Silver Knights looking for one more high to mask the lows
It’s been a strange summer at Holman Stadium, a few highs and many lows.
None lower, of course, than the passing Bill Neverett, father of Silver Knights manger B.J. Neverett and Red Sox radio broadcaster Tim Neverett.
He will be laid to rest early this week as the Silver Knights get set for the all-important final week of what has been a tough season on the field, and now just as tough off it.
They are locked in a duel with the North Shore Navigators for the final Futures Collegiate League playoff spot. The idea all season for B.J. Neverett has been to somehow get his young team into the playoffs, and then go from there.
People may forget that in the twilight of Portsmouth a year and a week ago, the Knights had to win the second game of a doubleheader with the now defunct Seacoast Mavericks just to make the playoffs. They did, got seeded fifth, and went on to win their second FCBL title. It was interesting drama, with a lot of season ticket holders making the trip to Leary Field.
Can the same thing happen this week? Nashua, after Sunday’s big doubleheader sweep of Brockton at Holman, has to travel to Pittsfield on Monday. Then they are home for games against Bristol on Wednesday, Worcester on Thursday, and the home finale on Saturday vs. Pittsfield. Friday they are at Pittsfield again. You can say the season will rise or set with the Suns.
Or, perhaps there will be what a lot of fans are pointing to – a next Sunday regular season finale winner take all vs. the Navigators at Lynn’s Fraser Field. In elimination games at Fraser, the Silver Knights are 1-0, having beaten the favored Navs in a 2015 FCBL play-in game. They also beat them there in the 2012 FCBL Finals Game 1.
That would be fun. You wonder whether the emotion of Bill Neverett’s passing will be a factor. The Silver Knights players will certainly want to send their manager into the post season.
Bill Neverett always knew the story. If yours truly wanted to know the pulse of things around Holman, he had it. “I’m going to have some news for you soon,” he would say, and it either involved B.J.or Tim. He was immensely proud of both. Back when Tim Neverett was broadcasting Pittsburgh Pirates games, there was Bill, in his seat at Holman, watching B.J. Manage and honoring Tim with a Pirates cap. Great guy, great supportive and proud Dad.
And now the Silver Knights hit the home stretch without him in the seats. Like we said, it’s been a summer of highs and lows at Holman, the highest perhaps being the Knights’ two walk-off wins, plus the great FCBL All-Star Game/Holman Birthday celebration.
It would be nice if this team could rally from a struggling season and make the playoffs in honor of the memory of Bill Neverett. And, of course, avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in their eight years.
A week from now, we’ll know one way or the other.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org, or@Telegraph _TomK.