Video courtesy of Steve Butler (241)
Yvonne Dennis (246)
The muscles have more miles on them, but they haven’t forgotten how to slide, throw curves and make great plays.
Lancers from Central’s 272nd class all the way back to its 225th returned to the home field at Ogontz and Somerville avenues Saturday morning for the first in what they hope will be an annual alumni baseball game.
Many brought their families and friends to watch them play nine innings of officiated hardball and then enjoy a hoagie-and-chips lunch.
“The day couldn’t have gone more perfect,” said Central baseball coach Rich Weiss, who organized the affair with help from Mike Monroe (247) and other volunteers. “It was so nice,” continued Coach Weiss. The players and their families were the “nicest people I’ve ever seen.”
Going back into the locker room brought smiles and fond memories to many. Then, it was on to play.
The Yellow team, captained by Mike Braun (267) and Alan Dashoff (266), led the game at one point 10-1. Monroe’s Marooners steadily chipped away at the lead and in the bottom of the ninth Young Kang (247) stole home to tie the game. Then John Durso (256) singled, scoring a runner from second, for the win.
“Thanks, Coach Weiss and Mike Monroe, for putting this together,” Young Kang said in an email to everyone after the game. “Fun to run around a bit.” He shared a photo of his reddened left shin he called “the price of stealing home.”
Thirty grads played in the game, with 247 having the most representation–seven–of any class.
“Great to see people that we haven’t been in contact with in over 25 years,” said Mike Casella (247) in a post-game email. “Hopefully, we can keep this going every year to help build the baseball program with quality tools to match the quality of our Central student athletes.”
Indeed, money raised from the alumni generosity will allow the baseball team to buy a new pitching machine, which costs $1500; a cart to wheel it anywhere it’s needed on the field; and a generator so it can run without electricity, said Coach Weiss. Besides helping players with their hitting, the machine can be used to lob players fly balls and grounders.
“A great time,” Jim Krzywicki, 248, said of the day’s activities.”Looking forward to more in years to come!”
John Durso said his family had a great time, and: “The student volunteers did an excellent job. Can’t wait for next year!”
“This event was not only a testament that alumni is strong, but the love of the game of those that played the game is and will be forever lasting. The rosters were not of those who simply continued to play the game for the love of the game past their glory days, but pointed to generations of Central baseball as far back as the ’60s … now that’s what you call love of the game and love of a school.
Some will say, the sport isn’t as worldly as it once was but tell that to those ballers way past their prime who ran out grounders, stole bases, stole home, got hit by pitches, turned singles into doubles and celebrated like no other on a walk-off hit in this Crimson and Gold Civil War of bat-men of the past.
Reminiscence, reflection and maybe a little revisionist history were all in heavy supply…there is a little High School Legend in all of us.
What I will take most from this event is that the fellowship of Central Alumni is forever and always strong,
Whether it be Northeast, Washington, Frankford or the Civil War of an Alumni Game covering decades of a school’s finest, the passion to compete and win between lines is forever strong…and that, I dare to say, was born and nurtured at that Institution at Ogontz and Olney.
Go High … Dear Central High!!!
In addition to thanking all of the players and their fans, Coach Weiss thanked Central President Tim McKenna for allowing the field to be used for the alumni game, and the eight student volunteers who helped out as part of their community-service requirement.
Anyone who wished to play this year but wasn’t able to make it should keep an eye out for plans for the second annual alumni baseball game, possibly on the second Saturday in June of 2017. The event could even be expanded to more fun activities that day.
Paul Lewis (225)
Larry Krevolin (225)
Marc Anmuth (228)
Barry Rosenberg (229)
Edward Lavender (239)
Richard Preston Jr (241)
Steve Butler (241)
Arnold Jackson (241)
Scott Etkin (246)
Lenny Colston (246)
Donatian Adams (247)
Jeffrey Bracciale (247)
Mike Monroe (247)
Young Kang (247)
David Metague (247)
Michael Casella (247)
Jason Lavala (247)
Joe Frankina (248)
Mike Wiese (248)
J. Jeremy Gainey (248)
Jim Aversa (248)
Jim Krzywicki (248)
Chris Camburn (251)
John Rabik (256)
John Durso (256)
Matthew Ward (257)
William Brautigam (257)
Bob Johnson (258)
Michael Johnson (258)
Brandon Watson (263)
Kurt Haberle (263)
Ron Daukaus (263)
Alex MacCready (263)
Alan Dashoff (266)
Michael Braun (267)
Kyle Newcomb (272)