I sent this letter to the 2008 McKay Club Beacons. I wanted to share these comments with those who take the time to read this Blog:
To The McKay Club Beacons of 2008
Forty years ago I began a Baseball Journey. That journey has brought me to many benches full of bright, young energetic faces full of a love of the GAME! I have experienced the joy of watching players develop in Little League, Babe Ruth, American Legion, College Ball and in the Yawkey Baseball League.
My journey has been a labor of love not just for the GAME but for my kids.I was never a good player, but I watched enough baseball to learn the intricacies of the game. By osmosis -- I guess, baseball became a fabric of my makeup. Many people in City Hall refer to me as Big Dave the Baseball Guy. I like that. I developed a cable show called the Boston Baseball Heads last year to take my love of the game a bit further. I also have been welcomed to the table to share announcing duties on the YBL Games of the Week.
My time in the Yawkey League sustains me every year. I am sad that I will not get any more TM’s about guys being late or that they are “almost to the park”. I will miss Nick O’Keefe’s late night phone calls! I will miss the numerous TM’s and calls from “GM” Reinfurt every day! I will also miss being a part of your lives until next spring. I am 55 years old, but you would never know it. I am as young as you are, because of the vitality I share every night when I sit on that bench and work with you.Two years ago, I was carted out of City Hall. I was dying! I ballooned to over 450lbs and my health was affected to the point that I was placed in a weight loss program, which helped me lose 120lbs.
That day, when I was a bit delirious in the ambulance and in the EW, I kept saying, “what are my kids going to do?”. The MD’s & RN’s attending to me told me that when I was revived. I was talking about YOU. You guys and the hundreds of others who have sat on that bench with me over a period of 40 years are the sons I never had.
We had a lot of fun this summer. I do believe we shocked some of the cocky teams in the YBL. I know Somerville, Malden, East Boston, South Boston and Revere will not forget the games they played against the 2008 Beacons. You were an offensive power house in the top 3 this summer! Pitching was solid, but not as deep as needed to get us to the top.
Our defensive team came to maturity when a little guy with a huge baseball heart joined us in mid June. Ryan Oshima is a baseball dynamo. He made some plays that I will never forget and he was an absolute pest at the plate.
Our team Captain “Happy Jack” Owens is one of the finest young men I have met in baseball. He leads by example. Jack is a hard nosed-gritty tough player, who never quits. A coaches dream!
I want to thank Dan Ciocca for opening the door to the many wonderful players who play UMass Boston Baseball. Your efforts will never be forgotten!
Our infield anchored by Oshie at SS; Connor Reinfurt at 1B; Dan Ciocca at 2B and The Brad Gerbus Experience at 3B was dazzling at times. Those close BIG GAME victories would never have been possible without your solid play and strong arms.
In the Outfield we had the Captain in CF tracking down tumultuous drives and making diving catches. To his right was an incredible athlete – Drew Tambling. Fast, aggressive and a top threat at the plate. Our young friend from Emerson, “PK” - Peter Karl was amazing all year long. Who will ever forget the pick me up catch & throw to the plate to nail the runner to save the win at Malden!
Behind the plate is a master of the “tools of ignorance” – Andy McAllister. It frustrates me why he never gets any league wide recognition. But, that is fine by Andy. He always had a solid in the clutch bat for us when needed.Our pitchers upgraded this franchise in 2008.
Mike Barthel was a bull on the mound all year long. No one was more disappointed than Mike when he did not succeed. But that was rare. His return to the ball club made us a contender. Mike’s bat is always solid – but - never more affective than in 2008.
Adam Kulis grew some huge balls in 2008! I admire his kewl handed approach to the game. His performance against Somerville a 1-0 loss was just marvelous. Adam is now one of the top pitchers in the YBL! Also, thanks to Amity and congratulations on your degree.
Brian Curran will be a force in the YBL in 2009 if he makes a decision to play for one team – the Beacons! No one will ever forget his mastery over Malden in that 3-2 win!
Nick O’Keefe is a classic lefty! His wins against Savin Hill and the Brighton Braves were great. He pitched 4 innings and did not get the win against Chelsea but deserved the victory. He is a true character as well fun – with a bright future. I do believe if Nick was 100% healthy – we would have been in 1st place in our division.
Ryan Thomas is a great friend of this team. He could drop us in a minute and get on a better YBL team, but he stays because he likes it here. Ryan is a quiet leader, who also is nasty on the bump. I value his advice and presence. I also have to thank Stephanie. She is a huge part of our Club.
Big Baby! This youngster also has a huge baseball heart! I predict many star filled years for this kid. He can not only pitch, but he plays the field and hits. Jonathan Pelletier’s two victories in relief were a tremendous part of our success.
Sean Sandonato was stronger and more aggressive in relief in ’08. He will only get better as helps to lead Bentley College. He is a dog on the mound and fun to be with on the bench. I hope we will need him more as a “closer” in ‘09.
Tom Michael will be a starting player in this league in ’09 if he can make a 100% commitment. He will also be a threat on the bump as a starter as well.
Alva Drucker was loyal right to the end. He was a great asset to this team helping prepare pitchers before and during games. His abilities were over shadowed by Andy, but he stayed the course and I respect that.
Brendan Lahr was another vital part of our bench. He never shut up on the bench and was energetic at all games. He always backed up his team even though he had limited PT.
It will be nice if we could add good guys like young Tom Connolly from Quincy and Danny “Baseball” Sweeney in ’09. They will help to bring us to a championship level.
I also want to thank: Carl Rodriguez, Nando Trindade and Tom Prykucki for thier contributions in 2008. We missed you the rest of the way.
Once again -- many thanks boys. Keep in touch if you ever need anything just give me a call.