Last night, June 17th, was the Lowell Spinners opening day. The first day that new draft picks and guys from the Gulf Coast League all come together and put on a new uniform. The first day that professional baseball comes back to Lowell. The first day of normalcy.
I’ve had my tickets since the Thread Sox Nation presale started, and had the same exact seats I had last year for Opening Day: front row first baseline. It might be the best view in the place, which is saying a lot. There is literally no bad seat in the stadium.
As soon as I walked in, I assumed the position near the first base dugout and immediately noticed Garin Cecchini, the Red Sox 4th round pick in 2010, already on the field. It was a bit unusual, as normally the players start to roam out of the dugout half our before first pitch. My first impression of Cecchini? Might be the nicest guy in the Red Sox organization. He looked so happy to be in Lowell, so happy to be playing a kids game, and just so happy in general. He talked to a bunch of the fans, not coming off as doing the fans a favor, but like he actually wanted to be here. It was very, very refreshing.
The Spinners sent out a rehabbing Mike Lee to start their season. I had never seen Lee in person before, and I was excited to finally see him. You could tell he didn’t have his “A” stuff, but he kept himself composed and never looked nervous. He was a little wild, but that’s to be expected with rust. He did, however strikeout his last two batters before getting pulled in the third inning due to his extremely high pitch count. In his 2.2 innings, Lee also walked 3, let up 2 hits and plunked a batter.
Returning to the Spinners this year was Seth Schwindenhammer, who I spoke briefly about in my last entry. Aside from his number and phenomenal surname, I could not tell that it was the same batter. It seemed like the game slowed down for him. He hit with a confidence I didn’t see last year, and it payed off when he launched a second inning solo home run, tying his season total from last year.
Garin Cecchini also made an impressive professional debut. After getting hurt during his senior season of High School, and not playing last year, he certainly impressed, going 2-4 with a rifle of a double down the right field line. He stole a base in the first inning, in a play that wasn’t even close. He was certainly swinging a High A bat, but his defense was shaky.
Cecchini had a throwing error in the fourth, on a play where he struggled getting the ball out and then throwing well out of the reach of first baseman Boss Moanaroa. Error and all, I still walked away very impressed with the ability and talent from Cecchini.
I don’t know when I’ll be back in Lowell again, but I know it’s going to be soon. I like the team a lot this year, and hope to do some stuff that I didn’t have the chance to do last year.