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Maine Warden Service softball

North Woods Throwdown: Get ready to rumble

By Mark Haskell | Jul 12, 2019
Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe New Hampshire game warden Eric Fluette, left, and Maine game warden Kris MacCabe stare each other down in preparation for the North Woods Throwdown on Aug. 3 at Hadlock Field in Portland.

Portland — The Maine Warden Service has been in the charity softball business for a few years, with the majority of those games held in Waldo County against senior student-athletes at Belfast Area High School.

Now, for the wardens, business, as they say, is booming.

Riding the coattails of the success of the games on a local scale, the Maine game wardens will expand their roster from regional to statewide as they prepare for the inaugural North Woods Throwdown, set for Saturday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. at Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs.

The Maine game wardens will battle the New Hampshire game wardens to settle the score.

The sets of game wardens have had successful runs on Animal Planet’s popular show “North Woods Law.”

The show debuted in 2012 and, featuring the Maine game wardens, spanned seven seasons before the show shifted to New Hampshire in 2017, where the men and women from The Granite State are in the midst of their fifth season.

“It was amazing to see how much the Belfast community supported our charity softball game against the high school [players],” said game warden Josh Beal, who also is a 2010 BAHS graduate. “Maine [Operation Game Thief] OGT saw the success from the Belfast game, and [we] had the idea of doing the same thing on a bigger stage.”

Proceeds for the Portland event will be equally divided and donated to Make-A-Wish Maine, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, Maine Operation Game Thief, New Hampshire Operation Game Thief and International Wildlife Crimestoppers.

Beal said there will be various activities for children throughout the game, in addition to a demonstration with the warden’s K-9 unit.

The Sea Dog concession stands will be available and Slugger, the mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs, also will be in attendance. There also will be an opportunity for autographs and a meet-and-greet with players after the game.

Beal said the Maine game wardens approached the New Hampshire game wardens with the idea and they “immediately accepted the challenge.”

“There will be more entertaining events throughout the game than at the Belfast game,” he said. “Also it is a chance to come and root for your home state. Maine and New Hampshire have always had a friendly rivalry. There has been some friendly ‘trash talk’ going on back and forth. Maine not only wants to win the game, but wants to have more home fans in the stands as well.”

Tickets for the event “have been selling fast,” said Beal, and can be purchased in advance at Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and younger.

Kris MacCabe. (Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe)
A game warden takes a swing at a practice. (Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe)
Kris MacCabe. (Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe)
Chad Robertson. (Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe)
Chris Simmons. (Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe)
Chris Simmons. (Courtesy of: Emily MacCabe)
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