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Back in Red

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - Joe Oliver said when the Lowell Spinners schedule came out, this weekend was one he had circled on the calendar.

"To be able to see the franchise stay here and be reinvigorated it's an awesome deal,"  Oliver says.

It's been nearly 30 years since the former Vermont Reds catcher stepped inside Centennial field, but it didn't take long for the memories to come back.

"Walking from the clubhouse, which was all the way on the other side of the field, back and fourth, catching bullpens," Oliver says.  "We lived in Bolton Valley and made that drive everyday so there's a lot of memories here and I'm just glad to see that it's renovated and still alive."

Oliver was with the Reds for the 1986 and 1987 seasons, winning an Eastern league championship his first year.  Four years removed from that championship, Oliver and his former Vermont teammates were celebrating a world series with the big club in Cincinnati.

"Figuring it all out in 1990 is pretty special because you could see with the championship we were winning throughout the minor leagues, that we had the opportunity to do something special at the major league level," Oliver says.

Oliver is back as a manger of the Lowell Spinners, the single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.  He's passing on what he has learned, helping players that were once like him.  A career that has come full circle.

"It does seem like such a short time ago being out here celebrating," Oliver says.  "Winning and being a part of a special team."

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