CLEVELAND – What do Port Clinton’s Drew Fodor and New York Yankees Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig have in common?
Each drove in at least one run at League Park. Max Avis walked and scored in the fifth inning Tuesday on an RBI single from Fodor, but Port Clinton fell to Perkins 4-1 in Cleveland.
“The history of who played here … you get the opportunity to kind of walk in their footsteps a little bit,” Fodor said. “The experience. The long bus ride. This same group won’t be together again, and we had the opportunity to come here together.”
Port Clinton’s junior varsity kids were in uniform in the dugout as coach Tracy Bodi made it a special day for the whole program.
Bob Feller, Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth also were among those to play at League Park. The Cleveland Indians and Negro league Cleveland Buckeyes won championships with League Park as their home stadium.
The park was restored and reopened in 2014 with the original playing dimensions, including a 40-foot fence in right field. The original ticket house is now a small museum, while an original portion of the brick grandstand wall remains standing.
“I’m a history teacher and a baseball lover so this is the best of both,” Bodi said. “It’s in town, and legends played here. I like to look around and envision what it was like. Cleveland should be proud. This is a hidden gem.”
Perkins (13-13) scored three runs in the first inning and one in the second Tuesday.
“It’s a special moment to play at an historic site,” Pirates coach Ray Neill said. “A location where the Cleveland Indians won a World Series and you get to stand on ground that Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Joltin’ Joe (DiMaggio) and Satchel Paige stood on.
“Not only the old time major leaguers, but the Negro League players that were the forerunners to Jackie Robinson.”
Avis and Stone Scott pitched in relief Tuesday, and neither allowed a run. Avis threw four pitches in the fifth and seven in the fourth.
“Max and Stone came in having not pitched in a while and kept us in the ballgame,” Bodi said. “That was huge. They came out and Braun (Miller) had a big hit using the big part of the park. We left the bases loaded with one out in the first.
“The last few weeks, we haven’t got the big hit. We played well defensively overall. The outfield was great, and Aidan (Rospert) had a great game.”
Nolan Smith made a diving catch in center field while Rospert had a leaping grab at second.
Trevor Frias, Collin Schmitt, Rospert and Avis also had singles. Ben Mueller moved Fodor with a sacrifice before he scored.
Port Clinton (10-13) plays Edison in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Wednesday. Tuesday’s matchup was not a league game.
“We hope to play a role in dictating who wins the SBC,” Bodi said.