Friday, February 20, 2009

The Greatest Moment in Dublin Hurricanes history; number six: TK gets strangled

The Dublin Hurricanes are one of Ireland's oldest, craziest, fun-lovingest and most successful baseball clubs. They have won every award going in Irish baseball, they are the only Irish club side to have traveled several times to European Club competitions and their players have scooped many of the individual awards available to players in the Irish baseball league. In short, it has been a good twelve year run. The team’s core has largely remained the same, which makes the accomplishments and memories all the sweeter to those involved.


Cutting straight to the chase, over the next few days we will be revealing the Top Ten Dublin Hurricanes Baseball Club moments of all time (all time being 1997 – 2008). Hopefully you will join us for the ride, and while we look back at the memories, you the reader will get a good sense of what it means to play baseball for an Irish baseball club.

Straight to the list. Number six.

The Greatest Moment in Dublin Hurricanes history; number six: TK Gets strangled

We, in Ireland, have a competitive little league. The Hurricanes, Panthers (now extinct) and Spartans have battled with the other Irish club teams year in year out for the coveted Irish league championship, and often the battles turn pretty fiery.


TK losing a ball in the stands for the Irish National team

Even the traditional opening season mini blitz tournaments get a little heated on occasion. Take 2003 for example. A seemingly innocuous game between the Hurricanes and the Blacksox ended up providing the sixth greatest moment in Dublin Hurricanes history. Who knew! The game was umpired by a member of the rival Spartans, and let’s just say even before the first pitch things got a little ‘out of hand’.

TK, sole Hurricanes captain at the time (he now shares the role with Steve Divito) was the lead off batter for the ‘Canes. As people milled around preparing for the game, TK went to get a bat. This was the first time the teams and equipment had been out since the European Championships the previous summer and some of the bats got mixed up with bats from other teams. The Spartans, resting between games in the blitz tournament, had accidentally taken a Hurricanes bat and left it with their bats, helmets and other equipment.

As TK sauntered back to his teams side of the diamond, orange bat in hand, the Spartans umpire confronted him, and asked where he was going with a ‘Spartans’ bat. Tk corrected him, saying it was in actual fact a Hurricanes bat. Voices were raised, assorted Blacksox, Spartans and Hurricanes players watched as the umpire lost his temper. In an attempt to calm him down, TK put his hand on his shoulder and tried to say ‘Hey man, it’s really ok.’

Before he had finished forming the word ‘Ok’ the umpire had grabbed TK by the throat and pressed him back against the backstop, as players from all teams rushed to separate the two former Irish National team-mates. An Izzy Alcantara situation, only with the Umpire being the offending individual. As is often the way in Irish baseball, once the umpire had been stopped from actually killing TK, the game went ahead and nothing more was said.

In fact, to this day, no one has said sorry to TK, and at no time was action taken against the Umpire in question.

Irish baseball, ladies and gentlemen! Where you can choke at the plate and get choked by the blue


The Greatest Moment in Dublin Hurricanes history

6. TK gets strangled
7. Vegas Valkys goes yard - Croydon 2005
8. Andy Martin's sensational, silver slugger 2004 season
9. The legend of Spencer Grace
10. Gordon Ireland's final at bat as a Hurricane


Baseball Ireland links

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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