Talkin’ baseball at Manchester dinner

Concord resident and former major league pitcher Bob Tewksbury got a standing ovation and an award for his many years of service to the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Hampshire, Red Sox hurlers Bronson Arroyo and Lenny DiNardo were hailed for the contributions to Boston’s first World Series championship in 86 years, and 450 Granite Staters paid $60 to celebrate baseball on a frozen February night in New Hampshire, just three days after Groundhog Day.

“I think the best part about it was just all the fans getting the opportunity to hang out with Bronson Arroyo and Lenny DiNardo,” said Nashua Pride general manager Todd Marlin about the annual Baseball Dinner at the Center of New Hampshire-Radisson in Manchester. The Pride teamed up with Manchester’s New Hampshire Fisher Cats to sponsor this year’s event to benefit the New Hampshire Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs.

“They were great about staying around to meet with people and have their pictures taken with them,” said Marlin. “Everyone had a lot of fun getting to talk to them.”

While the Eastern League Fisher Cats will be opening their second season in Manchester in a brand new stadium this April, Pride officials expressed confidence they could hold on to and expand their fan base at Nashua’s Holman Stadium, despite the competition 18 miles to the north.

Manchester native John Danos, vice president of the BKK Group — principal owner of the Pride — said he had been in an even more challenging situation in Maryland. A former part owner of the Bowie Bay Sox team of the Eastern League, Danos said the Bay Sox were playing in Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium in 1992, the first year that the major league Orioles were playing in the brand new Orioles Park at Camden Yards, just five miles away.

“We had 37 dates when we were both at home,” said Danos. Contrary to expectations, the Bay Sox actually drew more fans when the Orioles were in town than when they were on the road. “It’s professional baseball,” Marlin added. “The more baseball is available, the more fans there are and the more fans go to games.”

Categories: News