Grays down Reds once again

The July 4 event raises an estimated $5,000 for the historical museum.

Hardball history came to life, as the Island Reds and the Winslow Grays battled in the second annual Grand Old Fourth of July game at the High School field Sunday.

The fund-raising event revived two island teams from the 1920s – actually, former prep players and baseball enthusiasts – complete with wool uniforms, helmet-less base runners and knee-high socks, in an event to benefit the Bainbridge Historical Society.

“We felt that the whole aspect of the Grand Old Fourth celebration could use something like this, and we hope it continues in popularity,” said Grays manager Jeff Giblin, who founded the event with local sports promoter and Reds manager Kevin Lynch a year ago.

“I think things will fall in place when people see that this can be a fun thing and how amazingly it has come together.”

Reid Hansen, captain of the 1947 Bainbridge High School baseball team, and Erika Varga, curator of the Bainbridge Historical Society, threw the ceremonial first pitches as the Grays took the field to defend last year’s 16-5 trouncing of the Reds.

Umpire Dick Brakefield dusted off the plate, and the favored Reds team exploded in the first inning. Lynch and Pedro Corpuz rounded the bags to score two runs on the Grays pitcher Larry Gonwick before the hot dogs even began to sizzle.

The Grays responded with singles by Gonwick, Randy Kok and Jamie Hawkins to score three in the bottom of the first.

University of Washington pitcher Hawkins relieved Gonwick after several innings for the Grays and neutralized the Reds offense with heat and occasional chin music.

Reds catcher Pat Crowthers, a former BHS star, kept the Grays baserunners close to the bag.

The Grays blew the game open in the bottom of the seventh with a five-run, two-out rally, capitalizing on fielding errors, while Andrew Rimkus and Kyle Arbour rocked the Reds with back-to-back doubles.

They added another run in the eighth to make it 11-3.

In the ninth, the home team Grays took the field to face the top of the Reds’ order.

Lynch walked and David Walker was hit by a pitch, putting two aboard.

Tim Carlson followed with a hard line drive to right on a ball up in the zone, scoring both Lynch and Walker.

But that was all the Reds could muster, falling 11-6 to the “undefeated” Grays.

“We were smart on the base paths and we took opportunities when they gave them to us as far as passed balls,” Giblin said.

Red’s manager Lynch admitted that fielding errors were costly for his Reds.

“But we played hard and had fun,” Lynch said, “and we’re narrowing the gap – last year we lost by a lot more.”

The Bainbridge Historical Society also mustered a team to take on the crowd of fans, young and old, who turned out for the event.

While kids chased down foul balls, the Historical Society’s volunteers cooked up hot dogs and a friendly atmosphere.

The event is expected to net nearly $5,000 for the Bainbridge Island Historical Society, compared to last years’ $1,500.

The money will help pay for costs incurred as the Bainbridge Historical Museum moves to its new location at 215 Erickson Avenue.

The museum will reopen to the public Aug. 21-22.

“We have our volunteers and our members that keep us going and we’ve needed a fund-raiser like this to support us while we’ve been closed all winter,” Varga said.

“This has definitely grown and I think it will be as big as the Rotary Auction someday.”

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