|Posted by romeraiders on July 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM|
Some teams have real spark plug type players on their roster. I go back to that Rome team from the 60's and remember hearing and watching Roger Boos with Dickie Higbie.
was probably about a foot shorter than Dick and to Roger it was all serious business. Watching him play was a lesson in intensity, wearing the Rome uniform with Rome spelled out in block print was serious business to these guys. They set an example of competitiveness .
Dick was more quiet than Roger but he also took the game seriously. He was also an assistant Boy Scout leader with Roger Emery so a number of us got to know him in that setting as well. I can remember Dick telling us way back when we'd ask him about pitching, that a pitcher was doing a pretty good job if he could keep his earned run average below four.
Dickie was tall, he would pitch amd catch, he probably played other spots too. I can remember after the Rome team folded, going along with his family to games in Palmyra as Dick would then play there. Dick's wife would make fried egg sandwiches, pack them up and off we'd go to watch the games.
I think Chet might have played and pitched some for Palmyra too later on at the end of his playing days. I saw Chet this year at the Memorial Day program in Rome, I asked him if he was still working for the Brewers as an usher, he said no, he quit when he was 80. He's 84 now and still looking good.
About six years ago at the Rome Memorial Day program I was walking down to the bridge with my family when I saw Chet walking in the crowd. I thought we'd have a little fun, I said hey Chet, show my son Kyle , who was about 13-14 then, how to throw a curveball. Chet loved it and as we were walking Chet was giving a pretty animated lesson on how to throw the curve, the grip, wrist and hand action, the whole bit.
Chet had also been one of my coaches when I was young. Later on in the season when Kyle was pitching in a Teener league game he was really breaking off some nice off speed pitches. All of us coaches were wondering where that was coming from as we all just kind of wanted the boys to work on locating the fastball. I asked Kyle about it later and he said dad, remember that man out at Rome, he taught me how to throw the curve ball. I guess the 2-3 min. lesson walking down the street together had worked .
I don't know if we really had that feisty spark plug type player in my six years with the team. If you are going to talk that kind of talk you need to walk the walk. The closest we had to that was maybe coach Ira Adsit who I already mentioned in a previous post. His son played and Ira suited up and helped out. If Ira said there were communists on top of the hill across from the ball park, we would have been right behind him going up the hill to get them.
My seventh and eighth grades found us Rome kids all being shipped to Palmyra for junior high. Our freshman year found us being shipped back to Jefferson for high school. The border war for what district would have Rome would finally end. My older brother went all four years to Palmyra for high school, I went to Jefferson. Keith Hoffman went to Palmyra for high school and his younger brother Kent went to Jefferson. It was a pretty hot topic for especially some of the dads in town. In hindsight it meant more contacts and friends.
I used to dream about playing on high school teams with the guys from both schools. I'd watch some of the older Rome guys like Bob Gramling and Whitey Landgraff play football for Palmyra, but it wouldn't be where I'd be going for my high school days. Whitey had quite a career playing baseball for Sullivan, he had good power, he also played some college football for Stevens Point if I remember correctly.
All of this however would be the initial opening to invite the old Palmyra classmates like Jerry Carnes, the Moyer brothers, and Ray Jacquith to come over to Rome and play. It would also be the pipeline that brought others like young Dennis Adsit and his dad Ira.