Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt pitches in at the Game at the Corners

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Robin Wilt, 5/6/18. [Photo: Nicholas Wilt]

Melissa Barrett

Melissa Barrett after a campaign stop at the Game at the Corners. 2016. From On the electoral road with Melissa Barrett

Last Sunday marked Opening Day of the 19th season of the Game at the Corners played at Brighton’s Twelve Corners Middle School. The players were a bit rusty after a long winter of bowling.  Nonetheless, we had a spirited 7 on 7 game.  As the season progresses, we hope to fill out our rosters — and that means you at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday!

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This year the Game saw a first: Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt threw out the ceremonial first pitch.  Robin is also a Democratic primary candidate for Representative of the 25th Congressional District of New York. As far as we know, Robin is the first elected official to join the Game.

After warming up on the sidelines, Robin hurled a strike to Neil Rogachevsky with Michael Raff manning second base.  The event was non-partisan and non-political as our players don’t follow politics. All they do is live, breath, talk, drink, taste, touch, smell and sense softball and only softball.  The only election they’ve heard of is for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Note: Two years ago we did have Melissa Barrett, then candidate for Monroe County Judge make a cameo campaign stop en route to the Brighton Market. Alas, Melissa was wearing her campaign outfit and could not join the Game.

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Robin hurling a strike to Neil Rogachevsky with Michael Raff manning second base, 5/6/18 [Photo: David Kramer]

We caught up with Robin for her observations on the historic moment.

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Unwrapping the ceremonial ball. [Photo: David Kramer]

What was your thinking process as you prepared for and threw out the first pitch of the season?

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[Photo: Nicholas Wilt]

My concerns were from the tree of low-hanging fruit. I wanted to avoid a wardrobe malfunction, injury to myself or others, or any other form of mortal embarrassment.

When you were warming up, we saw some hand eye coordination talent. I know softball is not really your sport, but what is your athletic past — and present?

Robin warming up

Talker warming up with Robin. [Photo: Nicholas Wilt]

Although softball is in my very distant past (elementary school), I have been a competitive rugby player for many years, and I coached my son’s team when he was in 6th grade. I played rugby all through college and for many years after college on club teams.

We discussed sports figures who became politicians such as Jim Bunning who is in the baseball Hall of Fame and was a US Senator. You mentioned Olympian and Congressman Ralph Metcalfe. What stands out about Metcalfe?

Ralph Metcalf, having been a contemporary of Jesse Owens and run on the same 4×100 team that secured a gold medal in the 1936 Berlin games, was a champion for justice. Although nowhere near as distinguished as him as an athlete, I certainly aspire to stand for justice in the same way he embodied.

Brighton was recently voted the best town in New York to live. How does the Game at the Corners add to its reputation?

The Game of the Corners is played on the very site that canonically represents so much of what people love about Brighton. Brighton is a community that values education, diversity, and sustainability. The Twelve Corners campus is the heart of our excellent school system, within sight of the diverse cultural amenities offered by our town, and part and parcel to the walkable and sustainable development that is at the core of Brighton.

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You are running for Representative of the 25th Congressional District of New York. If you prevail, what can you promise the players? Free softballs, perfect Sunday weather?

I can promise the players that I will always be around to entertain a first pitch of the season.

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