning he was replaced on the mound by Artur, our fourteen-year-old lefty. We were losing by ten runs already by this point. We lost the game in five innings by 10-run rule.
I started the second game, with four innings left before coming out of the game cause of the 7-inning rule for foreign pitching.
During the second game the winds picked up and became a constant dust storm, sweeping up the infield dirt and blowing it around the field. It was blowing so hard that I could not hear my catcher when he would yell something to me from behind the plate. A few times I was blown off the mound when I was in the middle of my delivery. And multiple times my hat was blown clear across the field. Crazy winds.
We won the second game easily, splitting the day with Dunkerque and holding our record at 7-7.
There are more photos below