A year ago, a number of folks around here couldn't contain their excitement as the Aberdeen IronBirds were about to begin a first-ever playoff series, having won the McNamara Division title of the New York-Penn League.
Well, as they say, what a difference a year makes.
Monday marked the end of another IronBirds season and, to put it mildly, it was a rough one.
I believe I've been over this before, but does anybody remember how the season started? Or should I say, would you rather have forgotten about it?
Either way, it was as bad a start as ever. Yep, a 1-16 month of June and any thoughts of returning to the postseason were gone.
But Sunday the 'Birds closed out the dreadful season with a win. In fact, Aberdeen scored 10 runs and won for a third straight time to close the season.
The season ended with a 27-48 mark. Despite the horrid start, this wasn't the worst season in team history. It was, however, the 10th losing season of 13 seasons in Aberdeen.
The 27-48 record equals that of the 2005 IronBirds and it's a half game back of the 28-48 mark of 2012. Who knows, had the IronBirds played a scheduled but canceled 76th game, we may have seen a 28-48 record. Or might it have been 27-49?
The worst season in Aberdeen history came in 2011 under the direction of former Baltimore Orioles third baseman Leo Gomez. Aberdeen struggled to just 24 wins against 51 losses.
So, what happened this year? Without getting tied up in bunch of numbers, I believe it's fairly obvious: the other teams scored more runs 48 times this year.
No, seriously, we all understand more runs, points, goals win in most sports, but there's more to it. The IronBirds pitched well enough to win more games than they did. The offense? Well, let's just say it could have been better. As a team the IronBirds batted just below .230. Opponents were batting just over .265.
In those 16 losses to begin the season, Aberdeen was held to one run or shut out 10 times. Oddly enough, the only June win was by a 1-0 count.
The bottom line is this: the season, in terms of wins and losses, was a total loss. But who really cares. It's the Orioles that matter and they're doing just fine.
As one season ends, another begins, doesn't it?
Friday marks the beginning of another high school sports season. Every Friday night will be busy with football, while all other days and nights of the week will be littered with soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cross county and golf action.
Most action is not free, but get out and support these young athletes. They are often worth the price of admission.