Through the Eyes of Patriots Fan: “Hip, hip, Jorge!”
Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game that featured fireworks during and after the game. The Patriots sent veteran, and former major league pitcher Brad Thompson to the mound. He gave up five hits and three runs in the top half of the first inning before striking out Koby Clemens for the final out. After a 1-2-3 inning in the second, Brad surrendered a fourth run before inducing Reid Gorecki to bounce into a 5-4-3 double play to end any potential trouble. Thompson pitched bravely into seventh inning of a tied (4 to 4) game, Thompson retired two before Cedrick Bowers came in to record final out of the inning. Bowers was the game’s winning pitcher.
Winning is important in every sport, but for all intents and purposes, minor league baseball, especially Independent ball is about the fans. Each victory serves as the gravy on its meat and potatoes. Success is measured by the inclusion of a team’s dedicated fan base. This was evident as I scanned the crowd at TD ballpark (attendance of 8,021), I saw many fans wearing clothing sporting the team’s logo, whether it is on caps, a jersey or tee shirts. The air reverberated with various spontaneous chants, and some pre-recorded from left field to right. Every night at TD Park, fans are treated as something special. They became a part of what is on the playing field, and all from the comfort of their assigned seat.
One of my favorite chants is one that is fairly new. It erupts throughout the park when #17 takes his place in the batter’s box.
“Hip, hip, Jorge! Hip, hip Jorge!”
This is how the Patriots faithful serenade Jorge Cortes. Before Somerset signed Cortes this year, he was the owner of a .285 career batting average over 14 minor league seasons. Jorge is from Columbia and was signed as a ‘un-drafted’ player by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1997. He played in 2004 All-Star futures game. Jorge peaked at the AAA level for the Pirates and Cubs during 2007-08.
While last night’s Patriots 5-4 win over the Sugar Land Skeeters was filled by crucial and gutsy pitching performances like Brad Thompson battling until leaving in the seventh with 4-4 tie, or Cedrick Bowers inducing Jason Pressley into a 6-3 groundout, Jason Lowey retiring three after loading the bases in the eighth. The second out recorded on a ‘infield fly, and finally closer ‘Big’ John Hunton closing the game out with a 1-6-3 double play. All which was impressive, but it was “Hip, hip, Jorge!”
Cortes went 2 for 3, with a walk, a two run homer, a one run triple to tie it, and scoring on a sacrifice fly for the deciding run!
The night was a “Hip, hip Jorge!” evening.