I finally made it to Boise!
Considering I had started off there twice by car from Ogden, Utah, only to turn around when it dawned on me it was too far to drive there in one or two days. I was overjoyed when my plane landed at Boise Airport even though it was July 13th
It had been embarrassing to tell my former Vine Line and one of my favorite editors, Jim McArdle, I had failed him twice, and I didn’t want to repeat that ordeal with my new editor, Michael Huang, so this time I had to beat the odds by taking a plane which got me there in less than an hour.
It was also the first time I would see a Rookie A – Northwest League game and while Tacoma and Fresno may be further, Boise was close to the furthest I had ever traveled to see a minor league baseball game.
After a nice Sunday steak and Idaho potato dinner at a blue blood restaurant, which was the first decent dinner I had in a week of travel having dined on ball park franks other evenings, I drove by the Hawks’ Memorial Stadium to get a feeling for where it was and how it looked. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a small park with a small park intimacy that would serve my photography quite well.
I got to the ball park early the next day but not before the Boise Hawks who were there surprisingly early considering they had just come a long road trip the day before.
The young Cubbies were eager to get their photos taken for Vine Line, the official Chicago Cubs team magazine, that I have free lanced for the past 15 seasons. I scheduled much of the team to have their photographs taken after batting and infield practice so I wouldn’t interfere with their work priorities.
Much of the future Chicago Cubs’ infield may be playing at Boise this season.. The top 2008 Cubs BA prospect, Josh Vitters, is at 3B hitting 344 BA, 2 HR, and 18 RBI and fielding like he’s Brooks Robinson in the 1970 World Series. Drafted this past June in the first round supplemental out of Vanderbilt University, SS, Ryan Flaherty is hitting 280 BA, 2 HR, and 7 RBI. Drafted out of Cincinnati U in the 6th round, Josh Harrison is at 2B, and a dark horse 16th round pick, Ryan Keedy, out of Alabama Birmingham, is at 1B.
hitting 308, 1 HR, and 21 RBI.
Kyler Burke is hitting for power with 3 HR, 20 RBI at the same time he is showing good range in right field.
I was very much impressed with LHP Jeff Beliveau DNA as well as his pitching. He is a great nephew of Montreal Canadiens hockey great, Jean Beliveau, and is 2-1 W-L, 3.86 ERA in relief. RHP Chris Carpenter, a third round draft out of Kent State, is 1-0 W-L, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP. and the pitching staff work horse, Herol Tolentino, is 3-0 W-L, with a 3.09 ERA in 32.0 IP.