When I was six I got hit in the ribs by the fastest pitcher in the Wanskuck little league. It was 2008, and I vowed (while literally gasping for air) to hate all things baseball forever. I held my hand to my chest and collapsed into the batters’ box while that pitcher’s dad called me dramatic because for the first time ever, the wind was knocked out of me. At six my feelings were hurt, at thirteen I was spiteful. I started softball and forced my oldest brother into making me as good as he was, and the next time I got hit by a ball I ground my teeth and thought about charging the mound.
This is who I was when I finally got to enjoy my mom’s yearly tradition of McCoy Stadium Fireworks. I was old enough to realize some of the players were cute and knew enough about the game to be able to call where a ball was going to go based on a batter’s front foot. Except this time I brought my best friend, who hated baseball but was fully boy crazy. I remember sneaking off and jumping a fence to get a closer look at Jackie Bradley Jr.
My friend and I hid in the green beams that hold up the seats and tossed a foul ball between the two of us. We spent every visit to McCoy that way. I would watch until I couldn’t sit still anymore and try to convince her to stay. Eventually (without much effort, to be honest) she would convince me to jump the fence and end up squashed against left field so we could giggle about the players and talk about boys without our mothers being literally two seats away.
Eventually my brother would join us. He used to be a pitcher, too. The kind that makes you want to charge the mound. Too good to be in our age group and all too willing to throw a stray foul ball at his sister when she’s too busy giggling about boys to watch the game. As I got more serious about softball, we would go to each game with our gloves and hang around the fences for foul balls or home runs. My mom hated it. She would take us to these games and we would disappear until the fireworks, coming out covered in dirt with scraped knees and ripped T-shirts.
September 3 is the last time the fireworks will light up this patch of Pawtucket sky. I don’t plan on attending this free event and leaving with dirt in my socks and scraped knees, but I do plan on hanging in the green rafters with my best friend. There are chairs for sale afterwards but I never spent enough time in them to want one. If you did, or if you too are full of memories, then join us for McCoy’s Final Inning September 3, 3 – 9:30 pm.
McCoy Stadium Fireworks FAQs
What’s the cost to attend?
This is a free event; however, food and certain activities are available for purchase.
What’s the deal with the wristbands?
Wristbands are free and required to sit on the field during the fireworks display and can be obtained at a table set up near the entrance to the field.
Wristbands will be available starting at 4pm on the day of the event only, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Only 3,000 fans will be allowed onto the field for the fireworks display.
Anyone coming to the event from 3-9pm for food trucks, entertainment, and activities will not need a wristband; however anyone on the field after 8:15 without a wristband will be asked to exit.
Wristbands are limited to one per person. Attendees can not collect wristbands for people who are not present.
Seating is NOT in the stadium/stands, it is on the field. Attendees may want to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs.
Attendees who do not receive a wristband are still able to watch from the parking lot by the food trucks.
Can I bring my dog? What about my beer?
No outside alcohol, large coolers, bags, or pets are allowed.
Can I go in the stadium?
Sorry, that’s a no. The stadium has been closed for several years and the interior, including the seats and boxes, is unsafe.
For more information on McCoy’s Final Inning, including information on where and where not to park, as well as scheduled street closures visit pawtucketri.com/news/mccoys-final-inning.