Little League Ledger Lets Loose Cascade Of Memories

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

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Little League ledger lets loose cascade of memories

Print Email >Lee Thompson | lthomps2@mlive.com By Lee Thompson | lthomps2@mlive.com The Bay City Times

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on July 12, 2009 at 8:00 AM, updated July 13, 2009 at 9:21 AM

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Lee Thompson Bay City Times

Matt Taylor is a teacher, a state champion coach and co-founder of the local junior golf program.

But, first and foremost in my memory, he's still that 12-year-old pitcher at Northwest Little League.

Taylor was the starter for Gephardt Funeral Home in the 1979 season opener against my Hirschfield and Son team, and I was the leadoff hitter.

He was far bigger than I. Who wasn't? The only reason I was batting leadoff was because my strike zone was too small for anybody to find three times in one at-bat.

But I had a plan.

I squared around, showing a bunt and - just like a saw a kid named Tom Welch do on that same field a few years earlier and thought was so cool - I pulled my bat back at the last second and swung away.

And on the first pitch of the first game of the year - Mother's Day, of course - I lined a single to right off Matt Taylor.

I knew then it would be a big 12-year-old season for me and the Green Machine.

It wasn't. Hirschfield went 9-11 and I batted .213.

And while you and Taylor have to take my word for that first hit, those final statistics have been verified. Because at Northwest Little League, all the stats since 1960 are on record - preserved for nearly 50 years by Kenneth "Lefty" McComb.

And when I wrote of those stats last week, I received a flood of interest and a cascade of memories.

As this year's Little League district tournament wraps up its portion at DeFoe Park this weekend, it's only fitting to share some of those memories today. Here's a sampling, and more can be found on Mlive.com.

Feel free to add your own, from any time, any team, any town.

Ed Clements, Beson's Market '87: "My little league memory would be making a diving catch in left center field on a ball hit off the bat of Keith Villano. I robbed him of a hit, he was so mad. He even says to this day that it was a routine play, but since I was so slow I turned it into a diving catch."

Kevin Derocher, Beson's Market '86: "Unfortunately, my best memory would be making the last out for our All-Star team that went to states after winning the districts. I can still see the curve ball that started at my knees and ended up strike three."

George Whittaker, Gephardt Funeral Home '92: "I remember the take sign, The Fist. If you did not take, you got hit. I never swung with the take sign, because of Big Randy."

Mike Debo, Rechsteiner Trenching '78: "Little league has a lot of memories, from having opening day on Mother's Day, to the thrill of summer nights playing under the lights with the old DeFoe scoreboard, to having Mr. Icon of NWLL, Mr. Ty Malecki, being our pitching coach. He would only allow me to throw one curveball an inning. I would have to look over at him in the dugout and he would give me the nod to use it as he tugged on his hat."

Dave Pembroke, Riley's Body Shop '98: "I was 10 years old playing on a team loaded with older kids. I was so intimidated because I saw all these kids at school and none of them really knew me, but I knew who they were. I got my first shot to play with them and was put in at second base and couldn't wait to have a ball hit at me. Only one was hit my way and I made the most of it. It was a short pop up over first base and into shallow right field. The right fielder couldn't get to it and the kid playing first was too slow to get there. I made what today stands as the greatest catch I have ever made. It was a fully stretched out dive into foul territory. I must have slid 10 feet when I hit the ground. I will never forget this as long as I live."

Joe DeLorge, F.O.P. '78: "My favorite memory was after the games getting baseball cards and penny baseball gum."

Jerry Lemuel, Riley's Body Shop '79: "It was an early Saturday morning makeup game. It was the first inning, I was batting fourth. My coach Dick Hayman always said if one of his boys hit a grand slam, he would retire. I did and so did he."

George Schwab, Ford Clothier '62: "I remember when the lights were installed, what a big deal that was! As I recall, I hit a home run that broke a light bulb before they had turned them on for the first time."

Tim Martin, Rechsteiner Trenching '75: "It was alway such an honor to hear your name called over the loud speaker. I have two fond memories from those years. The first was when I hit a home run into one of the trash cans that were around the outfield. The second was the last regular season game of my career at the NW fields. It was my first time as a pitcher. I believe I threw a two-hit shutout. My coach asked why I hadn't pitched all year. I said 'You never asked me to.'"

Ron Casper, Peters Manufacturing '66: "My brother Don was a better player then I was. But I still enjoyed playing against him -- and beating him both times."

Other letters to Lee T

Dan Burger, Traxler Disposal

I read your article and thought it would be pretty cool to get my old stats. I played for Traxler Disposal for two yrs. I don't remember the exact yrs but I think it was 1979 and 1980. ( It was the same yrs St Peter played, they beat us for best record the season I was 12) If I remember correctly I might have had one of the worst batting averages of any kid who started as many games as I did. I couldn't hit a baseball to save my life. I think I had 2 hits and about 10 walks and a lot of strikeouts the yr I was 12. I think the only reason I got to play at all was because I could play the field. I started most games at 3rd or center field. I knew after that last season I was never going to be a pro baseballer so when I got into high school I thought it would be better to try something else in the springtime and running track turned out to be great times. Nowadays I'm a soon to be unemployed autoworker for GM working down in Lake Orion. I live in Kawkawlin but might have to leave the area. I hope not though. Thanks for doing this. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks again.

Dave McPeak, Gephardt '96:

My name is Dave McPeak and I loved your article Sunday on Northwest Little League. I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to play at Northwest. I have so many great memories from playing there it is hard to single some out. A few of my favorites were being able to play night games, hitting 4 homeruns my 12 year old year,playing for the All-Star team, and winning the championship my 12 year old year. I am currently 25 and I am a teacher at H.H. Dow high school in Midland and an assistant coach on the varsity baseball team there. I also am an assistant coach on John Glenn's freshman football team. I would love it if you could retrieve my numbers for me. I believe I played from 1994-1996, 1994 I played for Beson's and '95-'96 I played for Gephardt's funeral home. I think in '94 I only hit around .100. '95 I probably hit about .250 with two homeruns. '96 I think I hit .405 with four homeruns. I cant wait to hear back from you and see what my numbers actually were. Thank you so much for doing this and I am so happy that we had someone like Lefty to keep our great memories in mint condition.

Kevin Michalak, Rally's '96:

Lee, I have always heard of Lefty keeping the stats and would love to see mine. I would also be interested in seeing what some of my friends numbers were, any chance of getting to take a look at the books? Please send me any stats you have on me Kevin Michalak I played for Rally's from 94-96.

I will always be remembered by NWLL all stars in 96 when before a game in bp I hit a line drive back to the pitcher that hit my coach in the genitals!

John Richardson, Riley's/Traxler coach

You wrote a great article about Lefty and his scorekeeping prowess, of which he was very proud of. Your dad would have been proud of you and the article that you wrote about his old buddy Lefty. Your dad, Lefty and Don Sauter were inseperable for many a year. I was a Little League Manager for Riley's Body Shop in the late 70's and early 80's and alsoTraxler's in the mid-80's. I was also very lucky to have coaches like Ty Malecki, Jerry Burley, Joe Howard and John Sursley, who were previous managers but decided to come back, lend a helping hand and share some of their baseball knowledge with the kids. When I was President of NWLL, your dad was the League Secretary/Treasurer and Lefty was the scorekeeper and announcer. Both of them had been at NWLL for a number of years and they gave me a great insight when working with parents and other coaches.

Anyway, when I read your article, some of the kids that you mentioned (Joe Manor, Mike Debo, Mike Villano) all played for me and brought back some memories. I also had a couple of boys that played in the late 70's. John Richardson in 1978 and Kevin Richardson in 1979. If you still have Lefty's records; please look up these two and I'll let them know what they really batted when they were 12 years old. Also, please look of Matt Burley, who played in 1978 or 1979. I see Matt once in a while and I'd like to hold something over his head.

I'm sure Lefty will like the article that you wrote but he may have a tear in his eye.

Tom McFarland, Hartley & Hartley coach:

hi lee, saw your good story about n.west little league. what a good story, brings back a lot of memories. you proably know i coached and umpired there for about 10yrs. with s.snover, b.st.peter, mr. burley, and the likes. we all put in a lot of hours. my teams i had mike kayner, mike lechner, todd prachan, jeff mc farland,matt and timmy taylor,etc. we had some pretty good teams and great kids to coach,that might have been late 70s early 80s. anyway it was a good time. one more thing the villano boys were in that era. mike v. went on to play pro, but you know that. great story see you later, tom m.

John Bleck, Bateson Brothers '75:

My name is John Bleck and I played ball from 1973 to 1975. Lefty and my dad Gene were very good friends and golf partners. Golfing every Tuesday night at Maple leaf golf course. My brothers Ed and Tom ran the press box on those nights. I played for Bateson Brothers and I am very interested of what my batting and pitching stats were. Lefty was a very good friend of my fathers. Also could you send stats for my brother Ed. He played for Hatley and Hartley from 1964 to 1967. He retired from the navy and now lives in the Philippines. I think there was only one player to homer off of me in the three yeasrs i played and his name was Joe Lalonde. Please send them if you can I'd love to see them.

Dave Pembroke

The first memory came when I played in the 8 & 9 year old minors division. It was the championship game at that level. The temperature outside was 102 degrees. The parents wanted the game to be canceled because of the heat. I was jsut a kid and wanted to play regardless of what the weather was. Anyways, it was the last inning and my team had a one-run lead. There were runners on second and third with one out. I was pitching and the kid batting was Aaron Craves. He hit a line-drive at me and I caught it before it went threw my legs. The kid at third thought it got through and was headed home. I jogged to third base, touched it for the third out and that was it. We were 9 & 10 year old champs.

The greatest memory I have to this day came in my second year in the majors. I was 11 years old and had become a starter most every game. We were playing who would eventually end up league champs. I believe it was Spencer's team because I remember they were always good. They ended up with one loss that year and it came off of my bat. I was up to bat with a full count, bases loaded, two outs, and in the bottom of the tenth I believe. The score was 16-15, we were down one run. I remember the pitch it was and how it looked to this day. It was a lazy curve ball that sailed right into my zone and I crushed it over the left field fence and over the slide out there for a game-winning walk off grand slam. On my way to first base I was so excited that I missed the bag but immediately went back and touched it, kind of like how Mark McGwire missed first base when he hit his 62nd home run in the 1998 homerun race. Rounding third I took my helmet off and threw it in the air. As soon as I touched homeplate I was mobbed by my teammates. I was crushed against the backstop and eventually ended up on the bottom of the pile. This is the greatest memory I have while playing for NWLL. The pitcher I hit it off was Chris Eichorn. I went to school with him and played high school football and baseball next to him. I remember all through high school reminiscing with him about that homerun. He never forgot about it, and I will never either.

Anways, I could go on forever about memories I have while playing for NWLL. I am curious though about my stats while I played in the majors. When you get a chance, could you please send me those. Thank You!

Dave Pembroke

Mike Kayner, Gephardt '79:

Lee, My son just played his first year of minor league at Northwest. He wants to know how dad did after his grampa showed him the article the other day. If you could send stats to me from when I played that would be appreciated. Hartley & Hartley 77, Gephardt's 78 and 79. Keep up the good work!

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    This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

    Source : http://www.mlive.com/sports/bay-city/index.ssf/2009/07/little_league_ledger_lets_loos_1.html

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