Ron Robert and RI Sports

Hello! And Welcome to this Day in Today

Today’s theme is going to be on Rhode Island sports history, specifically, the weekly sports show Lil Rhody Sports Show on 89.9 The Juice every Saturday from 10 to Noon. I want to shout-out and thank Ron Robert and his co-host Eric “E” Levy for taking my call today and allowing me part of the show. We talked a little bit about this week in RI sports history, but I want to go back and look at the previous week as well as the upcoming week in RI sports history…

Earlier this week, June 3, 2018, Chris Iannetta went 0-4 against the Dodgers at Coors Field. I know that because I watched the game! Two Rhode Islanders at the game, though I think Chris had better seats! Iannetta was born, April 8, 1983, in Providence, Rhode Island, and named Christopher Domenic Iannetta. He went to St. Ann’s School in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He played in college for the North Carolina Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He previously played for the Rockies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Seattle Mariners, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently, Iannetta is an American professional baseball catcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).


Also this week, on, June 5, 1987, Cody Wild was born in Limestone, Maine, however, he grew up in North Providence, Rhode Island. He attended LaSalle Academy and graduated from North Providence High School. Wild was selected in the 5th Round (140th overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Wild played college hockey for three years for the Providence College Friars until he left after his junior season to sign with Edmonton Oilers. He last played in the 2015 season for the Nottingham Panthers in the UK.


But the best story this week is that on this day, June 7, 1884, Providence Grays Pitcher Charlie Sweeney struck out 19 batters in a nine-inning game, a record that would stand until broken by Red Sox Pitcher Roger Clemens 102 years later. He is also quite famous for the rivalry with fellow Gray pitcher, and future Hall of Famer, Old Hoss Radbourn.


On this day, June 8, 1939, the Sakonnet Yacht Club was formed as a Rhode Island non-business corporation. Of course, Rhode Islanders have been sailing Narragansett Bay for hundreds of years before that, especially those little schooners that, on this day, 246 years ago, June 9, 1772, the disgruntled people of Warwick burned the Gaspée off the coast of Warwick, Rhode Island.

Looking ahead this week

On this day, June 10, 1923, Howard Shannon was born in Manhattan, Kansas. Shannon (June 10, 1923 – August 16, 1995) was an American basketball player and coach. Shannon was the first overall pick in the 1949 BAA Draft, selected by the Providence Steamrollers. Shannon averaged 13.4 points per game during the 1948–49 BAA season and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.


On this day, June 12, 1969, Mathieu Schneider was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He lived with his family in West New York, New Jersey until moving to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, for his high school years. In Woonsocket, Schneider attended high school at Mount Saint Charles Academy. Under coach Bill Belisle, Schneider and his team won three of the school’s 26 straight Rhode Island state hockey championships. Schneider left Mount Saint Charles after his junior year and joined the Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey League. Later, he was drafted in 1987 by the Canadiens and won the Stanley Cup with the team in 1993. He was also a member of the 1996 World Cup champion Team USA squad.


On this day, June 13, 1999, the Providence Bruins defeated the Rochester Americans four games to one to win the first Calder Cup in team history.


On this day, June 17, 1880, John Montgomery Ward pitched the second perfect game in MLB history.


On this day, June 12, 1987, The Witches of Eastwick was released. The Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 American comedy-fantasy film based on John Updike’s novel The Witches of Eastwick (1984). The film stars Jack Nicholson, alongside Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon as the eponymous witches.


On this day, June 15, 1775, the United States Continental Navy acquired the USS Providence sloop. Originally chartered by the Rhode Island General Assembly as Katy, the ship took part in a number of campaigns during the first half of The American Revolutionary War. It was destroyed by her own crew in 1779 to prevent her falling into the hands of the British after the failed Penobscot Expedition.


On this day, June 16, 2010, Deer Tick made their network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. Deer Tick perform a song from their debut album, “Baltimore Blues No. 1.” Deer Tick is an American alternative rock band from Providence, Rhode Island composed of singer-songwriter John J. McCauley, guitarist Ian O’Neil, bassist Chris Ryan and drummer Dennis Ryan. John McCauley is the son of former RI State Representative John J. McCauley, Jr., is also the husband of singer Vanessa Carlton; the two were married on December 27, 2013, in a ceremony officiated by none other than Stevie Nicks.

Attack on RI Homeless

Did you all see the attack on Br. Ed and the homeless in today’s ProJo? If not here it is and my rough-draft of a response:

From the Providence Journal, Saturday, January 14, 2006:
I found my eyes getting misty as I read Bob Kerr’s Nov. 30 column, “The brother who arrived with a bouquet.” Then logic took over, and helped me choke back the tears.
I wondered why Brother Ed Phelan felt he had to “soak his clothes in cheap wine for two days” to get “the look, the smell, the incoherence” to pass as a homeless man. Doesn’t that mean the homeless must spend a good deal of the money they have on booze? Wouldn’t giving them more money just fuel their self-destructive habits?

I also remembered reading that almost all of the homeless receive some sort of check from a federal, state, or local agency. If they choose to put booze and drugs ahead of shelter and food in their list of priorities, why should the rest of us care? Of course, liberals think that those who work should just work harder to provide for those who won’t.

I also got to wondering whatever happened to all the vagrants, tramps, hobos, winos, and bums. One never hears of them anymore. Were they victims of some vast right-wing conspiracy, transported to some foreign shore in black helicopters? Or did liberals like Bob Kerr just anoint them with a new, more sympathetic moniker: homeless?

L’Heureax’s attack on Bob Kerr, Br. Phelan, and the homeless is an attack on human decency and all Rhode Islanders. In his piece (“Was getting misty-eyed, until logic kicked in,” January 14, 2006), L’Heureax wrongly suggests that all homeless receive a check from the Federal, State, or local government. That is simply wrong. Homeless funds are grants to agencies, not to individuals. The funds are used to support shelters, services, and soup kitchens. In Rhode Island, there are 6,020 people served by these funds. ONE QUARTER OF RI’S HOMELESS ARE UNDER THE AGE OF THIRTEEN (source: No, Mr. L’Heureax, these are not “vagrants, tramps, hobos, winos, and bums” as you so eloquently stated.

L’Heureax also facetiously asked why no one hears from them anymore. Again, he is in error. The Journal has covered the affordable-housing crisis in RI regularly. Just this fall, for example, Journal writer Cathleen Crowley wrote about a homeless family that was being driven from their make-shift home under the old 195 overpass (pg B1, 11/11/2005). Ironically, that article ran on Veteran’s Day. I say ‘ironically’ because there is an unconsciousably high number of veterans who are homeless as well. The fateful decision to cut mental health services in the 1980s evicted veterans and others dealing with issues of post-traumatic stress as well as other psychological and medical issues living in state and federal facilities. Like many people in need of services, some unfortunately tried to cope with their issues with alcohol. Others, being homeless in the winter weather, turn to alcohol because of the artificial feeling of warmth that alcohol can create. These are real-life issue that are devalued by cheap sound-bites and unresearched letters-to-the-editor.

For a man from a place called Hope, I believe Mr. L’Heureax does a disservice to the children and the veterans as well as all of Rhode Island homeless in his critique of Br. Ed Phelan.