Rather than going out to clubs or staying home, everyone used to go to the Clinton Arena for hockey on Saturday nights, well at least for 2300+ people! Were you one of em? Although it’s great to see some good ball, or in this case ‘puck’, the team to root for was the Clinton Comets, and it wasn’t just because they were the home team. It was because they were good, CRAZY good!
“In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days…” Nope, this isn’t about the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Instead, this pigskin prince by the same name was born in Queens, raised in Utica and spent most of his days on the gridiron.
This Utica native started making waves baseball-wise when he won All-American Honors as a New Hartford Spartan, and you guessed it that got the attention of the powers that be and the rest is history, but let’s take a peek at that history!
Here’s one for all the Romans out there as this guy was one of your own… Richie Evans or “The “Rapid Roman” as he was later known started his career at the tender young age of 16 when he rapidly left the family farm in Westernville (like Luke Skywalker or Superman?) to become a mechanic at a service station in Rome.
My youngest daughter turned six today and just guess where her party was? Yup, Chuck E. Cheese, or as I call it the “Crazy-zombie-kid-obstacle-course-from-hell!” Usually I can be found crying in the corner from sensory overload, but that was until I discovered this:
Once upon a time there was a different sort of hockey that glided on the ice at the Utica Aud long before the UC Pioneers took up residence. In this AHL team’s short 6-year stint here, there was a legacy begun that still echoes beyond our town, even today… They were known as the Utica Devils.
I started collecting baseball cards as a boy and kept getting a card by this Mark Lemke guy whenever I eagerly opened pack after pack of ’89 Donruss… Little did I know at the time that he was a hometown boy and it figures that I caught him at the end of his career already, but here’s the skinny on this Utica native!
Given that the football season is almost in full-swing, it brings to mind the rich sports heritage that we have here in the Mohawk Valley and beyond, and not just locally but also in what we’ve provided to the national sports community as well, from lending our athletes to erecting a plethora of sports hall of fames within driving distance.
That date is less than a month away and most of you should be enjoying some great home-cooked chili, live bands and of course ice-cold beers at our second-annual Chili-palooza, but when you’ve had your fill of the festivities, head on over to your friendly Verizon or AT&T store as the new iPhone 5 just might be ready for your eager fingers to nab!
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