May 14, 2001
against the Bothell Bombers
By Bronwyn Wilson
Senior Staff Reporter
Imagine the tension when the showdown finally happens. The City of Woodinville will face the City of Bothell. The event promises to be the culminating moment of a long rivalry. Oh sure, they say it's been a "friendly" rivalry, but don't let them kid you. This time Woodinville means business. The challenge? The City of Bothell's softball team, the Bothell Bombers, will play the Woodinville Wonders ‹ again. The two teams, made up of city council members and city staff, plan to square off June 1 at the Woodinville Sports Field.
The challenge began last year with the City of Woodinville throwing down the gauntlet to Bothell and daring them to play a game of softball. The game was suggested as part of a wellness program that encourages employees to maintain wellness through physical activity. The cities participate in the program through the Association of Washington Cities.
The City of Bothell took the challenge, gladly. Then they "whupped" Woodinville 13-3. The unexpected win certainly surprised the City of Woodinville, as they had touted themselves champions. They felt confident of their champion status since they had City Manager Pete Rose on their team. The well-known baseball name "Pete Rose" would have been enough for most teams to shiver in fear and forfeit the game. But Bothell didn't forfeit, not a chance. Then to add insult to injury, Bothell proudly carried the prize trophy off like conquering victors. The City of Woodinville wants a re-match and they want their trophy.
Rose, erstwhile Captain of the Wonders, says they have a place of honor waiting for the trophy and the restroom may be just the place. Bothell's Assistant City Manager and Bomber Captain, Manny Ocampo, responds that their team plans to bring the trophy to the game and they plan to return to Bothell with it, placing it at City Hall where it has rested in Council Chambers for the past year. Woodinville had presented the trophy to the Bombers last year in honor of Bothell's win. Decorated in desk trinkets, the trophy is not the kind most teams would brag about or want in their possession. According to Ocampo, "It's perhaps the tackiest trophy I've ever seen."
No matter, Woodinville wants it back. Woodinville's Communications Coordinator Marie Stake issued this "Crocklamation" to Bothell ‹ not to be confused with a proclamation, she says. It read in part, "Where for art thou, in keeping with the tradition of 'good will' and 'good faith' and being 'good neighbors' and 'good sports,' the City of Woodinville hereby challenges the City of Bothell to a 2001 Softball Showdown that is to be an ego-free, alcohol-free, caffeine-free, sugar-free Free-For-All in honor of the Association of Washington Cities Wellness games."
Many may wonder how this rivalry ever began. It's been suggested it started way back in 1909. That year, the Bothell Sentinel reported that there was competition for electricity between Bothell and Woodinville. The news article stated: "Bothell will have to hurry or Woodinville will be shining first with electric lights." Did the first hint of rivalry begin with the thought of Woodinville enjoying the luxury of light bulbs while Bothell continued to cope with smoky oil lamps? Did the glorious invention of Thomas Edison spark the competition that hasn't been (excuse the oil lamp pun) snuffed out over time?
Possibly. At any rate, the competition continues to go strong, particularly at the high school level. Sports events between Woodinville High School and Bothell or Inglemoor High Schools draw big crowds when the school's teams play against one another. According to Kevin Dahl, Board member of the Northshore Chamber of Commerce, "It's a relatively heated rivalry between the high schools. It's a good rivalry."
With all serious humor aside, Ocampo says that the competition between the cities is an extension of a positive relationship, lest anyone think otherwise. "Bothell and Woodinville have one of the best relationships," he states. He says the two cities cooperate very well on transportation and land use planning issues and in many other areas as well. Council members from both cities are on a first name basis and the City managers are very good friends. "We engage in friendly rivalry," he says of the competition. He adds, "Pete Rose has a wonderful sense of humor. But he's certainly one of the hitters we have to stop!"
Just when it seems all's well between Bothell and Woodinville, Ocampo hints that the Bomber's have a secret weapon, "One of our Council members carries a very mean bat." What does Pete Rose have to say about that? Says Rose confidently, "We'll let our bats do our speaking for us." Rose also says that his team plans to show up for the showdown wearing rain slickers. It seems there was a young person loose with a rather large squirt gun at last year's game and the Wonders don't plan on being wet blankets, quite the contrary.
Ocampo wants Woodinville to know that they will be issuing their own "Crock"
lamation soon. For now, it is only hoped that prior to the game, someone will holler, "play ball" and break the eerie tension that will certainly be hanging in the air.
Tension or not, both teams admit they're looking forward to a good time and getting some exercise too. "Being healthy in body and mind is very good for everybody," says Ocampo revealing the true purpose behind the softball game between two cities that are actually, believe-it-or-not, best friends.
The game begins at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and cheer their City on.