The skies opened in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks home opener against the Brockton Rox Tuesday night, suspending play with the score tied 2-2. The game will be continued at a later date when the Rox next visit the Vineyard Baseball Park on June 28.
Cars, most sporting a purple Martha’s Vineyard Little League magnet, lined Sanderson Drive well before the start of the game as youth baseball players and their coaches gathered on the field for the first pitches, thrown by Scott Lively and Sharks general manager Jerry Murphy. Regional high school graduate Maggie Riseborough performed the National Anthem before a crowd of more than 500 people.
Vineyarder Tad Gold scored the first run of the game for the Sharks on an RBI by Nick Snell of Seton Hall University in the bottom of the first. Gold’s sister Ryann, the team gardener, attended the game accompanied by dog Pepper, who was dressed for the occasion in a purple leash. “He’s a super Sharks fan,” Ms. Gold explained.
Calls of “Where are you, Sharkey?” were overheard on the concourse as kids eagerly awaited the arrival of the team mascot. Once the sombrero-wearing shark appeared, he was the Pied Piper of the evening, trailed by an entourage of youngsters throughout the game. Sales were brisk at concessions, with a crew of grill masters busy behind the scenes preparing hot dogs, sausages and hamburgers .
Little Leaguers clung to the low fence on the third baseline, watching each at-bat for foul balls and discussing the generosity of the college players on the field.
“26 [pitcher Mike McFerran] threw me a ball!” a Rockies player exclaimed. “He’s so nice . . . and he signed somebody’s hat.”
Nine-year-old Lila Mikos had three Sharks players sign her new Sharks cap, which each Little Leaguer received at the entrance, and said she could not pick just one favorite part of Opening Day.
“I kind of like it all,” she said.
The Sharks host the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide tonight at 6 p.m. Saturday’s game against the North Shore Navigators was rescheduled to a 5 p.m. start time so as not to conflict with Stanley Cup coverage.
“We want to make sure everybody’s home in time to watch the Bruins,” Jerry Murphy said on Wednesday.
For more photos from the game, view Martha's Vineyard Sharks Opening Day.