This Week in Milford

September 4, 2019

So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance


How can the bonfire be annual if we haven’t seen it in four years? Oh yeah – the good ol’ tell, don’t show. Young Jerry Lewis seems unfazed as he flashes a jazz hand and prepares to follow the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Flaming Fist of Fury to Oakwood.

Speaking of things that haven’t been seen in a while: when was the last time you saw a football player wearing long sleeves? Must be getting cold early in Oakwood. Chance Macy has “broken loose” but he’s surrounded by three Oaks Owls, one of whom is on an immediate collision course with him. Looks like those knees might get tangled up, leading to a call to Trainer Rick Scott and an opening for Charlie “Ruh” Roh to step up, make an impact, and help stepdad Chet Ballard forget his weak showing against Hadley V. Baxendale. Wait, Tiki Jansen’s still on the team? Forget that last bit, then.


  1. Oakwood’s mascot is the Owls, though I would like it if they pulled a Jefferson Jeffs and went by “Oaks”. (Noted, thanks! – t) Kudos for correct football stripes in panel 2, no Canadian footballs this year, Rubin?

    Comment by billytheskink — September 4, 2019 @ 7:45 am

  2. Just like the old ABA team, the Oakland Oaks. Sounds better than Oakwood Owls. I’m just glad to finally see some sports action other than dorky-ass Hadley playing golf or some kid shittin’ himself during football practice after eating some really, really, amazing sloppy joes.

    Comment by franku2016 — September 4, 2019 @ 9:15 am

  3. Another Oakland Oaks team was also a triple-A minor league team in the old Pacific Coast League. Other teams included the San Francisco Seals and the Los Angeles Angels. It’s expanded into twelve states now, and is barely recognizable. And I have a seen a different Owls team play, Los Tecos, of the “Autonomo,” the private University of Guadalajara. They’re not students, but a professional team the U runs to make money: as is the case in most countries, in Mexico you can play sports or you can go to college– the schools don’t field teams. In the UK, there are teams associated with universities, usually rowing, and you pay to participate.

    Comment by vaganova — September 4, 2019 @ 9:36 am


    Vaganova, you raise a good point and I would like to add one more to the fire, the Iowa Oaks. Our AAA farm team, the Evansville Triplets, played them in the late ’60’s-early to mid ’70’s. The Triplets, BTW, were called that for 2 reasons, 1) Because they were a farm team of the Minnesota Twins, becoming an offshoot of that nickname 2) Because they were in a tri-state area, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.
    The memories. Wouldn’t trade ’em.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — September 4, 2019 @ 10:47 am

  5. Well, tdrew, we had a Triplets team here in upstate NY, too, a top Yankees farm club. The three towns were, and sometimes still are, known as the “Triple Cities.” The team moved in the 60s when their park was condemned to make way for a new Interstate, but before they left, any number of eventual stars played here. Among them were Moose Skowron, Ralph Terry, Lefty Gomez, Clete Boyer, Bert Campaneris, Thurman Munson, Tom Tresh, Joe Pepitone, and even the immortal Marv Throneberry. My older brother became a big fan of Whitey (then known as “Eddie”) Ford here n the late forties. The Mets now have a farm team here, but as much as I love baseball, I rarely go because of the deafening racket on the PA– loud music, silly sound effects, and constant high-decibel blabber, all of which to me are antithetical to the game. You have to be able to hear yourself think to enjoy the game, and my hat’s off to the players who manage to focus despite the distraction.

    tdrew, do you know about the old Three-I league, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois?) I don’t know if it still exists, but in the great years of the lower minors, the RIckey era, the Three-I was considered to be “Siberia.”

    Comment by vaganova — September 4, 2019 @ 1:30 pm

  6. You guys showing your age– an older brother who remembers Whitey Ford in the late 40’s would almost be my dads age; he saw a game in the Polo Grounds and also was at Johnny Unitas first game (against the Bears at Wrigley Field. He said Johnny U was so bad he was convinced he’d seen the last of him.) The Giants have been gone from the Polo Grounds for 62 years, moving to San Francisco after the 1957 season. The only player I can name from any of the teams listed in the comments is Joe DiMaggio, who played for the San Fran Seals. I didnt grow up near any minor league teams that fed into the majors, but I have about 4 teams within driving distance right now; they are in independent leagues and all were formed after I was an adult.

    Comment by robmize2013 — September 4, 2019 @ 8:54 pm

  7. Vaganova, that’s a great question and I confess I’ve heard the name several times and I knew E-ville was a part of it for years but that’s the extent of it. My guess was it is like the Evansville Otters now, some good players but no one’s calling from the Majors anytime soon.
    STILL, if the Three-I League is still in the discussion and if it lasted around 60 years, you KNOW there was some good baseball along the way. Glad you brought it up. They still talk about it and rightfully so.
    I think what’s interesting is the story that still runs around Evansville from time to time was when they were the Triplets and they were in AAA. One night, Don Durham(excellent pitcher, later went to the St. Louis Cardinals for, from what I recall, a cup of coffee) had the Trips on the ropes the entire game at Bosse Field(as in “He’s so bossy”-“A League of Our Own” shot many scenes there). He was just pitching a masterpiece, the Trips couldn’t hit him with a pizza pan. It’s the bottom of the 9th inning and 2 outs, Durham’s team was up, 1-0, the fans are headin’ to the exits when Bob Coluccio(cuh-LU-chee-o) rapped a 1-2 pitch(one more strike and the no-hitter’s complete, in other words), a sharp single into left field. Darrell Porter(helped the Cardinals win the ’82 Series-you’re right, Robmize, I Am showing my wrinkles-ha ha) was the next batter. He just absolutely crushed the first pitch over the center field wall and the fans at Bosse Field are just GOIN’ BANANAS. For Don Durham, 8 and 2/3 innings of blissful perfection turned into perhaps his worst nightmare with one swing. I was STUNNED. Again, they still talk about it. Wow.
    Vaganova and Robmize, good stories yourselves. Keep ’em comin’, Gentlemen.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — September 4, 2019 @ 9:50 pm

  8. Great stuff. It was my brother who followed the Trips. By the time I started following baseball, Yogi was mostly playing left field, and the other two New York teams were in their final years there. 1957 was a dark year here. Except for my mother, who liked the Dodgers, we were Yankee fans. Yankee fans with a couple of dispensations. In 1969, the whole planet, outside of Baltimore, rooted for the Mets, and in 1955, the Dodgers. Robinson stealing home in the first game of the Series did not decide the championship, but it’s still the most dramatic play I’ve ever seen. All four principals– pticher, catcher, runner, and umpire– are in the Hall of Fame.

    Comment by vaganova — September 5, 2019 @ 7:29 am

  9. My father-in-law didn’t talk much to a lot of the family members in my generation, except for me, because I was always interested in his stories, like the one he told me about going to one of the games in the ’29 world series, Cubs vs A’s, and Connie Mack. Same for his brother-in-law, who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 40’s, and later was the head baseball coach for Wheaton College, where he won a couple of small school championships. He also personally knew a lot of those guys from the ’55 team. Both men are long gone now, but I’m glad that I got to talk with them when I had the chance.

    Comment by franku2016 — September 5, 2019 @ 9:32 am

  10. […] of revisionist history to start today’s strip. Bonfires before the football season opener are a Milford tradition except when they’re not. As for that “clobbering,” a 14-7 win is hardly Ben Grimm […]

    Pingback by Get Started, Start a Fire | This Week in Milford — September 19, 2020 @ 1:03 pm

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