June 9, 2014

Former New Britain mayor boasts of stealing Red Sox from Bristol

I got a delightful letter in the mail today from former New Britain Mayor William McNamara who gently complained that I'd recently written the Bristol Red Sox "picked New Britain" when the team quit Bristol in 1982.
"Did that happen in a vacuum or did someone have something to do with it by lobbying, cajoling, promising -- both in Connecticut and out of state - the then-owner, Joe Buzas?" he asked, in one of those questions that answers itself.
'I know I am an old man (80 years) who easily forgets things, but I remember doing whatever I could, legally and morally, to 'steal' (as some said, but I thought it was just skillful negotiating; yes, I know that sounds boastful, but I assure you I am so humble I am proud of) the Bristol Red Sox."
"I write these thoughts to you to let you know that the presence of minor league baseball in New Britian was not the result of some divine intervention or some 'Big Bang.' It didn't 'grow'd like Mopsy,' rather it was the result of determination and hard work."
He said it's clear now that "in spite of the hate mail, nasty telephone calls and misinformed editorial writers," that his adminstration "was correct to bring Minor League Baseball to New Britain."
He didn't say it, of course, but his words certainly lend some support to Hartford's behind-the-scenes effort to swipe the Rock Cats away from New Britain. Mayor Pedro Segarra worked just like McNamara to make it happen.
Former Bristol Mike Werner said not long ago that losing the team to New Britain felt like "a kick in the groin."
Now, it seems, it's New Britain's turn to deal with the pain of losing a beloved team. What goes around comes around.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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