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Bristol's fire and police departments face off on the baseball field

Bristol Fire Chief Ben LaRoche stretched for a throw to first but Police Chief Jim McIntire managed to cross the base just a split second before LaRoche could tag him out during a Battle of the Badges softball game at Kelley Park. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2018
BRISTOL – For the first time in several years, Bristol's fire and police departments faced off in a Battle of the Badges softball game last Saturday evening where the fire department came out with hot bats to start the game but the police department stole the win over their friendly rivals in the end.

There was a lot of good-natured ribbing between the two professions throughout the game that added entertainment for the families and residents who pulled up lawn chairs along the field at Kelley Park to watch.

After a missed throw to first baseman Nick Kelly (BPD's K9 Officer) jokes flew about him needing his K9 partner Arro to back him up at the base. Kelly soon shot back with another taunt to the fire fighters when one lobbed a ball into the infield.

"All those muscles for nothing," he said with a laugh.

While the game started with the fire department taking an early lead thanks to a first inning home run that scored two, the police finally came on strong in the third inning and never looked back.

The fire fighters didn't make it easy for their opponents in the fifth inning though when a seven run rally put them just two points behind, making the score 10-12.

A two-run homer by the PD and some solid hitting by the rest of the lineup stretched their lead to nine points by the bottom of the fifth. At the top of the sixth inning the fire department showed they weren't giving up though as they once again narrowed the PD's lead to just two points.

"How about that- the police just robbed the fire department," announcer Jeff Kane quipped after a play that resulted in their third out.

The bottom of the sixth inning was more like "police brutality" though when the men in blue pounded the outfield with doubles, triples and a three-run homer.

Finally satisfied with 20 runs in the inning, the police forfeited the remainder of their batting time for fear the fire fighters were "getting sunburnt out there on the field," they said.

"So in the sixth inning the police scored three touch downs and missed one extra point," announcer Jeff Kane joked over the PA system.

The game ended quickly in the seventh though when the fire department failed to get another rally going and the police claimed the victory and bragging rights for now.

"It was fun. Everyone had a good time and we certainly look forward to redemption," said Fire Chief Ben LaRoche.

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