Elwood Sports in Cranston has been serving the Rhode Island sports community since 1949. There are very few (if any) businesses, organizations, leagues that can even come close to making that statement here in the Rhode Island sports community, let alone any other business serving the Rhode Island community. From my early days in Wickford Little League to now covering baseball around the state of Rhode Island, the Elmwood Sports name has been synonymous with quality sporting goods, dedication to community, and sincere commitment to being “Rhode Island’s Largest Team Dealer.” And I just heard an incredible story that makes Elmwood Sports even more special.
Flashback to 1967, the State Baseball Championship game for Rhode Island High Schools, featuring North Kingstown High School vs Woonsocket High School, Cranston Stadium. Why are we flashing back, you say? Well, I am a North Kingstown High School Alumni, class of 1990. And the 2021 NKHS Varsity Baseball team just won the 2021 Rhode Island Division 1 State Tournament, the first time since 1967. And I have been chatting with NKHS players from that 1967 team and heard a great story that I wanted to share with you. Now, let’s get back to 1967…
In 1967, high school players used wooden bats. They used wooden bats for practices, batting practices, games, and yes state tournaments. If you have ever played baseball and hit with a wooden bat, you know that they are susceptible to breaking over time. One of the players on that 1967 team, Senior Captain Charlie Connery, told me a story recently about that championship game. “We get to Cranston Stadium, take batting practice, and for some reason or another, we busted all of our wooden bats. Here we are, playing the most important game of our lives, and we just busted all of our wooden bats.” Cranston Stadium was/is located off Park Ave in Cranston. “So, my father and Jimmy Baker’s father hopped in the car and drove over to Elmwood Sports and bought like 5 bats. We used those bats in the championship game.”
Of course, there were other factors in the North Kingstown High School Baseball Championship game that contributed to their state title. Pitching, great defense, timely hitting, good fundamental baseball – all contributing factors to an incredible 5-1 win and the 1967 Rhode Island Baseball State Title. And there was Elmwood Sports providing a Rhode Island sports team with excellent customer service, a quality product, and a dedication to the Rhode Island sports community on that afternoon – 5 wooden bats going to Cranston Stadium to be used in a Rhode Island State Tournament game. And I bet you, if it were the same scenario today, if a team need a catcher’s mitt or batting helmet or a round of wooden bats in a pinch, Elmwood Sports would be ready once again to serve the Rhode Island Sports Community.
Awesome story and I thank Elmwood Sports for being there for the 1967 North Kingstown High School Varsity Baseball team and for every team in Rhode Island since 1949!!!