Monday, August 26, 2013

In the news.

Rockport Townies bid farewell to pair of longtime members

By Dom Nicastro/Wicked Local Gloucester

Rockport — While the Manchester-Essex Mariners were winning another title, two key cogs on the last team to dominate the league have retired.
Rockport’s Brent Currier, 29, and Jeremy Spittle, 34, called it quits after this season, ending careers that began when they were teenagers and the Townies were beginning a dominant run in the late 1990s. Spittle served as player/coach, and Currier was a catcher/infielder/pitcher known for throwing back-to-back no-hitters on his devastating knuckleball.
Rockport finished sixth in the seven-team league this summer with a 5-18 mark.
"Fifteen seasons with some of the best teammates you could find," said Currier, describing his career. That career ended with a complete-game effort victory on the mound at Evans Field earlier this month.
"A lot of friendships were made over the years," he added. "Hopefully the team carries on and one day my son will be able to be a Townie. To be able to have the extra time to spend with my son watching him grow up and be able to coach him will make everything worth it."
Spittle and Currier were on teams that won titles from 2005 to 2007. Rockport also won in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Spittle recalled how the Townies, down 7-2 bottom of the seventh with two outs in Game 3 of the 2007 finals against Hamilton, scored six runs all with two outs to cap off a sweep and to make it three straight titles.
"[The years of] 1999 to 2007 was an incredible stretch," said Spittle, who caught Currier’s consecutive no-hitters. "We could have added one more in '09, '10, or '11 but did not get it done. I really could not tell you what my personal numbers were. All I cared about was winning. That's all that mattered in the end."
Spittle was a fine player for Salem State College (now University). As a sophomore, he was part of the team that won the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title. In his senior year, Spittle batted .380 for Ken Perrone’s Vikings.
Currier was an all-star and multi-sport athlete at Rockport High School, and then played for Central Connecticut State University.
Spittle said he is leaving the Townies in "uncertain" but hopeful times. The team hasn’t won a title in six years now, and last year’s season was its worst in some time.
"The future of the Townies is uncertain," Spittle said. "There is some potential, but really what the team needs is a rebuilding effort led by someone locally with roots already instilled in the community. In other words, someone who is connected to the local baseball programs who can get guys to commit to playing. It will take time, but with the right effort, the Townies will be back. I have no doubt."

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