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End of summer thoughts from Rick Wilson.

POSTED August 24, 2015
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

            Congratulations to our own Mr. Gaffney on his induction into the Tri-State Baseball League Hall of Fame Wednesday night at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park.  The honor was richly deserved and Tim was truly touched as he indicated in a recent column on this site.

            Dedicated and passionate, he has become a strong, caring voice in the community. It was a privilege to catch his ceremonial pitch and be part of his special moment.  He is a great addition to HOF.

            -The Litchfield Cowboys continued to create a memorable era by defeating the Tri-Town Trojans Friday night, 4-1, to take the Tri-State League World Series two games to one.  It is the Cowboys third title in five years.

            If there was a MVP of the series it had to be the veteran lefty with the smile on his face and magic in his arm – Joey Serafin. All he did was toss a three-hit, 12 strikeout beauty in a 3-0 Game 1 victory, come off the bench and produce his team’s only runs with a two-run single in a 5-2 Game 2 loss and then come on in relief in the deciding the game to pick up the save.

            Twice Serafin worked his way out of two-on, two-out jams, neither of his own making.  Quite a three days for the former Torrington Twister.

            But you can’t move on without mentioning Kyle Weaver. The 37-year-old Litchfield High Athletic Director has been with the Cowboys for 17-18 years. He has thought a lot about retirement in recent seasons. He talks a lot about his body being sore.

            So what does he do? Go 6-for-7 in the final two games, driving in what proved to be the championship winning run in the final game. One thing is for sure, if he retires it is going out on top like Adam LaCapra did for Wolcott last season pitching the game – winner.  If he comes back we know that sore body can still produce.

            A good championship series for sure.

            -Jimmy Carter may not have been your political guy but his post-Presidential years, all 35 of them, have been something to be admired. He has stayed true to his values and his contributions to causes like Habitat for Humanity are a precious example to all. Wish him well as he fights brain cancer in his 90th year.

            -When you watch what Ed Gadomski has done with the Tri-State Baseball League and listen to the almost universal respect and admiration from players and fans of the league you can’t help but wonder what the Torrington Titans were thinking when they in a round-about way pushed him out as GM after one season.  Maybe that’s in part why the Titans are where they are now. Knowledgeable and affable, he was their best public relations too and was their best chance to maximize potential. As they say, water over the dam at this point, but it makes you wonder.

            -As we roll into the school year it is nice to see Torrington High Athletic Director Mike McKenna back in his position. A poor idea and poorly floated idea last winter had McKenna and Mike Fritch (Middle School) being replaced by a central figure in the main office which made no sense financially and showed a lack of understanding of what this job demands. All is well, however, and it is good to see both back even if they never left.

            On another A.D. note, Thomaston has replaced the new with the old and the new. Jen Ewart has resigned after about a year and a half on the job and will be replaced by both A.J. Bunel and Alex Sconziano.  Bunel is a music teacher and the boys varsity basketball coach while Sconziano”s name  should ring a bell having held the job for five years prior to Bill Ryan  and was the Bears baseball coach before the Bob McMahon regime.

            -Two end of the summer laments if I may – no Fenway Park and no Block Island. I went to four parks this summer, Citizen’s Bank in Philadelphia, Wrigley and Cellular Field in Chicago and Miller Park in Milwaukee.  All but Philadelphia I had never been to. It is just strange to not have made it to Fenway. Every summer should include one game at Fenway whether the Red Sox are good or are polluting the city like this year.  As for Block Island it is just one of the best places you will go any time. A small gem that lures you back for life. Maybe next summer. Check that, definitely next summer.

            -Yale Bowl is going artificial turf after this year and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. I was raised on Yale football and spent many glorious afternoons watching the Sons of Eli. I am a traditionalist. Somewhere here I have some of the Yale turf that I plucked after a Harvard game. There is much logic in the move, opening the venue for use including intramurals, varsity soccer, other events, etc.  But, I feel like I’m losing something. I don’t know.

            -I have known Steve Barlow of the Waterbury Republican for a long time and his sports stuff has always been top notch. But his recent series of articles on aspects on the Flood of 1955 was really, really outstanding. I’ve always thought sportswriters were some of the best writers anywhere and he is a good example. It was solid, good reading.

            -Had a chance to talk to former Housatonic Valley baseball and football coach Mike DeMazza and he reminded me that this is the 25th anniversary of the Mountaineers state finalist team which lost to Derby. I covered the Mountaineers that year and it was one great ride from Falls Village to Southern Connecticut’s Jess Dow Field.

            The names come flooding back – Brian Mollica, Todd Backer, Steve Ongley, Jason Marshall, James Hemingway and so many more. Fiery coach Mike Guy and Saturday afternoons in the both with Marshall Miles, Gary `Bubba’ Smith and of course Mr. Dan Lovallo.  You remember people, players and years like that. So much fun.

            -School starts this week for most schools and within the next week for all schools. So as practice and games begin and everything is equal we wish all athletes health and success.

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