Fire Service Too Hot for the Police at Emergency Services Baseball Event
|Author: David Shaer||Published: 12th August 2010 23:20|
Over one hundred people turned out last Saturday 7th August 2010 to take part in one of the most exciting and fun filled days in this year's baseball calendar, the first ever Essex Arrows Baseball Club Emergency Services Event at Town Mead Leisure Park in Waltham Abbey. The day was so successful that it is set to become a regular fixture for many years to come.
The day started with an enthusiastic warm-up jog around the field with about fourteen local Essex police and firemen and the Waltham Abbey Little League youth players. They then moved on to the stretches before warming up their arms. Meanwhile, off the field, local people were turning up to fill the newly installed bleachers and stalls were being set up to promote the police, fire and air ambulance services, a silver American style hot dog stand was being prepared while a bouncy castle was being inflated and the club's raffle stand assembled and filled with all the wonderful prizes donated from local companies, club members and friends of the Essex Arrows Baseball Club.
To add to the atmosphere the police had parked a police car behind their stand and the firemen turned up in their fire truck, which remained at the field for everyone to see. Unfortunately about thirty minutes into the start of the day, the firemen who were on duty were called away and had to rush off to deal with an emergency, but luckily and to the relief of everyone, they returned in under an hour, but this time with two fire trucks and re-enforcements!
The groups were split up so the youth players went through their normal Saturday training routine and the police and firemen were coached on how to throw, hit and then shown the basics of the game. The sun was shining through the clouds, the atmosphere was definitely heating up and the anticipation growing as the main event drew closer. Fans sat in the bleachers with hot dogs, hamburgers, doughnuts and drinks while the smaller children joined in the fun using the foam bats and balls provided by the club or enjoyed the bouncy castle.
At one point a group of children with special needs who had been with their carers at the play area by the Town Mead Social Club came to see what was going on. They were given gloves, bats and baseballs and invited onto the field to have a go which they thoroughly enjoyed and will hopefully be coming back in the future for more! It was a truly family and community atmosphere which made the day even more memorable.
Then all of a sudden the noise of propellers became louder and louder as a helicopter approached the airspace above the field and to everyone's delight started to circle the field, souring upwards then back down tipping to the side as it continued to circle the field. Players and fans waved as the helicopter dipped its nose in acknowledgement before flying off into the distance back to base. Thank you to Bryn Elliot from Police Aviation News for sorting this out for us, it really added to the great atmosphere of the day.
Posters advertising the event had been placed up all around the town and handed out to the public during the week preceding the event, articles posted online and the word seemed to have spread as more and more people arrived to the baseball field.
So with everything set the firemen took the field and the police warmed up swinging their bats waiting in anticipation for the game to start. The Arrows and Archers provided umpires and helped out each team with a pitcher and catcher and then it was "Play Ball!". The police started off strong driving in a run in the top of the first inning, but the firemen fought back with three runs after some impressive hitting so after one inning it looked like it could be a one sided affair.
However it remained close and after three innings the score was 4-2 to the firemen. Having just learnt the basics, everyone was taking to the sport as if they had been playing all season and the game was definitely heating up when the only lady playing for the police was running to third and ran through the powerful looking third baseman sending him in a backwards somersault to the delight of the crowd. Maybe sliding should have been including in the pre-game coaching session. However, she was called out and the inning was over.
In the top of the fourth inning the police managed to bring the score back to 4-4 after an inside the park home run and some impressive hitting but the firemen continued to play hard-ball and by the end of the fourth inning the score was 8-4 so the police needed four runs in the fifth to stay in the game (it was a five inning game).
There was no holding back with the pitching as Luke Foley, from the Arrows pitched hard in the top of the fifth to strike out the first two batters, however the police rallied as they were not ready to be extinguished and began to come back. With two batters struck out the police dug deep and brought some big bats to the plate. The crowd cheered and shouted at every hit and the play by play commentary over the loud speaker became louder and more exciting, but after a valiant effort the police were finally hosed down with the final score at 8-6 and both teams were given a rapturous applause for the great spectacle witnessed by all.
After the Emergency Services baseball game the raffle took place with Policeman Leo Fordham winning the star prize of a delicious selection of sweets from local traditional sweet shop Kits Kandy. Overall the day was a huge success for the Club, the Emergency Services and the local people of Waltham Abbey in support of Essex Arrows Baseball Club and Essex Air Ambulance.
The police are already gearing themselves up for the re-match in 2011 when they want to turn the table on the firemen who are confident they will remain unbeaten, so watch out for the return of the annual Essex Arrows Emergency Services Baseball Event.
The Essex Arrows Baseball Club would like to thank everyone who made such a great effort to ensure that the day was a success. Thank you to Melissa and Savva of Kits Kandy for providing the Hot Dog stand, Ray from the Go Bouncing Bouncy Castle Company, Kate and Jeff Towerzey and family for handing out leaflets and helping to run the raffle stand, Sue Barnes, the Club's Secretary and her husband Richard for all their help, Maurice Shaer for the play by play commentary, the emergency services teams for their great support and enthusiasm for the event, the many local companies who helped out by donating some great prizes for the raffle, to the Arrows and Archers players who came together in true club style to ensure that everyone was taken care of on and off the field and to all the fans for their support!!
David Shaer, General Manager, Essex Arrows
If you are interested in joining your local baseball club they are looking for new players to start training in January for the new season in the National Baseball League, please see our article "Essex Arrows launches recruitment drive"
The Waltham Abbey youth baseball training sessions are held on Saturdays from 11.00am-1.00pm for children age 7-12 years and from 1.15-3.15pm for 13-16 year olds at a cost of just £3.00 per session, no need to book just turn up and join in.
For more information on the Club please see their website: http://www.essexarrows.com/
You might like to visit the Epping Forest District Museum Sporting Heroes Exhibition in Waltham Abbey which features Essex Arrows Baseball Club throughout the summer until 7th September 2010. Admission is free. For more details please see AboutMyArea article: Sporting Heroes
For more information on Essex Air Ambulance please see their website: http://www.essexairambulance.co.uk/
All photographs by Site Editor Kate Towerzey