Armena goes vintage on road trip
Posted June 16, 2009
rmena took a little trip down memory lane this week when they visited the Ryley Royals…I mean Rebels.
Armena donned the ol’ white tops with baby blue trim that they used when they first entered the league in 1999 and through 2002 when they captured their first championship. They then used them again to start the 2008 campaign before the new blue tops arrived. They were bought with the assistance and generosity of the Armena Recreation Board.
However, a little mix-up at the beginning of the 2009 season saw the re-formation of the Ryley Rebels purchase the exact same colours and white pants as Armena, thus creating an interesting night resembling an inter-league scrimmage when the two teams met in Armena on June 4.
“In their defence, there’s only like four options for colours that are affordable when you go into the store to buy jerseys,” said Armena manager Clark Banack.
So the Armena Royals, although a little reluctant to display a jersey that has brought them a combined 34-41-1 record over the years, brought the old tops out of retirement for a two-game road tripper to Ryley this week.
“Hey I don’t mind the whites too much,” said Royal Jason Buzzell. “It makes me feel like George Brett and Steve Balboni out there. They are a little small though and we don’t have many left since we thought we wouldn’t need them anymore.
The good thing is, with our team being so young, most fit OK this year.”
Almost all of the white tops are the button-up style bought in the late 90s. However, youngster Mark Walker donned the only 1970s/80s style polyester top with the baby blue v-neck.
Unfortunately, the baby-blue trimmed pants, which former Royal Hans Olson wore at Bardo Day, have all but vanished, making it a half-hearted effort at a throw-back.
“Hey, if I won the lottery rest-assured I’d buy baby blue tops and pants for us, and yellow ones for Bardo and we’d do a little 1970s-style tilt with them on Bardo Day 2011,” Buzzell joked. “It’d be one for the ages.”
Buzzell noted that although it was difficult to make the change because Armena was the first team to buy blue tops, it was the right thing to do given the stark similarities between the two teams in such big games.
“Ryley doesn’t have alternates and we kind of do. It was a lot of work to find enough, but we are so similar, only the numbers can really differentiate us,” he said, adding he had bad dreams that Ryley would find some throwbacks, too, after the Royals have done some ditch digging to scrounge up enough for this week’s games.
“I pictured Stensrud and Kushnerick cracking open a case of red pin stripes for Ryley against us. Then we both are wearing white. Now that would have been funny.”