Great Sunday Afternoon In Rochester (08/15/18)
I had the opportunity to go to Rochester on Sunday (August 12th), to watch former Clarion Bobcat baseball star, Clarion Little Leaguer, former Bobcat Football standout and current Red Wings outfielder Jon Kemmer play at Frontier Field, downtown. It was beautiful weather, sunny and just a few clouds, in one of the most beautiful cities on the East Coast. I lived in the Rochester area from 1989-92 and the area has a special place in my heart.
The day was made much, much more special, by Jon’s play in the Wings 3-2 win over the Charlotte Knights. Jon was 1-for-3 at the plate and drove in the winning run, in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the score tied at two, two outs and runners at the corners, Jon had a solid line drive single to right to bring home Nick Gordon from third.
Jon had this to say about the hit, “It was kind of a relief. I’ve been kind of battling the last couple of days, trying to find some holes. I had a nice hard line drive to end the game yesterday. Today, I had a couple hard hits, played some good defense and luckily found a hole (on the hit)”.
Jon did have a very solid day in the field. He had a good effort going up the fence, on a try on a home run ball in the top of the sixth, that was out of reach. And in the top of the seventh, the Knights went down on successive fly outs, one to each of the outfielders. Jon snagged out number two.
On his effort at the fence, Jon said, “I had a pretty good read on that one. (He’s) been a heck of a hitter this whole series, so I was playing a little bit deeper, so I had a little bit of a shot at it. But he got a good bit of it and I just couldn’t grab it unfortunately.”
I asked Jon how he liked the city of Rochester? He said, “I love it. It’s nice being on the East Coast; nice seeing green grass and trees and stuff. I haven’t gotten to see the city a ton yet, but I’ve been to Lake Ontario and down to the (Genesee) River; kind of finding a little small stuff around here and what not.” He also mentioned that he liked the weather there, much more than in Fresno.
If you haven’t been up to see Jon in Rochester yet, it’s only about a 31/2 hour drive,or so, from Clarion. He’d love to see you. Jon said this about the folks back home, “It’s always good to have the support of the family back home, family and friends. You guys help me through each and every day and I sure appreciate all the support.”
I also asked Jon about if he was getting the Rochester area lingo down, which is a bit different than Clarion: “Have you learned to say yous instead of yinz?” Jon’s reply, “Oh, absolutely. I’m getting the hang of that real quick.” And about ordering hots, instead of hotdogs? “Yea, Yea, You’ve got it.”
This was the second time, I’ve gotten to see Jon play as a professional. The first time was in 2013, Jon’s rookie year, when he visited the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Niles, a suburb of Youngstown, as a member of the Tri-City Valley Cats. And this was the first time I have seen the Red Wings play since the 1990’s when they played at beautiful old Silver Stadium. Kind of sad it is gone, but the 13,500 seat Frontier Field is a real gem.