I’m going with Adrean Post 625, my American Legion summer team in Utica, NY.
I pitched for them during the summers of my sophomore and junior years in high school and learned more during that time than at any other I think.
Coach Mike Macchione, my coach who is still involved with youth baseball in Central New York, was one of the greatest baseball influences in my career.
Who was your favorite team played for growing up and why?
My own personal bad news bears story. Little League. The uniforms were property of the sponsor team. As such, you didn’t pay for them and you didn’t keep them at the end of the season like you do now. There were more kids trying out than the league had sponsors or uniforms so kids were going to be excluded.The coaches didn’t want to dilute their rosters by taking on extra kids or asking sponsors for more uniform money. One parent found another partial sponsor and put up the rest of the money personally. The league didn’t want to have an expansion draft so this coach got all the excluded kids plus his own kid for the new team. When the uniforms came from the printer, instead of BSB on the hats for Brewer Savings Bank, the hats had only the first two letters. We were teased constantly. “You’re team is B S!” We only wore our hats to games because it wasn’t worth all the extra flack being seen in the neighborhood wearing a hat with those letters on it. We players bonded in our misfortune. My father who ended up assistant coaching even convinced a problem child to play for us to complete our roster. This kid could run like the wind. We didn’t win any games but we sure came close a few times. That kid stole home at least a half dozen times and would intentionally get in rundowns and always ended up advancing to the next base or more. By the end of our second year, four of us made the all-star team. Eventually two of us played HS and Legion ball. We were all a whisker’s breadth away from never playing organized ball. At the time, none of us knew what was done for us by that coach. I was told the details a few years later and I was shocked at all the crap that had gone on behind the scenes. I lost respect for a lot of adults over that, but my coach was the best in my opinion. Here’s to you, Coach Hill!