A true home run, the Bristol Blues have brought the kind of exciting action to the town of Bristol that their soulful musical namesake suggests! Embodying the All Heart culture’s blend of passion and producing results, The Bristol Blues are a collegiate summer league baseball team heading into their second season as members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL). With their home base as the beloved Muzzy Field, they created quite the buzz this past summer for locals. Not only did the Blues win the Western Division Title, but they also ended up among the top 40 in attendance for all summer collegiate baseball! The Bristol Blues brought in almost 50,000 fans in attendance. Not bad for their first season. They are looking forward to an even bigger turn out next season with expanded festivities that will continue to celebrate their dedication to thrills and fun!
Brenden Kudla, Director of Marketing and Communication for the Bristol Blues Baseball is extremely excited for next season, which will include another season filled with family fun at Muzzy Field â€œfeaturing collegiate athletes from UConn, Youngstown State, St. Maryâ€™s, Eastern Connecticut State, Post University and many more.â€ Kudla shared with us here at BristolAllHeart.com, really how All Heart the Bristol Blues are, and how Muzzy Field fosters our culture! No one knows better than Kudla, as someone who has watched the Blues grow from behind the scenes. He shared his thoughts about how Muzzy Field and the Bristol Blues are exhibit the Heart of Bristol:
BY BRENDEN KUDLA
â€œA heartbeat is often not seen, but the effects of its beating can be seen for miles and miles. In life, we often do not focus on oneâ€™s heart beating, we are caught up in the actions of those whose hearts are beating. The simplicity of the heartbeat often goes unnoticed. In a city with as many moving parts as Bristol, its heartbeat can often be lost in the constant motion and activity of all its citizens. Take a minute; think what is the heartbeat of Bristol? To me the heartbeat of a city is somewhere that brings everyone together, somewhere memories are made, and somewhere that brings together the past, the present and gives us all the opportunity to look into the future. That place is Muzzy Field.
The friendly confines of Muzzy Field bring back memories of Babe Ruth, Satchel Page, Wade Boggs and Fred Lynn while giving us all the chance to think about the times that our loved ones had the chance to take the same field as these all-time greats. It is not only the memories of those who have played on that historic field but those who continue to play out their dreams on the diamond. To the generation that is getting their feet wet at McCabe Waters, Edgewood and Forestville, lace the cleats up tight and get ready for a few of the greatest ballgames of your life.
While the next generation is lacing up their cleats they can throw on their shoulder pads too. They have been waiting in the wings, watching their brothers, cousins and friends battle it out for the bell. Their turn is coming soon, ready to take the field with passion, pride and certainly more memories to follow. Some of the fondest family memories in the city of Bristol come from the cheering sections of Eastern and Central or on the field as the friends and families of Bristolites all over cheer on the boys of fall. Wins and losses bring tears of joy and defeat but at the end of the day, Thanksgiving Day, we rejoice in being one community, one family.
So take a minute, kick back, and think about it. What is your favorite memory at the heart of Bristol? The heartbeat of the city continuously pumps out memories from game day to game day.
We come together at Muzzy Field, not as athletes but as citizens of Bristol Connecticut. Bristol is All Heart, and one large part of that heartbeat comes from none other than Muzzy Field.
All of us involved at the Bristol Blues are extremely proud to call Bristol home. The heartbeat of Bristol can be felt from miles away and to be a part of it humbling. Thank you for all of your support in our first year here in town, we cannot wait for next year to help create more memories for all to enjoy.
Together we are Bristol and together we are All Heart. â€œ
As Kudla pointed out, Muzzy Field truly brings Bristolites together. Over the years, Muzzy has proven itself as a place that fosters growth, fun, and everlasting memories from Babe Ruth to the classic Thanksgiving Day Bell Rival, and now the Bristol Blues; it truly is the heartbeat of Bristol!
On-the-field fun between innings such as 50-50 drawings that benefited local charities, Pink Night to benefit ovarian cancer, spectacular fireworks sponsored by the Bristol Hospital, dollar beer nights, and a family-friendly atmosphere, are just a small glimpse into what makes a Bristol Blues game go above and beyond your typical baseball game. Although, Muzzy Field has only been home to the Bristol Blues for one season, it is clear that the two together are inspiring locals to get involved, allowing the Heart of Bristol to beat louder than ever!
The Bristol Blues have already touched the hearts of so many despite only being around for one season! Throughout the summer, sixteen families hosted players from the Bristol and Plainville area. The sixteen families were recognized and appreciated by Blueâ€™s general manager, Rick Muntean, prior to the first pitch at the Bristol Blues vs. Nashua Silver Nights game. The Blues management and players are forever grateful for the families who opened their homes to the players. Without the families opening their homes to the Blueâ€™s players, summer baseball in Bristol would not be the same. To show their appreciation, as the families were announced, they walked out to third base with their player and recieved several tokens of gratitude including a wooden bat inscribed with the Bristol Blues logo and a signature of the player they hosted. The experience for both the host families and the Blues players, although only temporary, have forever engraved memories that will last a lifetime.
The Bristol Blues have not only shown they are All Heart by honoring their host families, but they also honored a former Bristol Hospital official, Eva Wickwire who passed away in April. Wickwire played a huge role in supporting and fundraising for Bristol Hospitalâ€™s Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness and the Bernie Guida Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center. Wickwire had pushed to foster a relationship between the Bristol Hospital and the Bristol Blues. When the Bristol Blues heard the news, they knew they wanted to honor her. Wickwireâ€™s nephew and niece had the honor of throwing the first pitch in her memory and family members, friends and co-workers also said a few words about her. In honor of her passing, her friends have created an annual scholarship known as The Eva Wickwire Volunteer Scholarship fund through the Main Street Community Foundation.
The Bristol Blues havenâ€™t stopped there! Over the summer, the Bristol Blues opened their hearts to Arley Sage and embraced her as their own. Arley suffers from a rare form of cancer affecting her skeletal muscles known as Rhabdomyosarcoma but she doesnâ€™t let that stop her from being a part of the Blues! Arley met the Bristol Blues during their â€œBounce with the Bluesâ€ event at Bristolâ€™s Jump-N-Jammin and shortly afterward, the Blues Director of Public Affairs Joe Boyle invited Arley to throw the first pitch at the 4th of July game against the North Shore Navigators. The Bristol Blues then officially welcomed Arley as an official member of the Bristol Blueâ€™s family!
The Bristol Blues arenâ€™t just your everyday baseball team. Not only do they help create everlasting memories for friends, families and visitors but also, they are a team that truly plays with heart on and off the field. They are role models for the community. They are a team that honors their community. They are a team that appreciates everyone who has helped them get to where they are and make their summer possible. They are a team that will go out of their way to ensure the happiness of their community. The Bristol Blues are ALL HEART and we here at Bristol All Heart truly are excited to see what is in store for next season! Come, join us in supporting the Blues. Ready, set, All Heart!
To follow The Bristol Blues, check out their Facebook Fan Page.
To follow Arley Sage, check out her Facebook Fan Page
To read more on the Bristol Blueâ€™s member, Arley Sage, check out the Bristol Pressâ€™s Article
To read more on the Bristol Blueâ€™s honoring their Host Families, check out the Bristol Pressâ€™s Article
To read more on the Bristol Blueâ€™s honoring Bristol Hospital Official, check out the Bristol Pressâ€™s Article