The Novak family has long been associated with the Park but on June 13th, it got ridiculous. Nic Novak coached the Minor Reds against Pat Braniff’s Red Sox. Nic’s squad included his two sons, Matt and Nick. Umpire Dan Novak made the calls, while former Park Director Dave Novak and his wife, Carol, looked on with pride. The Reds employed some timely hitting, solid defense and accurate pitching to beat the Red Sox 10-4.

Red Sox pitcher Sam Marino held the Reds scoreless during the early innings, striking out the side in the second. He got the first two outs of the third but the Reds broke through for five runs. The big blow was a triple by Micah O’Neal. O’Neal was also an effective pitcher, allowing only one run during three innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Novak show featured Nick making a diving catch of Amari Tucker’s pop-up to first and Matt retiring Luke “Lego” Gilfillan on a soft grounder to shortstop. They also had good days at the plate. Matt had a single and two triples but was called out by his uncle trying to stretch a triple. Nick collected three hits and was also out on a close play at the plate. He later was called out at first for interference.

The Red Sox pitchers recorded an impressive 14 strikeouts. Their hitters rallied for two runs in the sixth, with Evan Braniff hitting the only home run of the game. It wasn’t enough but showed the Red Sox were fighting to the end.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.