I couldn’t tell you how many times it’s been rumored to be the final season for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. I could tell you that it happened often enough that I stopped believing the rumors because they were always wrong.
And then this summer, the city of Bridgeport decided not to renew the Bluefish’s lease. Suddenly, that was that – the Bridgeport Bluefish’s 20th season would be their final one.
I’d hoped to get up to Bridgeport to see one last baseball game at Harbor Yard, but I couldn’t really make it work. I thought maybe I could see them play a game in the final regular season series against the Somerset Patriots, but that didn’t work out either. And though for a little while there was a chance they’d make the playoffs, they were eliminated from contention on the season’s final weekend.
This morning, the Atlantic League held a dispersal draft to distribute the negotiating rights to all of the players on the Bluefish’s roster. Who knows how many of the players will ever suit up for their new clubs, but at least it brings a measure of finality to the process.
Thanks to Will, one of many great baseball fans I met through my old blog, RandomBaseballStuff.com, I have a copy of the final Bridgeport Bluefish yearbook to remember them by.
I can’t say I was ever a fan that rooted for the Bluefish, but or a number of years I was a fan of the players in the league as much as I was a supporter of a particular team.
So I have memories of trading Luis Lopez some Japanese baseball cards for a signed bat… of Henry Mateo giving me a cracked bat after a camp day in Newark because I was literally one of two people sitting on their side of the field at the end of the game… of watching baseball at a ballpark with a power plant visible beyond the outfield wall (one of the most unique settings I’ve experienced.)
There were some fun times.