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Winning never gets old

POSTED August 24, 2012
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

                                                  Winning never gets old

            TORRINGTON – Fourteen cameras clicked away for at least five minutes at a bunch of Litchfield Cowboys Wednesday night, only a couple of them being wielded by the media. The rest of the paparazzi were a combination of wives, girlfriends and family members.

            And the subjects were not running away from the flash bulbs. Don’t ever think this winning thing gets old. It doesn’t. for that matter, nor does the losing, you just handle it better. But, Litchfield reminded us, there is no age limit on championship joy.

            On an evening when the Tri-State League did itself  proud one more time in front of an enthusiastic crowd, more than a smattering for sure, at Fuessenich Park, Litchfield outlasted Waterbury, 5-3, to earn its second straight Tri-State title.

               It was one of those nights that oozed baseball with a perfect sky and mild temperatures. Up above the field league Commissioner Ed Gadomski sat incognito in the last row of seats with a what-a-way-to-end-the-season smile on his face. You couldn’t blame him.

            The atmosphere was one of a `happening’ that included a slew of well-known area umpires among them recent Tri-State Hall of Fame inductee Jim Shove and veteran umpire Lou Fracasso. Torrington Titans GM Sandor Stotland and former Torrington Twisters GM Kirk Fredriksson stood along the fence.

            The fans  didn’t pack the house, but they made it hum for the night. And then Litchfield became the fat lady, singing the title song.

            Litchfield doesn’t just like being the fat lady, the Cowboy’s revel in the role. Championships don’t get old, cellulite forever as long as it is singing the song. They forgot the feeling for a while, more than generation in fact. The Cowboys didn’t always wallow but they did always follow.

            There was a finals appearance in 1990 that ended with a loss to Amenia but prior to that the last title was tasted in 1979 when Jimmy Carter was calling the shots in the White House and brother Billy had his own beer.

            Last year, Litchfield put 31 years of frustration in the rear view mirror defeating Tri-Town in the deciding game of the best-of-three series, 7-2. There was a worthy three decade in the making scrum at the pitcher’s mound and player/coach Chris Beach took a pie in the face (the type wasn’t revealed).

            Beach referred to winning the title as “the best (feeling) in the world.” Kyle Weaver, the Moses of the team, having been there longer than anybody donning his first Litchfield uniform in 1995 glowed with satisfaction that he was there but also with watching the younger players enjoy the moment. 

            For all, the moment was new, at least on a post-high school level. The moment remained  new this time around. Winning never gets old, right. The cast of characters was the same in many cases with a few new faces. The stars this time around were different.

            On the hill in 2011, it was Kevin Murray who was the man, finishing the season with an 8-0 mark. Lefty Joey Serafin made it his show this time with a three-hitter and 13 strikeouts. Hey, this guy spent three years in the Chicago White Sox organization and he was pumped about this one. Titles at any level, garnished by temmates that are friends not just friendly teammates are  always big.

            Beach stroked a baby-soft single to right field for two RBI. Adam Claire and Ed Pequignot added RBI singles. A year ago it was Collin Dickinson with a clutch two-run double. Different year, some different stars, same results.

            Litchfield took down the higher seeded Bethlehem Plowboys in the semifinals but looked a little cooked after the first game of the championship series in which Waterbury administered a bit of a spanking with an 11-1 victory.

            Defending champions defend. The Cowboys snuck by, 6-4 in Game 2 and finished the mission Wednesday night.

            Work beckoned Thursday morning and the summer was done. But don’t think it was another game or some kind of small recreation victory. Even in adulthood winning never gets old. We get older, but winning stays fresh.

            Twenty-five year-olds, 30 and above can still jump in jubilation, can still toss pies in the face, high-five, fist-bump and do everything else a championship demands. Maybe they don’t recover as quickly but they feel as good.

            All you had to do was watch those cameras clicking Wed. night and note the smiling faces that were being waxed into perpetuity. Yeh, winning never gets old. Maybe just more appreciated.

            The Litchfield Winter will be a warm one. Like all of those smiles.

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