The glittering red and gold makeshift artifact that has been proudly stored in the Newton Falls fire station for the last year may LOOK like a trophy and may FEEL like a trophy, but it is, in fact, a ping-pong ball, as that is exactly how it has lived its short career.
In 2010, the inaugural Battle for the City between the guns and hoses, the boots and badges, the police department and the fire department (or fire department and police department depending on your loyalties), concluded with the trophy making its home behind the bullet-proof glass of the police station’s half of City Hall. That home was only a temporary rental though, as the next year, in 2011, the first-responders of Squad 43 handily brought the trophy back to their side of the City Hall wall. The contest continues yet again as now, at the conclusion of 2012’s meet-up on the diamond, the trophy left the scene of this incident in the back of a cruiser.
By the 4th inning, the score was “so bad you don’t want to know” and it seemed impossible to get a straight answer for the spectators from any of the red-shirted players, but an optimistic cheering section continued to root, root, root for both home teams and by the 7th inning stretch the firefighters blazed in a handful of runs and nearly evened the score. Unfortunately at that point each team matched the other run for run and the officers in blue – the Newton Falls players AND their quite athletic guests from neighboring towns – held off their competition until the end. To be fair, a joint custody agreement might need to be made so that the trophy can spend some time in Portage County with the talented players who helped the NFPD secure victory in this year’s battle.
But don’t feel sorry for the members of the NFJFD: they’ll soon have a spiffy new fire station to enjoy, and next year at this time don’t be surprised if that trophy is shining through the glistening glass window of Fire Station 2.