Gems at Hannibal, 2009

Tonight brings game one of the 2013 edition of the Battle Of The Paddle between the Hannibal Cavemen and the Quincy Gems. (Listen live by clicking here!)This trophy series started in 2009 when the Hannibal Cavemen entered the Prospect League.  The Gems captured the first three season long Paddle series. Hannibal wrested custody the paddle away in 2012 thanks in part to a grand slam homer by late season edition Derek Fletcher. …

 That homer accounted for all of Hannibal’s runs in a 4-3 win on July 31st at Clemens Field. Hannibal also took the regular season finale 14-6 to for a 6-4 edge in the season series.

So far in 2013, both teams have contrasting starts. Hannibal is still looking for their first win after dropping the first four games. That 0-4 start is in spite of some solid efforts by the Cavemen pitchers. Quincy is off to a 4-0 start. I'll have the play by play here on beginning with the Pepsi Pregame Show at 6:45.

Until recently, there wasn’t much to the athletic rivalry between Hannibal and Quincy.

The Hannibal-QND football series is wonderful. It’s a great way to start the high school football season. Hannibal and Quincy High were great football rivals through much of the 20th Century. The Hannibal-QHS football game last September is the sort of thing that fuels a rivalry, but the QHS conference commitment and the resulting locked schedule it gives them means it’s going to be a long wait for the next round in that rivalry.

I’ve noticed that when the other Prospect League scores are announced at Clemens Field that the Gems score gets the biggest reaction—especially when Quincy is behind.  I also won’t soon forget the last regular season game in Hannibal in 2009 when it was impossible to find a seat anywhere in Clemens Field.

I occupy a unique and occasionally challenging seat for the Battle Of The Paddle. In addition to calling the play by play on, I also serve as the public address announcer for the Gems on their home games. When Hannibal plays at Quincy, I get to do both.

It’s also not easy being on the mic and in between groups of fans with two very different ideas of who should win. Drift too far in one direction or the other, and you’ll hear about it. I’ve had plenty of practice with that over the years with the Palmyra-Monroe City rivalry and when the Jeff City Jays and Helias matched up in basketball during my days at KWOS in the late 1980’s.

Looking forward to round 1 tonight at Clemens Field.

Listen to live play-by-play.