Last summer, I dared to tred into history's footsteps and quote from a 1965 gubernatorial proclamation, reclaiming the title of Wyoming's baseball capital for Powell. With the calendar transitioning to the month of July, the time has come for Powell's various teams to defend that lofty status.
It was only fitting, then, that on the eve of calendars turning from June to baseball's title month, the Powell Pioneers delivered a warning shot across the bow of the rest of the state. The premature fireworks display came in the form of a 32-run explosion on Tuesday night.
There isn't a team in the state that wouldn't gladly accept 32 runs as its output in a doubleheader. For a single game, that sort of total is practically unheard of in video game circles, much less on an actual grass-and-dirt stadium surface.
It was, as best I can tell, the greatest offensive output by a Wyoming baseball team this summer. Gillette shelled Rapid City for 28 runs in what appears to have been the previous 2010 summer high.
Admittedly, those 32 runs on Tuesday night mean very little aside from giving the Pioneers the inside track now for a No. 1 seed when district tournament play opens on July 22. Powell won't be able to carry any of that scoring surplus forward as post-season action opens. Scoreboards will still begin each game reading 0-0.
Still, there is a significance to the number.
The 2010 edition of the Pioneers has, in some ways, been a victim of its own prior success. I'm probably as much to blame as anyone for being blinded by it.
A stellar 26-11 summer has been lost in the relative familiarity of been there, done that. One year ago, that's a record we would have been celebrating. This year, it looks almost pedestrian, despite the fact that it has been achieved with as many as two regulars out of the lineup for two weeks of the summer.
The Pioneers' 12-game win streak in June was nice. But, again, it probably didn't turn heads around the community the way it should have because last year's team chained together 13 W's.
Of course, we forget that 13-game streak was believed at the time to be the longest on record for the club.
Two hitters clobbering the ball at an over .500 clip? We've seen that. A team drilling the ball in play at a .400 clip?
Impressive as it may be, that's a sequel as well.
So as we sit here at T-minus three weeks away from the start of Legion baseball's post-season, it was indeed refreshing to see the Pioneers step out of their own shadow with a statement so thunderous, so outrageously inconceivable, that it simply cannot be ignored. There's no guarantee that a title will come home to Powell in July, but the message has now been sent — the road to the title will, most likely, run through Powell.
There's still much work to be done. Pitching needs to be sharpened. Double-digit strikeout performances by the batting order need to be exorcized once and for all from the scorebook. Defensive play in the field can always be fine-tuned.
But the call to arms has now been issued. Not only the Pioneers, but the Babe Ruth and Little League squads should hear its call and respond with alacrity.
The calendar has officially turned to baseball's title month. Let the excitement and anticipation begin to build.
There should be a gradual buzz building in the days ahead as state tournaments move nearer. March may have its madness, but July holds fields full of dreams.
Here in Wyoming's baseball capital, that's just the way we like it.