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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 07.14.03

RICKY BLUE

Baseball Day on Montreal's West Island

Our two competing solstice celebrations, Canada Day, and Quebec's Fête Nationale are fun. But I spent the real solstice, June 21, at a completely non-national celebration called Baseball Day, organized by the Lakeshore Baseball Association. We celebrated the arts of running, throwing a ball and swinging a bat, not the never-ending debate over whether these activities are a federal or a provincial jurisdiction.

I have been attending Baseball Day for eight years, since my son started to play T-ball. I have watched a generation pitch and catch their way from being tykes to being teenagers through eight summers. And each year it strikes me how much the kids (and their parents) learn from this game: about teamwork, winning, losing and beginning again and also about life.

The weather was perfect. It was a great day for baseball and a great Baseball Day. It began with a parade from the doughnut-shop-formerly-known-as-Dunkin-Donuts on St Charles Boulevard at 8:30 a.m. The kids proudly waved their team banners as they marched all the way to Beacon Hill Park escorted by Montreal police cars. When they arrived prizes were given out for the best banners. And then physical contests began, all well organized and expertly overseen.

They raced against the clock through an air bounce obstacle course. They took part in a real tug-of-war, that delightful and timeless game requiring only two teams and a rope. Then they engaged in a number of competitions testing their ability to run, hit and throw called 'triple play.' Hot dogs and drinks were distributed for lunch on site and prizes donated by kind sponsors were raffled off. All proceeds went to help support the Lakeshore Baseball Association.

After lunch, special guests had been invited to talk to the kids. Michael Barrett, the Expos catcher, was the star. He gracefully signed autographs, posed for photographs and spoke for almost an hour. He answered questions about how he became, and what it is like to be, a professional baseball player. His rapport with the crowd was articulate and charming, his advice wise beyond his years. Which helped explain how he was currently dealing so well with a batting slump that would test the faith of Job.

In the afternoon, the Lakeshore BB team played an exhibition game against a visiting team from New Brunswick. Our team was so dominant that our parents began cheering for the visitors to score. Remember this is baseball, competitive and polite. OK, I'm a fan. And I guess that makes me part of a beleaguered minority here in Montreal.

I think the way we treat our major league baseball team is nothing short of tragic. And when they leave us, Montreal will be poorer for it. But for those of us who appreciate it, we "people of baseball" who understand the game and can see the rise and fall of epic drama that comes with every pitch, Baseball Day is a way of restating our love of the game. For those of you who have children who might be interested in playing next season, check out the Lakeshore Baseball Web site at www.lakeshorebaseball.ca. They have an excellent program.

And I would like to thank all those who made Baseball Day possible, especially: Marc Hebert, chairman; Bob Kozsukan, activities and triple jeux; Nancy Wray, organizing volunteers; Bill Mitchell, activities and raffle; Mark Dickie, sponsors; and Jeff Zimmerman, Bharat Patel and Mike Gaudreau, activities. Also, Sherri Newman and Mike Masters.
 

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