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Jun 012014

“On June 1, 1978 the Ashtabula Star Beacon published an article titled “4 Streaks Honored All Star Team? Color It Blue“.

The author read this article just prior to a drive to Columbus, Ohio to participate in the Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Team Class A State Championship.  There was not one player or coach from the Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Team who made the all Northeastern Conference (NEC) Baseball either on the first team, second, team, or honorable mention.  Just the year before in 1977 the Ashtabula St. John Baseball Team had won the NEC with a win over Ashtabula Harbor that came after a player hitting a triple in the bottom of last inning of play. Several Ashtabula St. John Heralds Baseball Team made the all NEC Baseball Team in some capacity including the coach in 1977. While the Ashtabula St. John Heralds Baseball Team in 1978  did not win the NEC in 1978 the team did finish the year with a respectable record and placed third in the conference populated by larger schools.

Looking at the article itself the hitter with the highest average batted .441 according to the article. There was at least one Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Player with a better average whether looking at all games combined or just the NEC who also hit with power and  lead his team in all offensive categories including number of walks, batted in the cleanup spot of fourth the entire year, played full time, made no errors the entire season, and did not strike out once the entire season. There were also several other players on the Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Team who arguably and had better NEC seasons than several of the players named to the NEC Baseball All Star Team.

What happened in 1978 ? On June 1, 1978 while in Columbus this author was a player on the St. John Heralds Baseball Team and asked the Head Coach of the Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Team with several other players present how could it be that not one person made the NEC Baseball All Star Team from the St. John Heralds Baseball Team. The only thing the Head Coach said (even when asked additional questions by players that evening such as why he did not go to the meeting) was that he did not attend the meeting held to pick players and coaches. Per a recent conversation with then Harbor Coach Pavolino who made the NEC Baseball All Star Team in 1978 as co-Coach of the Year in the NEC : In 1978 and other years during that time period coaches would meet every year to vote on the NEC All-Star Team at the Ashtabula Star Beacon.

The Ashtabula Star Beacon was about a quarter of a mile from where the then Ashtabula St. John Head Coach reportedly lived and perhaps a mile from the Ashtabula St. John High School itself on Station Avenue in Ashtabula. The current author, awakened by the 2008 article in the Ashtabula Star Beacon which is the genesis of this series of articles, is searching for answers to the question of why not one of the St. John Heralds Baseball Team members in 1978 was selected to the NEC Baseball All Star Team—as well as a few other answers


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Louis DeCola, Jr.  © 2014                                    The Hygiology Post ®