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Damelio, the Confederate Flag and the Titans: A Closer Look

POSTED July 07, 2015
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


             There are a multitude of great benefit golf tournaments out there for worthy causes and the `Damelio’ is right at the top of the list.  I spent last Friday at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club as more than 100 golfers celebrated the life of Marc Damelio.

            If you are not familiar with Damelio he was one of the preeminent baseball players in the area, a 5-foot-8, 170 lb. dynamo who earned NEC Player of the Year honors in 1993 while at Sacred Heart University and excelled for Modern Motors in the Twi-Met League and for the Bethlehem Plowboys in the Tri-State League. He is considered by many one of the best amateur players to ever come out of the Waterbury area.

            Damelio died at the tender age of 31 on Christmas Eve in 2003 of a parasitic infection on the heels of a kidney transplant the previous March.

            So on a sunlight picture perfect summer day, they came out again to reinforce memories of Damelio and raise a whole bunch of money for the Marc Damelio Scholarship given out every year to a Thomaston High student. Damelio was a top-notch teacher in the Thomaston district.

            The event is lovingly organized by long-time friends Al Sconziano and Bob McMahon. Twelve years after his death, Damelio continues to inspire and influence those around him.

            It was a wonderful day in memory of a great guy and a fun time.

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            I get very excited to see my son and 10 or so of his friends gather around the television like so much of America and go crazy over the U.S. women’s national team winning the World Cup over Japan Sunday. They stood up and sang the national anthem and raised the roof as the U.S. blitzed their rivals early and often. It is what this team has done to us and for us and it is fun to see. By the way, I was cheering just as loud.

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            The Confederate flag issue has been front and center and incurred emotional responses since nine black men and women were gunned down in Charleston church on June 17. But I don’t get this sentiment espoused by an attendee at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

            “The Confederate flag has absolutely nothing to do with slavery. It has nothing to do with divisiveness. It has nothing to do with any of that.” – Steve Rebenstorf.

            Are you kidding me. You can call a tree a rock too and that doesn’t make it so. Wow.

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            Some food for thought from the U.S. women’s soccer team for all of those one-sport high school athletes. “A quick survey of members of the squad found that collectively they played at least 14 different sports competively while growing up, as well as soccer. And significantly, all believe the other disciplines enhanced rather than hindered their soccer careers.” - USA  Today.  

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            It was one thing when the Major League All-Star game had nothing on the line but league pride. But now with home field advantage at stake, it is time to change the voting. If the Kansas City scare in which at one time eight Royals led the voting doesn’t get the powers-to-be to make some changes then nothing will. The fans certainly should have their say but not all of the say for starters. Learn a lesson folks.

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            I don’t like to see myself as a revenge type of guy but when I see the crowds the New Britain Rock Cats continue to pull in and think of the support that franchise has had over the years, part of me hopes Hartford falls flat on its face. Part of me.

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            We are a long way away from the high school basketball season but wait till you see what Capital Prep has come up with this season. If it all pans out, it is time for the CIAC to step in and end this nonsense once and for all.  However, let it play out first.

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            The Torrington Summer Basketball League is in its 30th year under the direction of Bill Nataro with 52 teams and six divisions. Nataro does an immense job every year providing summer venue for more than 500 athletes from just about every area town you can think of.  Nice job Bill. Three decades of giving, now that deserves a bow.

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            I was at the Torrington Armory last week and parked in the Fuessenich Park lot. It didn’t take long to notice that there were more people watching a middle school basketball game than watching the Torrington Titans.  You have to wonder if this form of summer baseball has had its day in Torrington. The bloom seemed to leave with the Twisters. And, what is up with your manager quitting in the middle of the season. It has been a nice run but you wonder if the run is done.

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