Shirley I'm Proud

May 20, 2008

Inspiration and drama in sports sometimes come nicely wrapped in attention getting venues like tournament finals with national television coverage. Shirley Povich, the famed sportswriter and baseball scribe of the Washington Post, used to have a wonderful talent for describing such high moments. But he also had a wonderful ability to embue with meaning the more mundane play that is found in sports competitions everyday. There is some irony that the following prosaic baseball story took place last week at the ball field constructed and named in honor of the sports-writing legend who once gave up his college studies to begin a 75-year career with the Washington Post. What college you ask? . . . Georgetown University.



Sophomore shortstop Tommy Elliott

One week ago, Big East baseball teams were all entering their regular season final series. St. John's, 18-6 in league play, was leading the conference. followed by Cincinnati (16-8), Seton Hall (14-10), Louisville (14-10), and Notre Dame (13-10). Georgetown, after struggling through a difficult start to the season, had played inconsistently throughout the spring and found itself in the Big East cellar. With not a lot to play for and with the many distractions of graduation week all around them, the Hoyas were set to play a three-game series against a talented Seton Hall squad. The Pirates were then tied for third in the league and playing for seeding in the conference tournament that is taking place this week.

In the opener of the home series, Hoya aspirations sank as the Pirates clobbered the Hilltoppers by a score of 18-2. The second game of the series was to be played the following day. However, the proprietors of the stadium determined that a recent rainstorm made for unplayable conditions, resulting in a rescheduling of the contest as the first game of a doubleheader the next day. Seton Hall was not at all happy with this decision. Who could blame them? They suddenly found themselves with an entire day off just as they were seeking to peak for post-season play. Two games in two days now became two games in one day with tournament seeding and pitching rotations in the balance. A lot of back and forth ensued. Efforts to accommodate the Pirates were unsuccessful as the facility managers made the final call.

As for Georgetown, many other teams at this point would have mailed in the rest of the season. It didn't happen that way however.

The Hoyas showed up on the final day of the season -- senior day -- ready to play. The team went on to play inspired ball for 16 innings, capturing both contests and relegating the Hall to the fifth seed in the Big East tournament. The Pirates consoled themselves with their post-season bid; the Hoyas with two satisfying victories to end an unsatisfying season.

And as for Shirley, now of ballpark fame, a fitting story.



Senior hurler Michael Gaggioli


Sophomore first baseman Dan Capeless




PJM - View From The Hilltop



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4:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
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August 12
7:00 PM
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August 18
4:00 PM
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12:00 PM
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August 20
1:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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August 25
5:00 PM
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Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
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Cooper Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
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August 27
1:00 PM
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August 28
1:00 PM
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September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
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September 1
8:00 PM
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Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
2:00 PM
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Cooper Field
September 3
4:00 PM
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San Jose, Calif.
September 3
1:00 PM
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September 4
12:00 PM
UCLA
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September 8
4:00 PM
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Shaw Field
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 9
TBA
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 16
TBA
Marist
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September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 17
1:00 PM
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September 17
12:00 PM
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September 18
All Day
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September 19
All Day
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Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
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