People I Meet at Ballgames

cooltext152670201000687  I’ve been going to ballgames all of my life.  Hooked on sports as an elementary student, I wanted to see as many Hoosic Valley games as possible. In high school and college my attendance was predominantly as a player, which transitioned to becoming a coach of two sports for 25 years, mixed in with following my three favorite athletes of all time, my two daughters and son.

Right now when I go to a game it’s to cover the contest for our Sportsnet and while I miss all the other roles I’ve had over the years I really enjoy this one as it gives me a chance to meet and talk with the many fine people that have their own role in this league called the Wasaren.

Most of the coaches in the various sports I’ve known over the years but I’ve enjoyed meeting and talking with Greenwich softball coach Greg McGuirk, and the Hoosic Valley coaching tandem of Blake and Tony Bochette over the past two seasons.

I shared a story with Tony from back in the day when his Uncle Bruce as a fine senior guard playing for Stillwater guarded me in my freshman year.  Bruce lost a contact that night and as luck would have it I found the contact.  I swear the rest of the game Bruce gave my a little more breathing room, to which Tony joked, “Maybe he’s nicer than I thought.”

As for parents/fans, I went to a basketball game this year in Stillwater and during the pregame a family came up and sat next to me.  An extended family of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts and it was the Wayand family of Stillwater.  A really nice family that understood the sport, and was there to support Mitchell and the Stillwater team and I really appreciated the opportunity to chat with them that December night.

This past week at the Hoosic Valley Greenwich softball game I noticed a Mom standing next to me looking across the field at the baseball diamond where the boys were playing.  I knew she must have a daughter on the softball diamond and a son on the baseball field, because I had spent many springs doing the same thing with my three, most times starting at the softball diamond with a good vantage point of the baseball game.  A well played softball game normally finishes in time to get to the baseball field, that give or take in somewhere near the fourth inning.

The Mom was watching her daughter and son Sabrina and Lukas Whitehouse of Greenwich.  Mrs. Whitehouse with superior eye sight to mine, had the ability, standing 400 yards away to keep me updated on the baseball game.

On this day the softball game went extra frames and some baseball players made their way over to the softball field having finished their day’s work on the diamond.  One of the players was Lukas who was one of our Wasaren Sportnet Players of the Week and I had told his Mom I had a T-shirt for Lukas and after the game I would get it from my Jeep to give to her.

After the Valley pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth I told Mrs. Whitehouse I was going to get the shirt and would be right back.  My Jeep was probably 150 yards away and as I started back to the field with the tee, Lukas was there waiting for me.

This is a player who had just pitched and lost a tough 2-1 decision to the Valley.  He probably just wanted to head back to Greenwich but walked out to save me some steps, and thanked me like I was giving him something really important.  A fine young man raised the right way who on this day I was fortunate enough to meet.

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