Thursday, September 6, 2012

Headed back to the Post-Season!

After 13 years, another ring may be on the horizon for the Hudson Valley Renegades.  The Tampa Bay Rays short season A affiliate is headed to the New York Penn League playoffs, holding home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The goal - the team's second championship in franchise history. 

It feels like just yesterday - that magical 1999 season, when Josh Hamilton, Jorge Cantu, Matt Diaz, Edwin Rodriguez and the rest of the talented club brought the NYPL title to the Hudson Valley for the first time since the team's 1994 inception.  This was a huge culmination for an organization I still consider to be among the tops in all of minor league baseball.

I vividly recall the lengthy celebration following the final win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the 1999 Championship Series.  It  began on the pitchers mound, moved to the clubhouse, and ended back on the field again hours later.  That team fought through a season of adversity and overcame each and every challenge.  Such a good bunch of guys and, from what I hear, similar in that respect to this year's Renegades club.

I never got one hit or fielded one grounder for that team, but I've treasured that 1999 Hudson Valley Renegades NYPL Championship ring ever since.  All I did was call the action, bring my listeners into the stands with me.  I hope manager Jared Sandberg and the 2012 Renegades experience the same Championship feeling in just a matter of days.