Authors Posts by Michael Cummo

Michael Cummo

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Actor and Chilmarker Bill Murray swapped golf clubs for a glove to help start the game.

Actor and Chilmark seasonal resident Bill Murray threw out the first pitch as the Sharks finished up their regular season. – Photo by Carol Christopher Photography

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks finished their terrific regular season with a 13-1 win over the North Shore Navigators Sunday night at the Shark Tank in Oak Bluffs. The Sharks enter the playoffs as the No. 1 overall seed after a 34-20 season, and will take on the Pittsfield Suns (25-30) in the first round of the playoffs Tuesday night.

The Sunday-night game began on a high note. Legendary actor and seasonal Chilmark resident Bill Murray threw out the first pitch. Once the game began, the Sharks bats wasted no time getting hot. Kevin Brice kicked off the second inning with a single, followed by a Ricky Surum walk, and from there it was all Sharks.

Donovan Casey hit an RBI single after wild pitches advanced the runners. A Jack Roberts RBI single made it 2-0, followed by a Brian Campbell RBI single to extend the lead to 3-0. Three more Sharks runs were scored on a wild pitch, then a subsequent throwing error by the catcher, making it 6-0 after two innings.

Jack Roberts takes a mighty swing in the bottom of the 2nd inning when all the runs were scored.
Jack Roberts takes a mighty swing in the bottom of the 2nd inning when all the runs were scored. – Photo by Carol Christopher/ MV Sharks

The Sharks were on cruise control for the rest of the game. In the sixth inning, Brian Campbell hit another single, this time scoring two runners, and the Sharks added several more runs, thanks to several wild pitches. Martha’s Vineyard tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning, courtesy of a Adam Dulsky double and a Guy Davidson fielder’s choice.

Sharks starting pitcher Dylan Dennis picked up the win for his five strong innings of work, giving up five hits and striking out five while lowering his ERA to 3.06. Brian Campbell continues to lead the league in batting average, ending the season with an eye-raising .373.

 

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Hugh Parker, of New York City, crosses the finish line of the Chilmark 5K first overall, with a time of 15:38.69.

More than 1,600 runners, including actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, lined up on Middle Road in Chilmark for the 38th annual Chilmark Road Race held Saturday morning on a beautiful summer day.

Hugh Parker from New York City came in first with a time of 15:38.69. He was challenged by second place finisher Ben Bosworth, of Dorcester, who finished five seconds behind Parker with a time of 15:43.48.

Sheridan Wilbur of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, in fifteenth place, was the first woman to finish with a time of 18:04.76. It was the second year in a row she bested all other female competitors. Michael Schroeder of West Tisbury was the fastest Islander. He finished 13th with a time of 17:57.87.

The complete top 10 results follow: 1. Hugh Parker, 25, New York, 15:38.69; 2. Ben Bosworth, 20, Dorchester, 15:43.48; 3. Ryan Laemel, 23, New Haven, CT, 16:05.59; 4. Corey Kunz, 34, Hoboken, NJ, 16:29.35; 5. Tristan Forsythe, 15, Pittsburgh, 16:37.49; 6. Keegan Skidmore, 32, Providence, 16:40.00; 7. Joshua Sohn, 34, Washington D.C., 16:57.00; 8. Brad O’Keefe, 16, Basking Ridge, NJ, 16:57.78; 9. Sidney Field, 20, Leverett, 17:03.28; 10. Ryan Eville, 16, Readington, NJ, 17:32.50.

 


                

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Fans of Island softball pay it forward and spring for three days of training and a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

Juliet Morse fields a ground ball during a fielding and throwing exercise. – Photo by Michael Cummo

In the peak summer months on Martha’s Vineyard, few things are free. Learning the finer points of softball is. Islanders Tim Goodman from Vineyard Haven and Laurie Turney from West Tisbury have provided a no-strings-attached softball clinic free of charge for girls ages 6-16. The two Islanders helped launch the Vineyard Dynamite Softball Clinic, a three-day clinic held at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. More than two dozen girls participated this week, and the number has risen each year.

Elena Conchetti works on her throwing form. — Photo by Michael Cummo
Elena Conchetti works on her throwing form. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The clinic is run by volunteers who include Samantha Burns, commissioner of the Martha’s Vineyard women’s slow-pitch league. Ms. Burns has volunteered for three straight years, and looks forward to next year.

“I coach softball at the high school, and we need a feeder program,” she said. “This year was pretty tough. I love volunteering with the little guys because we love them to be interested in softball and to play in the future. We are trying to reignite interest.”

The clinic focuses on the basic fundamentals of the game, including fielding, pitching, throwing, and catching. Many Islanders have no experience with softball, and some walk on to the high school team having to learn the game from scratch. Dynamite Softball aims to build from the ground up, giving ladies a solid foundation in which they get to learn the game before playing competitively. One of the more popular drills uses wooden boards shaped as gloves to reinforce the idea to use both hands while fielding; the wooden gloves cannot be bent or squeezed, and need two hands to use.

The Dynamite softball participants, both kids and adults, shown at Fenway Park last Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Tim Goodman
The Dynamite softball participants, both kids and adults, shown at Fenway Park last Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Tim Goodman

Following the three-day clinic, Mr. Goodman treated volunteers and participants to a Saturday-afternoon Red Sox game. He rented a bus that drove them directly from the ferry to Fenway Park, and catered the entire day. Plus, the Sox beat the Rays 11-7.

“This clinic is really beneficial for the high school kids down the road,” Samantha Burns said. “These girls deserve every chance to get an athletic college scholarship like the boys.”

For more information, email VineyardDynamiteSoftballClinic@comcast.net.

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Racers were off to a quick start in the Scoop's 5K Sunday morning at the Farm Institute in Edgartown. – Photo by Michael Cummo

On the cloudless and beautiful second day of August, more than 400 racers gathered at the Farm Institute in Katama to participate in the 23rd annual Scoops 5K Run/Walk. Prior to the start of the main race, two dozen kids participated in the Fun Run, a half-mile loop around the Farm Institute. For their efforts, they were treated to Popsicles after they finished.

Ben Gersch of Bethesda, Md., was the first to complete the Scoops 5K with a time of 18:08. — Photo by Michael Cummo
Ben Gersch of Bethesda, Md., was the first to complete the Scoops 5K with a time of 18:08. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Summer visitor Ben Gersch, 17, from Bethesda, Md., finished first, even after he made a wrong turn on the course, in 18.08 minutes.

Vineyard Haven resident Rene Da Silva finished second. Bonnie Kingsbury of Edgartown was the first woman to finish, with a time of 21:33, and placed 18th overall.

The race raised $6,301. The proceeds will be used to assist Women Empowered, Martha’s Vineyard Skating Club, an anonymous cancer survivor, and the Farm Institute, and to help provide camp scholarships to Island children.

The course began at the Farm Institute and continued down a bike path and Edgartown Bay Road before looping around Katama Road and finishing at the starting line.

Longtime race organizer Kathy O'Sullivan is calling it quits. — Photo by Michael Cummo
Longtime race organizer Kathy O’Sullivan is calling it quits. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Longtime race organizer Kathy O’Sullivan said this was her last turn around the track. She will turn the reins over to the Amity Island Running Club for the 2016 Scoops 5K.

Ms. O’Sullivan, a leading organizer of the race over the course of its 23-year history, became emotional at Saturday’s event: “It’s very hard, a very emotional day for me. It’s hard to let go, especially people thanking me [for a great race]. It made me feel so full of love.”

The top 10 finishers were: 1) Ben Gersch, 17, Bethesda, Md., 18:08; 2) Rene Da Silva, 29, Vineyard Haven, 18:22; 3) Om Kanwar, 18, Wilmette, Ill., 18:48; 4) Ryan Eville, 16, Readington, N.J., 19:05; 5) Alex Sugarman, 18, Livingston, N.J., 19:37; 6) Jimmy Daly, 29, Olney, Md., 19:39; 7) Wil Mason, 22, Newton, 19:49; 8) Brian Hayes, 51, Boston, 20:01; 9) Dominique Gilliron, 43, Chateauguay, Quebec, 20:04; 10) Steve Eick, 51, New York City, 20:15.

Mom Lizzie Williamson and daughter Anna of Edgartown shown 15 years ago and on Sunday participating in the Scoops 5K.
Mom Lizzie Williamson and daughter Anna of Edgartown shown 15 years ago and on Sunday participating in the Scoops 5K.

 

My glider ride.

South Beach, Katama - Photos by Michael Cummo

Katama Airfield, the country’s oldest continuously-run grass airfield, is situated behind South Beach in the southeastern part of the Island. It is bustling with activity: Biplanes and other small aircraft take off and land constantly; nearby kids seem content to watch them drift into the clouds. To truly experience what the airfield and pilots have to offer, I thought, I might have to get up in the air on one of the planes. I’m jittery around heights, but I decided to do it anyway.

On Saturday, veteran pilot Bob Stone, who has been flying out of Katama for decades, took me up in his glider. A glider is a heavier-than-air craft that uses the air against its lifting surfaces to drift through the sky. A little supplemental engine helps with the liftoff. We twisted and turned through the air over Edgartown and Katama, circled a few clouds, and continued to climb. Once we reached an altitude of about 4,000 feet, Bob Stone cut the engine. An eerie, yet beautiful, calm seeped into the plane as the usual thrum and hum of the engine were replaced by the sound of wind and the occasional crackle from within our headphones.

At an altitude of 10,000 feet in the middle of the Island, Bob said, passengers would be able to see the Prudential Center in Boston. I was not so lucky, and ever-growing clouds prevented us from climbing that high.

As he turned the glider back toward Earth, Bob started having fun, dipping his wing, at one point, toward the ground at a 90° angle, eliciting a scream from me, before he jovially leveled off. Once the engine is cut, the plane is designed to flit around the sky before eventually landing; once the plane begins its descent, there is no stopping it. The only time he turns the engine back on is directly after touching down on the runway, to help slow the speeding plane to a stop.

With shaky legs, I emerged from the cockpit, bursting with adrenaline. Martha’s Vineyard from the air is beyond words, more beautiful than I could have imagined.

I crossed an item off my bucket list, and would recommend you do the same. Here’s a video of several clips, stitched together.

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Arthur Santry is bringing his Rhode Island/Washington entry Temptation/Oakcliff to try Edgartown Race Weekend for the first time since the early 1980s, when he sailed with his father in the ‘Round-the-Island Race. – Photo courtesy of PhotoBoat.com

The Edgartown Yacht Club race weekend looks more competitive than ever this year, with 20 boats new to the competition out of 48. A series of buoy races just off Edgartown Harbor is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, July 23 and 24, followed by a Round-the-Island Race on Saturday, July 25.

Edgartown Race Weekend provides competitive racing for boats 28 feet and longer in divisions for IRC, PHRF (Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), and HPR. Specific classes for Double-Handed, One Design, and Classic yachts are added when at least three boats are entered for each discipline. Competitors have a choice of sailing just one session or the other, but the trend since 2012, when buoy racing first was added to the mix, has been participation over all three days.

For more information, contact raceadministrator@edgartownyc.org.

 

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1B Brian Campbell leads league with .400 batting average.

Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox in a game last month. – File Photo by Michael Cummo

The streaking Martha’s Vineyard Sharks have slowed down a bit in recent weeks, and now hold a 16-9 record. While still in first place, the Sharks lead has shrunk to just half a game over the North Shore Navigators.

On Monday night, the Sharks lost a tight game to the Brockton Rox 6-5. The Island boys started strong, with Brian Campbell knocking Jack Roberts home with an RBI single to give the Sharks an early lead. In the fifth inning, the Rox broke the game open with three quick runs. Second baseman Jack Roberts made an error, allowing Rox center fielder Billy Endris to score. Two batters later, Brockton left fielder knocked two teammates home with a single. Down 5-2, the Sharks continued to fight for a victory. Each team scored a run in the sixth, but the real comeback attempt came in the bottom of the eighth inning. Shortstop Guy Davidson, who went 2-3 with a walk on the night, hit a two-run home run to give the Sharks life. Unfortunately, that was where the comeback ended. Brockton closer Tommy Stoffel entered the game following the homer and shut the Sharks down. In 1⅔ innings of work, Stoffel struck out three Sharks batters and surrendered only one hit. First baseman Brian Campbell continued his strong season, though. Against Brockton he went 4-5, raising his batting average to a league-leading .400.

On Sunday, July 5, the Sharks defeated the Worcester Bravehearts 9-4. Ryan Kelly hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the third, kickstarting a six-run assault. Donovan Casey hit a two-RBI single of his own two batters later, and first baseman Jon Mayer blasted a two-run home run. In the sixth inning, catcher Domenic De Renzo hit a three-run home run to cap the Sharks scoring on the night. Matthew Tulley picked up the win, giving up four runs and striking out seven in five innings of work.

Before the holiday, the Sharks picked up a win on Friday, July 3, defeating the Brockton Rox 6-1. Sharks pitcher Soren Hanson was outstanding, throwing 6⅔ innings and striking out nine. He gave up only four hits and two walks on the night, and lowered his season ERA to 4.15. Donovan Casey (two RBI) and Bobby San Martin (three RBI) each hit a home run, while Jack Roberts stole his fourth base of the season.

The Sharks next play at home on Thursday, July 9, when they take on the Seacoast Mavericks.

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At the newest stop on the African-American Heritage Trail, a chance to honor those slain in Charleston.

Jacqueline Hunt, former Martha’s Vineyard NAACP president requested a moment of reflection to honor those who had been slain in Charleston, S.C., the previous week. Photo by Michael Cummo

On Sunday, dozens of people gathered at the former home of Emma Chambers Maitland, at 113 Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs, for the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Ms. Maitland’s new place on the African American Heritage Trail.

Ms. Maitland, who in her life was a singer, dancer, boxer, wrestler, and nurse, was a longtime resident of Oak Bluffs. Barney Zeitz created the plaque that commemorated her life and spirit.

After an introductory speech by Elaine Weintraub and several amusing anecdotes from Frank Chambers (Ms. Maitland’s nephew), Jacqueline Hunt, former Martha’s Vineyard NAACP president, who had known Emma as a girl, requested a moment of reflection to honor those who had been slain in Charleston, S.C., the previous week. Everyone in the crowd circled up and gripped hands as Ms. Hunt discussed the horror of the killing, and she also noted how lucky we are on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate diversity.

Attendees included Oak Bluffs Selectman Kathy Burton, Barney Zeitz and family, and retired Oak Bluffs Police Chief Joe Carter and his family. The unveiling marks the 16th African American heritage site. For a full story on Emma Maitland, read the MVTimes story here: mvtimes.com/2015/06/24/welcome-to-the-trail-emma-maitland/.

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The Island’s collegiate baseball team won their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2.

The walk-up song for Sharks' outfielder Donovan Casey is "Rude Boy" by Rihanna, and everyone was all smiles when it was played Tuesday night. – Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks season has officially begun, and it started with a bang. The team won four of its first five games in the last six days.

The Island’s collegiate baseball team played their first home game of the season last Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2. After trailing for the first half of the game, Ricky Surum knocked in the Sharks’ first run with an RBI single. Donovan Casey went 3-5 on the night, scoring a run and knocking one home. Pitcher Evan Roberts got the win.

Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox. – Photo by Michael Cummo
Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox. – Photo by Michael Cummo

Tuesday night, they defeated the Bristol Blues 8-0 in a shortened game at home. The encroaching fog allowed the teams to play five innings of baseball, and new pitcher Jeff Gelinas picked up the complete game shutout. He allowed only four hits and five strikeouts in his first Sharks start. Leadoff hitter Ryan Kelly sparked the offense immediately, hitting a single then scoring on a Blues error. Donovan Casey also knocked in Jack Roberts for the second run in the first inning. The Sharks never looked back, scoring an unearned run in the second inning and exploding for five runs in the fourth. Ricky Surum, the first batter up in the inning, was hit by a pitch. Then Surum stole second, eventually scoring on a Steven Foster double. Donovan Casey put the game away for good with a two RBI double immediately following a Blues pitching substitution.

The Sharks now sit tied for first with the Nashua Silver Knights at 4-1 in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s East Division. Martha’s Vineyard will travel to Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday to take on the Seacoast Mavericks.

Last Friday, the Sharks traveled to Brockton, where they lost to the Brockton Rox 8-2. The Sharks were hampered by the outstanding play of Rox pitcher Will Whitlock, who only gave up one hit in his four innings of work. Sharks pitcher Matthew Tulley, who picked up the loss, allowed three runs while striking out six.

The Sharks traveled to Worcester on Saturday and did not disappoint, defeating the Worcester Bravehearts 11-4. The Sharks played excellent team baseball, having every player record at least one hit. Standouts included outfielder Steven Foster, who stole two bases, and relief pitcher Mac Curran, who struck out all three batters he faced.

Following the Friday-night loss to the Brockton Rox, the Sharks reversed the script on Sunday night, and defeated the Rox 8-2 at the Shark Tank. The Sharks began the game with two unearned runs from a Brockton fielding error, with Brian Campbell and Donovan Casey scoring. Donovan Casey was involved again in the third inning, hitting a double and eventually scoring on a Chris Weiss single. The Sharks put the game away for good in the eighth inning. Leading 4-2, Steven Foster led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Kelly then hit a

Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship  from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.
Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship from the Sharks Charitable Foundation. – Photo by Michael Cummo

monster triple, scoring Foster. The very next batter, Jack Roberts, singled home Ryan Kelly to extend the lead to 6-2. Jack Roberts and Brian Campbell then scored unearned runs, giving the Sharks an unlosable lead. Pitcher Justin Garcia went six innings, giving up only one earned run while striking out five.

Before the start of the game, student athletes Aubrey Ashmun and Yannick Gonsalves, who will be playing

their respective sports in college, received $1,000 scholarships from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.

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The Island’s collegiate baseball team won their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2.

Soren Hanson pitched against the North Shore Navigators on opening day Thursday.

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks season has officially begun, and it started with a bang. The team won three games in four days.

The Island’s collegiate baseball team played their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2. After trailing for the first half of the game, Ricky Surum knocked in the Sharks’ first run with an RBI single. Donovan Casey went 3-5 on the night, scoring a run and knocking one home. Pitcher Evan Roberts got the win.

On Friday, the Sharks traveled to Brockton, where they lost to the Brockton Rox 8-2. The Sharks were hampered by the outstanding play of Rox pitcher Will Whitlock, who only gave up one hit in his four innings of work. Sharks pitcher Matthew Tulley, who picked up the loss, allowed three runs while striking out six.

The Sharks traveled to Worcester on Saturday and did not disappoint, defeating the Worcester Bravehearts 11-4. The Sharks played excellent team baseball, having every player record at least one hit. Standouts included outfielder Steven Foster, who stole two bases, and relief pitcher Mac Curran, who struck out all three batters he faced.

Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox.
Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox.

Following the Friday night loss to the Brockton Rox, the Sharks reversed the script on Sunday night, and defeated the Rox 8-2 at the Shark Tank. The Sharks began the game with two unearned runs from a Brockton fielding error, with Brian Campbell and Donovan Casey scoring. Donovan Casey was involved again in the third inning, hitting a double and eventually scoring on a Chris Weiss single. The Sharks put the game away for good in the eighth inning. Leading 4-2, Steven Foster led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Kelly then hit a monster triple, scoring Foster. The very next batter, Jack Roberts, singled home Ryan Kelly to extend the lead to 6-2. Jack Roberts and Brian Campbell then scored unearned runs, giving the Sharks an unlosable lead. Pitcher Justin Garcia went six innings, giving up only one earned run while striking out five.

Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship  from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.
Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship
from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.

Before the start of the game, student athletes Aubrey Ashmun and Yannick Gonsalves, who will be playing their respective sports in college, received $1,000 scholarships from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.

The Sharks’ next home game is Tuesday, June 9, against the Bristol Blues.