It was in late May, 1978 that my Grandfather, Ralp Penna, came home from his then annual Winter trip from Florida. He had usually come back several weeks earlier and had watched nearly all my baseball games in high school, Little League and Big League. When I saw him he told me that he was happy and proud that I was helping my parents and doing well in school. We had communicated while he was gone but I had not mentioned in detail about the high school baseball season which had started the month before. I will never forget what he told me after he saw the last regular season game (ironically, the first high school game he saw that year) against Harbor High School:
“Louie, people are coming up to me…who have been going to the games…parents, like the Detores and Brenkus and Howe and Mosinski and others…and even that coach of yours from Big League, Fritz,…they are all saying the same thing. They are telling me that you are the reason the team has been doing so well and is going to the state championship…”
The St. John Herald Baseball Team had won the Class A Sectional and Class A Regional Baseball Tournament games in 1978 and would soon be going to Columbus, Ohio to compete for the Class A State Championship. In less than two weeks I would be graduating from high school. Listening to my grandfather speak the truth and beaming was the highlight of high school and by far the happiest day of my life thus far.
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Louis DeCola, Jr. © 2014 The Hygiology Post ®