Loved Mark Murphy’s article (“Rooting for the Home Team,” CW, Fall ’05) about minor-league and indy-league ballclubs in Massachusetts. I’m a fan of the North Shore Spirit, who play at Fraser Field in Lynn. I look forward to opening day every year.

I pay $5 for a bleacher seat along the first base line and watch the sunset over the right field wall, and I feel like my soul has been through a car wash. It’s a real struggle for these teams to survive. I try to support mine by buying blocks of tickets, promo merchandise, and bringing all my friends to games.

Another great thing is how family-friendly many of the parks are. Tickets are inexpensive, and at Fraser Field, the rowdiest portion of the crowd is usually under four feet tall. None of the adults in the park give parents dirty looks when their kids make happy noises, the way I’m sure they certainly would at a Red Sox game, where the expense of the tickets gives fans a sense of entitlement about enjoying the game undisturbed by anyone too young to drink beer. There’s even a beautiful, brand-new playground staffed with park employees.

I’ve been to Worcester, too, where the experience is quite different. Much of the crowd is local college kids, many of whom are drinking as many beers as they can manage; at a game I saw last season, a player from a visiting team was ejected for protesting a call by the umpire, and rowdy fans ran to the railing near the pathway leading to the locker room and attempted to pour beer on him as he walked by. I have to say, I had a great time anyway. How can you not love fans that wave back at cars beeping on the elevated highway that overlooks left field? However, the combination of the crowd and the very steep metal stands means I wouldn’t bring my kids until they were much older, and then I’d sit in the family-oriented area directly behind home plate.

Lisa Williams

The writer is host of H2otown, a local news and events Web site described in this issue’s Mass.Media article.

Living Alone Is Not Always A Matter of Lifestyle Choice

I thought you did a stretch of precept in your item on people living alone as the largest household cohort (Statistically Significant). Since you include roommates in the figure, it’s not even right on technicality.

Statistics watchers are looking at that figure very closely in its significance as a nontraditional trend, so lumping several categories provides a useless conclusion.

Widowed women were previously from conventional families and don’t mark a lifestyle shift of choice. At the same time, college and post-college adults are in transition; many or most on their way to conventional arrangements. Some of the “choice” to live outside a traditional household may be due to financial constraints. That is a whole different issue, not a determined lifestyle aspiration.

Dave Bernard
Public Affairs, WRCA Radio