Saturday, July 26, 2008
I was very upset to learn in this morning's Gazette of the passing of Mike Lavinskas. I think a death hits harder when you know the deceased and when he's younger than yourself. I met Mike when I had to compete against him in the South Shore Over the Hill Baseball League in the mid 1970s. He was probably one of the two best pitchers in the league with a fastball that he could hurl near 90 miles an hour. We had never seen a fastball like that before and it was extremely intimidating to bat when he was the opposing pitcher. He hurled for a team called the Junkies and led them them from the bottom to the top of the standings in one year. He was also a good hitter, but most of all he was a gentleman who was well liked by his teammates as well as everyone else in the league. When I first met him he was married to Penny Christiano, but I have learned that he has since married two other times. My condolences go to his whole family; but most of all I'd like one last chance to talk to him of those great days in the 1970s when his blazing fastball most often sent me back to the bench with a K in the scorebook. Good-bye, Mike.