caption id=”attachment_1712″ align=”alignleft” width=”300″
caption=”Kitsap players load up for the trip home after playing in
Bend in 2007.”][/caption]
The “Blue Prison,” one of the many names given to the Kitsap BlueJackets’ bus, finally gave out on a road trip earlier this month.
The 1992 Blue Bird, originally a school bus, blew an engine on the way back from Kelowna, B.C., about 15 minutes from the U.S. border.
“We were making good time,” said Kitsap assistant Ryan Parker, the head coach at Olympic College, “and then we heard a bunch of weird noises in the engine area.”
Bus driver Kay Smith, sister of Kitsap owner Rick Smith, pulled it over on the side of the road immediately, said Parker.
As soon as she turned the ignition off, black smoke engulfed the bus that hauled the players around the Northwest.
I’ve been told, but haven’t been able to confirm, that Kitsap owners have bought, or are in the process of buying, a used charter bus for their summer college team.
Kitsap’s currently in Moses Lake. They arrived in Moses Lakes’ bus. The new ride is supposed to arrive on Thursday and haul them to Bellingham for Friday’s West Coast League game before getting them back to Bremerton for Saturday’s non-league game against Lacey.
The “Blue Bus,” will be remembered fondly by this writer, who took a trip to Bend with the team in July of 2007. Photographer Larry Steagall tagged along.
Some of the players, at the time, suggested writing to “Pimp My Ride” — the MTV show where rapper Xzibit and his team of car customization specialists turn clunkers into street-dream masterpieces.
“TVs in the back of every head rest,” deadpanned catcher Lawson Hipps. “A stripper pole in the back.”
The Blue Bus never got the makeover, but the Jackets got a lot of miles out of it. If that Blue Bus could talk, I bet it would have some stories to tell.
Here’ a link to that 2007 story, which gives you some insight into what it’s like on the road for these college players. I apologize for a couple of typos that weren’t caught when the story was originally published.