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Prince Fielder Minors Game

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Very cool, here's some details on that game from our Link Report archives --

But I'm not sure what you mean by "purchase this game"?


Huntsville Site Game Summary:


Perhaps the Stars just needed an escape. From the weight of their seven-game losing streak. From their fall out of the first-half pennant race. Historic Rickwood Field offered such an escape, and Huntsville seemed relaxed and right at home. The Stars snapped their season-high losing streak with an 8-6 win over the Barons on Thursday afternoon in the 9th Annual Rickwood Classic.


For the second straight season, Huntsville joined the Barons in celebrating a past era in Birmingham baseball. Clad in throwback uniforms like those worn by Industrial League teams of the 1930?s and 1940?s, the Southern League rivals took fans on a trip back in time at the country?s oldest park, Birmingham?s Rickwood Field, opened in 1910.


As if on cue, the Stars crafted one of their most fundamentally complete games in the month of June. Error-free defense, opportunistic offense and one monstrous home run propelled Huntsville into the win column for the first time since a victory over the Barons at Joe Davis Stadium on June 8.


With a blast reminiscent of those hit by Rickwood legend Reggie Jackson, the Stars? Brad Nelson opened the Classic with a bang, crushing a two-run homer to deep right-center in the first. Ozzie Chavez?s run-scoring double made it 3-0, Stars.


After Birmingham?s Rob Sasser launched a second-inning two-run homer, Huntsville answered in the third. Johnny Raburn?s RBI-single and Kade Johnson?s sacrifice fly put the Stars up, 5-2. In the fourth, Ruddy Yan?s throwing error and Nelson?s sacrifice fly made it 7-2, Huntsville.


The Barons trimmed the lead to 7-5, but Joel Alvarado?s run-scoring single pushed Huntsville?s lead back to 8-5 in the fifth. The Stars? bullpen took care of the rest, as lefty Brian Adams and right-hander John Novinsky combined to hold Birmingham at bay.


Adams (2-1) picked up his second win, giving up just one hit and one walk while fanning one over his 3 1/3 scoreless frames. Dennis Ulacia (4-4) suffered the loss, surrendering five runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in just 2 1/3 innings. Novinsky notched his fourth save, permitting one run, Brian Becker?s ninth-inning solo homer, and two hits with one walk and one strikeout over the final 1 2/3 innings.


Stars righty Dennis Sarfate (3-6, 5.14) takes the mound against Barons right-hander Eduardo Villacis (1-1, 4.59) in game two of the series on Friday night at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. Game time is 7:00 p.m. The FPH Financial Services Pre-game show starts at 6:45 p.m. Stars baseball can be heard on ESPN 1450 and at www.huntsvillestars.com.



David Weiser's www.starsboxscore.com Huntsville update:



Masquerading as an industrial team, the Huntsville Stars won their first Rickwood Classic and broke their seven-game losing streak, their longest since 1999....... Perhaps the Stars should wear the uniforms of the cotton mill teams that played at Huntsville's Optimist Park in the '30s if it works this well.


Forget Stars. Forget Barons. Today, it was an homage to the past, and both teams celebrated in vintage uniforms in front of over 7,000 fans, a time when baseball was wildly popular and some 150 industrial teams flourished in and around Birmingham, representing steel mills, paper mills, coal mines, iron works, ethnic associations, and even competing grocery stores. These far-flung semi-pro leagues were united into a single federation, becoming the largest in the nation by 1936, lasting for decades until the workers who played and the fans who came, became a richer, more diverse and mobile middle class in the '50s. No longer part of a decaying neighborhood, and no longer depending on baseball for entertainment, the leagues faded into oblivion........ But those who remembered honored those who played in these leagues on this hot 87° afternoon, where they once competed. About two dozen former Industrial League players were introduced in front of the crowd before the game, some who once played with future major league players in these leagues --- Harry and Dixie Walker, Ben Chapman, Frank House, Willie Mays, Virgil Trucks, Dan Bankhead, and future major league managers Luman Harris and Bobby Bragan.


The Rickwood Classic has been a fundraiser to preserve what is the oldest professional ballpark still in use, a working museum --- Rickwood Field, built in 1910 --- laid out by Connie Mack, as a favor to friend and owner Rick Woodward, but modeled after Forbes Field....... Here, where scenes from the movie "Cobb" were shot, nostalgia abounds, and if you can allow yourself, you feel the ghosts of Babe Ruth, Burleigh Grimes, and Dizzy Dean, all of whom played here on the same field as Ryan Costello, Prince Fielder, and Brad Nelson today........ In 1996, the Birmingham Barons agreed to return to Rickwood to play for the first time in nine years, wearing 1948 Barons' uniforms. A sellout crowd of 10,023 came back to Rickwood to enjoy the vintage park to inauguarate the Rickwood Classic --- one of the most symbolic "throwback" games in history.


And there exists no better ballpark on earth to play such a game...... I looked around to take mental pictures of the huge wooden overhang, protecting the wraparound grandstand extending from the 3rd base line midway to left field to about 30 feet in back of right field, where African-Americans were once segregated, then without any protection from the sun or the rain......... Distinctive were the unique lightstands on the roof (Rickwood was the first minor league park with lights), the depression and war-era billboards (Burma Shave, Fatima Cigarettes, Grape-Ola, etc.), the hand-operated chalkboard-colored scoreboard (originally 500 feet from home plate) with the clock on top and the scheduled games of the Southern Association and major leagues as it existed in 1948, ready for updates, and the assymetrical outfield design (dead center is 392 ft., but left-center juts out to 399')........


Standards from the '30s were played over the loudspeakers and whenever possible, a dixieland band played from an area behind home plate. The seats were the old-style cast iron that you might find at Fenway or old Tiger stadium (except roomier).......The neighborhood around had seen better days. Several dwellings near the stadium were boarded or bricked up. By 1986, Barons owner Art Clarkson had to face economic realities and the Birmingham Barons left Rickwood for good after the 1987 season for modern, detached Hoover Met....... It's hard to imagine it's lasted this long, and that the Stars played their very first game here in 1985, but it's not hard to imagine that presevationists would fight to keep it, and pay for its upkeep, and that is what the Rickwood Classic is for.


The Stars wore the blue caps and white uniforms of U.S. Steel's Fairfield Mills. The logo on the left breast was too small to be seen, except with binoculars, almost looking like plain cotton uniforms. The numbers on the back were large as life though. For some reason, Ryan Knox and Ozzie Chavez exchanged their regular uniform numbers, 36 and 24, for 10 and 12 respectively......... The Birmingham Barons wore the uniforms of Sloss Industries, a prominent coke foundry still operating today now in Hoover...... They also wore white uniforms, but you could plainly see the blue block letters spelling out "SLOSS", so there was really no mistaking the two teams....... Even the umps were dressed in throwback style, wearing the balloon protectors outside their black and white uniforms.


The Stars threatened to tie a club record they set at this ballpark in their very first game on April 12, 1985, by scoring in five consecutive innings, falling one inning short........ They were stopped cold by B.J. LaMura, pitching three no-hit innings in relief in his first appearance against the Stars, but by this time, the Stars were in front 8-5 and Brian Adams, the Stars' most effective pitcher this month (2.38 ERA in 11 1/3 IP) was likewise holding the opposition scoreless........ Meanwhile, the Stars were crafting the most fundamentally sound, opportunistic game they had played in awhile, playing error-free nine-innings for the first time since May.


It began with a monstrous two-run home run to right-center by Brad Nelson, evoking the memories perhaps of some Barons fans who remember Reggie Jackson when he played here........ In the 2nd inning, Johnny Raburn and Kade Johnson parlayed a succession of perfectly-placed bunts that set up Chavez's RBI double which hugged the left field line........ Rob Sasser's no-out two-run HR in the 2nd inning brought the Barons as close as they would ever get in this game, 3-2. It was a rough inning for Ryan Costello, who was fortunately taken out of this sweltering heat before he could become eligible for the win, but he struck out Scott Bikowski on an 0-2 change and was saved by some good defense from Prince Fielder, who dug out a wide throw from third baseman Raburn....... Prince made a similar, and even better play in the 8th, sprawling in the dirt, while keeping his foot on the first base bag for the first out, presaging a bases-loaded situation.


The heat was wilting Dennis Ulacia (2-5, 3.81 vs. Huntsville since 2001). After a Fielder double to the right field corner, two walks, and another hit by Raburn manufactured two more runs, giving the Stars a 5-2 lead, Ulacia was gone........The heat even got the better of catcher Chris Stewart, who was removed in the 7th for heat exhaustion........ Stewart's passed ball put runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 4th inning, setting up two more runs. Fielder hit a 3-1 high hopper to Ruddy Yan. Yan went home to get Rickie Weeks, who drew a one-out walk, but the low throw hopped up on Stewart, bouncing off his mask and eluding him. With Tony Gwynn, Jr. now on 3rd, Brad Nelson was able to get him home, thanks to Gwynn's speed, on a medium fly ball to left........


Brian Adams came in for Costello in the bottom half after Gwynn missed a tumbling attempt at Scott Bikowski's dying pop to shallow center that went to the wall for a triple, followed by a walk and a double to the left field corner by Stewart........ From that point on, things were quiet for both sides......... Adams retired three of the four batters to face him in the 4th, then retired eight straight batters before Brian Becker, making his Birmingham debut, hit his second double of the day. In the 9th inning Becker's home run just cleared the vintage Coca Cola sign in left......... B.J. LaMura stopped the Stars from scoring for a club record 6th straight inning in the 6th, and never allowed the Stars to hit one ball out of the infield, and that was to second baseman Yan on the outfield grass.


For the Stars, it was the most runs scored since a May 22 10-1 win over Jacksonville. Prince Fielder hit his 7th double of the month -- as many as he had in April and May combined......... Johnny Raburn had the third four-hit game by a Huntsville Star this year, the last coming from Kade Johnson on April 26.


The Chattanooga Lookouts added outfielder Bobby Darula to their roster. Darula hit .325 for the Lookouts in 2002 and was a Southern League all-star that year, but Stars fans might remember he played for us in 2000 (hitting. 239) and 2001 (.277 in 22 games before his demotion to High Desert)........ The Philadelphia Phillies promoted outfielder Chris Cosbey to their Class AA Eastern League farm club in Reading, then went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in his debut for Reading on Thursday, as they beat Erie, 7-5......... Cosbey was hitting just .216 with 1 HR and 19 RBIs at Class A-Clearwater (Fla. St.). Last year, Cosbey, signed by the Brewers off the independent rolls, hit .171 in 33 games for the Stars, then was sold to the Phillies on June 3. Last year, he hit .246 for Clearwater with no home runs and 16 RBIs.


The High Desert Mavericks will send two possibly future Huntsville Stars to the Calilfornia League All-Star game --- first baseman Travis Hinton and second baseman Callix Crabbe. Hinton is hitting .317 with nine HRs and 19 doubles for the Mavs. Crabbe is hitting .305 with 11 doubles and five triples. High Desert has three of the Cal League's top four stolen base leaders. In addition to Crabbe, who's 4th, there's Chris Morris with 24 and Kennard Bibbs with 22. High Desert leads the California League in stolen bases....... Ben Hendrickson slipped from 1st to 3rd among International League ERA leaders. Hendrickson is 6-2 with a 2.54 ERA for Indy......... Jason Belcher went 3-for-4 and hit his 1st HR for Harrisburg, Thursday, as they beat Altoona, 11-2 in Eastern League action. Belcher is hitting .310 for them.



Final: Huntsville 8, Birmingham (White Sox) 6


Huntsville Box Score:

 GAME DATE: 6/17/04 HVL at BIR HUNTSVILLE 8 AT BIRMINGHAM 6 YTD YTD HUNTSVILLE AB R H BI AVG BIRMINGHAM AB R H BI AVG R.Weeks 2B 4 1 0 0 .244 M.Spidale CF 3 0 1 0 .300 A.Gwynn CF 5 2 2 0 .245 R.Yan 2B 5 0 0 1 .257 P.Fielder 1B 5 1 1 0 .272 M.Morse SS 5 0 1 1 .286 B.Nelson RF 2 2 1 3 .288 B.Becker 1B 5 1 3 1 .600 R.Knox LF 4 0 0 0 .274 N.Murphy LF 5 1 1 0 .290 J.Raburn 3B 5 1 4 1 .262 R.Sasser 3B 5 1 1 2 .225 K.Johnson DH 3 1 1 1 .235 S.Bikowski RF 3 1 1 0 .271 O.Chavez SS 5 0 1 1 .207 C.Maldonado DH 3 1 2 0 .255 J.Alvarado CAT 3 0 1 1 .146 C.Maldonado CAT 0 0 0 0 .255 R.Costello PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 C.Stewart CAT 3 1 1 0 .238 B.Adams PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 N.Martel PH 1 0 0 0 .307 J.Novinsky PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 D.Ulacia PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 J.Bullard PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 B.LaMura PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 J.Fields PIT 0 0 0 0 .000 TOTALS 36 8 11 7 TOTALS 38 6 11 5 HUNTSVILLE 2 1 2 2 1 0 0 0 0- 8 11 0 BIRMINGHAM 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 1- 6 11 3 E--R.Yan 2, R.Sasser. DP--HUNTSVILLE 0, BIRMINGHAM 1. LOB--HUNTSVILLE 9, BIRMINGHAM 9. 2B--P.Fielder (14), O.Chavez (6), B.Becker 2 (2), N.Murphy (7), C.Maldonado (10), C.Stewart (8). 3B--S.Bikowski (1). HR--B.Nelson (12), B.Becker (1), R.Sasser (4). SB--A.Gwynn (16). CS--B.Nelson. SF--B.Nelson, K.Johnson. SH--K.Johnson. YTD IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HUNTSVILLE R.Costello 4.0 8 5 5 2 3 1 5.28 B.Adams (W,2-1) 3.1 1 0 0 1 1 0 4.24 J.Novinsky (S,4) 1.2 2 1 1 1 1 1 3.66 BIRMINGHAM D.Ulacia (L,4-4) 2.1 6 5 5 2 2 1 4.23 J.Bullard 2.2 4 3 1 1 2 0 4.17 B.LaMura 3.0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0.00 J.Fields 1.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.60 WP--R.Costello, J.Fields. PB--C.Stewart. SO--R.Weeks 2, P.Fielder, B.Nelson, R.Knox 2, K.Johnson, O.Chavez, J.Alvarado, M.Spidale, M.Morse, S.Bikowski 2, N.Martel. BB--R.Weeks, B.Nelson 2, R.Knox, J.Alvarado, M.Spidale 2, S.Bikowski, C.Maldonado. T--3:26. A--7165

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