Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cops and Jockeys: Play Ball

Words & pictures by Thomas Dimopoulos
published in The Saratogian, 2006.

The lineup: The Jockeys. Javier Castellano (2B), Kent Desormeaux (RF), Mike Luzzi (1B),
Eibar Coa (SS), Garrett Gomez (Short CF), Rudy Rodriguez (catcher), Herberto Castillo (3B),
Channing Hill (CF), John Velazquez (P), Angel Cordero (P), Richard Migliore.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Jockeys and the New York State Police went at it again Monday night, for the first time on the baseball diamond of the Eastside Recreation Field in the annual charity softball game to benefit the Catie Hoch Foundation.

Racecourse fixture Sam the Bugler began the night by performing the National Anthem and jockey Jerry Bailey threw out the ceremonial first ball.
“I told them there was no way I would attempt to play,” said Bailey, nonetheless wearing a red and white baseball jersey with his name stenciled across the back. ”I haven’t come this far along to risk getting hurt,” he laughed.

The Police squad built an early lead with a big five-run inning in the top of the second and added two more runs in the third. The jockeys responded in the bottom of the inning. The run, however, was ironically not scored by a jockey but by the lucky fan chosen at random before the match to join the jockey squad. He turned out to be New York Post reporter John Da Silva (the tall fella at extreme left of photograph above).

Ric Mitchell of station Star 101.3 FM called the play-by-play for a crowd of several hundred fans as the jockeys mounted a comeback, but it proved to be not enough. On this night, it was: Police 14, Jockeys 10.

Proceeds of the game were to benefit the Catie Hoch Foundation, established in memory of the nine-year-old girl and Yankees fan who died from a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer in May of 2000.
The Foundation’s main goal is to financially assist families of children with cancer and support doctors in their research for a cure.


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