middle school students in classroom wearing masks

No Crying in Baseball

By Chris Murphy

In the early spring of 2021, as a COVID vaccine was rolling out more aggressively across the country, Landmark High School administrators decided to offer an abbreviated athletic season to our students. And it was one for the record books in so many ways.

Below is an adapted version of the end-of-season report from Faculty member and Baseball Coach, Chris Murphy. 

Well, we won 4-0 over Beaver Country Day and finished the 2021 spring baseball season 8-1. Again, Stephen, “the Big Bang” Bangs was the story. He struck out another absurd amount of hitters and ended the season with other-worldly stats. Stephen carries a 6-0 record into history as the best Landmark School pitcher—ever. In 35 innings he struck out 88 batters, walked four guys all season, and ended with a 0.25 ERA.

The game was a 0-0 affair for four innings as our thumpers swung from the heels as the opposing pitcher lobbed an assortment of very slow stuff to over-anxious hitters. We left a million guys on base as the coaches chanted "...a single, a single...my kingdom for a single." Lil' Frosh Josh Small granted our wish with a simple, sharp single up the middle to plate two runs. After that, flubs and dubs by the other team found us with two more runs.

We say good-bye to seniors George Athanasiadis, Stephen Bang, Nick Moruzzi, Jack Pomposelli, and Anthony Sullivan. They lead the team in a goofy but endearing manner and encouraged the younger players at all times. After the game, they wouldn't leave the field, hugged each other and spilled some tears (yes, I told them there is no crying in baseball). They all started this journey four years ago and expected to compete for the Eastern Independent League championship this year until COVID infected those hopes. We will miss their baseball presence. But, fear not baseball enthusiasts. A bevy of very good young players stands us in good stead for next year. 

There is an old opera adage that says "it's not over until the fat lady sings." Lately, the old ball coaches have heard her warming up in the distance. We let the boys know that our time on the baselines is over. We are retired. Finished. Done. When most guys our age are soaking their dentures and getting ready for bed we're hurtling down the long, dark highway in a motorized, tin box crammed to the gills with teenagers and baseball equipment hoping that Chipotle's in Beverly is still open so we can feed the little sluggers before the hangry sets in.

More than once we would have pulled into a rest stop for a quick ten-minute nap if we didn't think we'd wake up hours later in some Ohio corn field with Captain George at the wheel grinnin' and singing some awful country song.

The daily schleppin' and driving is over. We loved the boys, loved being on the field, and had a great time coaching. You can defy age but you can't defeat it. We turn the team over to a  younger generation.

If you catch a game at Cooney Field next year and see a couple of old duffers at the top of the cement bleachers you’ll know it’s just us going over the coulda, woulda, and shouldas. 

Thank you for a great season and a remarkable run.