Spinners to Put ‘Moonlight’ in Spotlight Again
Another rainy spring morning. But as more rain fell on LeLacheur Park, Lowell Spinners general manager Shawn Smith was warm and dry in his office Thursday.
And excitedly looking forward to the 2019 season.
Smith reports that the Spinners have sold out the first two home dates, June 14 and 15 meetings against the Connecticut Tigers.
While the weather has been gloomy, Smith is looking forward to plenty of sunny home dates this summer and a promotional schedule he is proud of.
At the top of the list is “Moonlight” Graham Bobblehead Doll night on Saturday, Aug. 17.
The life of Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham was immortalized in the 1989 film “Field of Dreams.” With this being the 30th anniversary of the Kevin Costner film, the Spinners wanted to mark the milestone.
“Moonlight” Graham was a Minnesota native who had just one Major League bat before becoming a doctor. Graham appeared in one game for the New York Giants on June 29, 1905.
He also had a Lowell connection, as he played for the Lowell Tigers in 1904. The actor who played the adult “Moonlight” Graham in “Field of Dreams,” Burt Lancaster, died in 1994.
But the actor who portrayed Graham as a ballplayer, Frank Whaley, will be at LeLacheur Park on Aug. 17.
In real life, Graham was a left-handed hitter. In the movie, however, Graham batted right-handed during an intrasquad game at Costner’s Iowa farm. So the bobblehead of Graham has him in a right-handed stance and winking with his left eye, another nod to the famous movie.
It was only Whaley’s second movie, but the actor, now 55, has gone on to have a lengthy acting career.
He’s the Mann
According to a few mock drafts, Lowell native Terance Mann has a chance to be a late second-round selection in next month’s National Basketball Association draft.
The 6-foot-7 senior guard/forward had a terrific career at Florida State. Mann became just the third Seminoles player to total over 1,200 points, 600 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.
As the son of a college basketball coach (his mom has coached at several Division 1 programs), Mann is also noted for his high basketball IQ.
Future River Hawks soaring
The United States Hockey League produces more future National Hockey League players and Division 1 stars than any junior league in the country.
Four future UML players have enjoyed terrific seasons in the USHL.
Forward Matt Brown netted 30 goals and led the league with seven short-handed goals during the regular season. And Brown, a second team USHL all-star selection, continued his fine play in the playoffs, scoring four goals in five games, before his Des Moines Buccaneers were eliminated.
Meanwhile, Andre Lee, Brian Chambers and Carl Berglund are key forwards for a Sioux Falls team which is one win from advancing to the USHL finals. Lee was named the No. 1 star Wednesday night when Sioux Falls won 4-1 to put Tri-City on the brink of elimination.
Lee had a goal and assist. His fellow Sweden countryman, Berglund, netted Sioux Falls’ first goal. Chambers, of Weymouth, collected 17 goals during the regular season.
Follow Barry Scanlon on Twitter@BarryScanlonSun