Jun 152014

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

On June 1, 1978 while in Columbus this author was a player on the St. John Heralds Baseball Team asked the Head Coach of the Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Team about why nobody on the team was selected to the NEC All Star Team. The only thing he 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.

If what the Ashtabula Harbor Coach Pavolino said to this author recently was correct that coaches back in 1978 met to select players in a location in which they were all together at the Ashtabula Star Beacon (on the second floor) the fact that they were all together could serve to enhance somewhat the transparency or at least serve as a check to what any one coach presented as supporting evidence for any individual player’s excellence in 1978. (Back in 1978 individual statistical leaders were not presented and updated in the Ashtabula Star Beacon regularly as they are currently and detailed line scores were not shown and when a line score was shown it had less detailed information in the line score.) For example, if a coach in 1978 indicated that a player should be player of the year or on the first team in the outfield because of  certain hitting statistics and fielding statistics such as batting average, number of home runs, runs batted in, on base percentage, fielding percentage, etc. the statistic presented could in theory be checked if (all) other coaches are present. So, by not going to the meeting or sending another coach or person as a representative with information about players or not attending in some manner such as a telephone there would be less transparency about who did what in the NEC that year. And, it could be a way to shield a “favored” player who did not have as good a year as someone else  from say being on the second team, their teammate being on the first team, and then having a difficult time selecting the favored person on the second team be MVP of the Team, All State, or the MVP of the County (as it turned out there was for the first time an All County Team that year chosen by writers versus coaches in the County who apparently do not have the information that the coaches would have in total in choosing the NEC All Star Team).

This author does hypothesize that not wanting there to be transparency and/or shielding at least one player was the motive for the eventual fact that not one Ashtabula Saint John Herald Baseball Team person in 1978 was on the NEC Baseball All Star Team in any capacity in 1978. Had there been transparency The Ashtabula Saint John High School Baseball Team in 1978 would with very little doubt have had at least one player who would have been on the first team if not MVP of the NEC.

That evening (after having asked the Head Coach of the Ashtabula St. John High School Baseball Team about why nobody on the team was selected to the NEC All Star Team) on June 1, 1978 this author who was a player on the Team learned that the Head Coach of the St. John Heralds Baseball Team had selected who he was rooming with: The Equipment Manager. The equipment manager was a senior who was with the Team for four years as equipment manager. The fact that this author was not to room with another player seemed rather odd and was a departure from previous games for this author when the Team had stayed overnight. Previously this author had a choice with whom he had roomed with the night prior to the game. This author retired at about 9:30 A.M. At about 10:00 P.M. the Head coach came in the room and announced that another male Senior, Chris, was also going to stay with the equipment manager and this author who was a player on the team. This author was especially perplexed when he, the Equipment Manager and the Head Baseball Coach took mattresses to the floor so each of us had a mattress bed to sleep. The Head Baseball Coach explained that there not enough beds provided so we would need to sleep with mattresses on the floor. Prior to leaving the room Manager of the Saint John High School Baseball Team pointedly exclaimed to the three of us students who were all seniors set to graduate from high school in about a week that no one was to leave the room for any reason that night. This author’s automatic thought was that the Head Baseball Coach obviously did not mean to stay in the room even if there was an emergency. The situation seemed increasingly more unusual with the arrival of Chris but this author tried to focus on going to sleep to be well rested for the scheduled Class A State Playoff Baseball game tomorrow.

This author said nothing at about 10:10 P.M. when the Head Baseball Coach had said none of the three of us was to leave the room for any reason that night and resumed trying to go to bed now for the second time with the mattress now on the floor between two non-playing high school seniors. June 1, 1978 was turning out to be unusual…


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 this question of what happened in 1978 — as well as a few other answers


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Louis DeCola, Jr.  © 2014                                    The Hygiology Post ®