Sectional extravaganza in Brighton

Sectional extravaganza in Brighton

[6/9/21 School of the Art’s Abel Austin hurling against the McQuaid Jesuit High School Knights in the first inning. Photo: David Kramer]

As seen in Sectional Extravaganza on Culver Road, on Monday SOTA and Brighton advanced to to the Section V quarterfinals, both playing almost exactly a mile apart as the crows fly, assuming they fly straight, on Culver Road.

On Wednesday, the teams played almost exactly a mile apart as the crows fly, assuming they fly straight: the SOTA Silverhawks at McQuaid’s Father Richard Noonan, S.J., Field and the Spencerport Rangers vs. the Brighton Bruins at the Brighton Baseball field at Buckland Park.

6/9/21 First inning action. The scoreboard was not working properly. What appears as 0 – 0 was actually 10 – 0 McQuaid. [Photo: David Kramer]

The SOTA v. McQuaid game was unbalanced. Playing without two starters, the Silverhawks came out tentative, dropped several fly balls in the first inning, and fell behind 18-0. The final was 29 – 0. Nonetheless, SOTA had a stellar season, winning the City Tournament and the opening round of the sectionals.

(left) legendary Franklin Coach Eddie Lee (see East falls just short. And views from the press box) was on hand; (right) SOTA parent and booster Roger Janezic. (see Sectional Extravaganza on Culver Road ). After advancing to the quarterfinals, Roger said this game was gravy. He was glad the Silverhawks got to play one of the best teams in Monroe County. [Photos: David Kramer]

(left) SOTA scorekeeper Michelle Lepki and Head Coach Willie Mason; (right) Charting pitches in the SOTA dugout. [Photos: David Kramer] See The Battle of the Birds: Eagles and Silverhawks return to Cobb’s Hill in a barnburner

At the Brighton Bruins/Spencerport Rangers game, Bruce Kay, Brighton High School ’81, was in town from Maryland, along with his brother Alan, BHS ’79, from New Jersey. Their father, Robert, a former engineer at Harris Corporation who found his retirement avocation helping the elderly master the internet at the JCC and do their taxes, joined his sons at the game at Buckland Park. This was the first sporting event the three attended together since going to Silver Stadium in the 1970s.

This was Bruce’s first BHS baseball game ever, whether as Barons or Bruins. Bruce had watched the Barons fall in the basketball sectionals at the War Memorial his senior year. The loss hurt, and in his adolescent imagination, Bruce decided he never wanted to repeat the feeling.

Brighton’s Matt Howe # 10 6/09/21 [Photo: Bruce Kay]

Bruce enjoyed being outside in the June Rochester weather, having escaped the cicadas and sticky mid atlantic heat already enveloping Maryland. The three men took photos, vying for selection in the article. Alan used an iphone, that while expensive and fancy, can never match the sensor box, pixels and zooming ability of a real camera. Bob went old school SONY ALPHA100, harkening back to his days at Harris. Bruce was given Talker’s back up Canon Power Shot ∈ιρh 180.

While the featured photo on Talker’s homepage was taken by Talker and chosen by Talker, Bruce’s images made the cut, especially when capturing the dejection of the Bruins who saw the season slip through their fingers in the last inning, not unlike what the basketball Barons felt in 1981.

6/09/21 [Photo: Bruce Kay]

The game was a see saw contest. The Bruins rallied to take a 5 – 4 lead going into the seventh.  But the Rangers scored five runs, and a Bruin final surge fell short with the tying runners on base. Spencerport prevailed 9 – 7.

Sounding like an old man when pointing to some Brighton defensive lapses in the later innings, Bruce complained the overall skills of high schoolers have deteriorated since his era. They seem to lack the fundamentals he learned in Clarence Mepham’s gym class where students were made to practice bunting skills inside with softballs placed on cones.

As Bruce left cicada free Buckland Park under perfect western New York early summer skies, while his level of actual caring was low and while the loss did not come close to matching the disappointment at the War Memorial 40 years ago, Bruce wished his first – and quite well last – Brighton baseball game turned out differently.

Bruce blamed the loss on Talker’s absence (who was umpiring at Cobb’s Hill). Bruce overlooks that Talker provided the Canon Power Shot ∈ ιρh 180.

Early afternoon 6/9/21. At McQuaid’s Father Richard Noonan, S.J., Field, Bruce Kay (left) and David Kramer display the fundamentals taught them by Brighton PE teacher Clarence Mempham, photos, Alan Kay. On Kay and Kramer, see A 1997 trip to deep Peru retracing the Shining Path. On the bat, see  The Big Stick is back. And a mystery. Kramer in McQuaid Knight’s cap. Kramer’s McQuaid golf shirt a gift from McQuaid English Department chair and varsity golf coach Dan Gorton from An eerie quiet at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton


Fans often don’t realize the work done by the groundskeepers to make the game enjoyable, even if one’s team’s does not win.

At McQuaid. the facilities manager explained the steps involved in prepping the field. The grass is mowed.

6/9/21 [Photos: David Kramer]

The bases are placed.

The mound is leveled off and clay added. The basepaths are raked; outfield and infield lines painted and the batter’s boxes chalked.

Yesterday, grooming and manicuring the field was relatively easy. The Monday rain  had watered the grass and by Wednesday any mud in the infield was dried. If conditions are really bad, games are usually just cancelled as the wet clay surface becomes unplayable.

In Memory of MIKE FENNEL: McQuaid Varsity Baseball Coach, 1992-2002, 222 Wins • 45 Losses, HUSBAND ◊ FATHER ◊ COACH ◊ FRIEND, The Kind of Coach I Like To Have Played For

The baseball diamond during the pandemic from An eerie quiet at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton

At the Brighton Baseball field at Buckland Park, Carlos, employee of Plant Concepts, was mowing the outfield grass.

6/9/21 (left) Carlos at the Brighton Baseball field at Buckland Park; (right) Sculpted hat from the 2007 Charlotte County Redfish. See The inscribed brick pavers at Buckland Park in Brighton

In turns out, Carlos once played professional baseball. Living in Rochester for several years now, Carlos grew up in Florida. At age 24, Carlos was recruited as a pitcher to play for the independendent Charlotte County Redfish. The Redfish only lasted one season, 2007, and Carlos hurt his arm after two or three games, effectively ending his professional career. Carols mentioned it’s a little ironic that he now often works on baseball fields. Back then, baseball was his thing, but now he rarely watches the sport; life changes. Carlos has nothing but positive memories from his truncated time with the Redfish, adding that everything happens for a reason.

6/9/21 (left) Brighton Recreational Department summer worker Mike DeSain in the Buckland Park Garage; (right) normally the outfield lines are painted on Thursday, but done a day early because of the sectional game. See  The inscribed brick pavers at Buckland Park in Brighton

Summer employee Mike DeSain (Palmyra-Macedon High School, Alfred University were he plays lacrosse) explained that the Brighton Recreational Departments does all field maintenance, except for chalking home plate done about an hour before games. For Mike, working for the Rec Dept is an ideal summer job: its outside, his co-workers are great and he enjoys working with the equipment. Mike agrees that years from now he’ll probably reminisce about the carefree summer of ’21 when he painted outfield lines at Buckland Park.

[Please leave comments below at end]

On McQuaid Jesuit High School

An eerie quiet at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton

On Brighton Baseball

Brighton fans celebrate hometown hero Ernie Clement in victory

All SOTA articles


Sectional Extravaganza on Culver Road

The Battle of the Birds: Eagles and Silverhawks return to Cobb’s Hill in a barnburner


Keeping score at Cobb’s Hill

Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb’s Hill series


SOTA’s Kenny Cruz awaits call from the big leagues. Bill Pucko “borrows” Talker’s nickname: Cruz Control


SOTA’s Kenny “Cruz Control:” from a Silverhawk to a Scarlet Knight

The Kenny Cruz watch: highest ranked outfielder in NYS, 22nd in the nation

East baseball triumphs again; SOTA’s Kenny Cruz named RCAC player of the year


No off season for SOTA’s rising baseball star. Oh, Kenny also currently has the highest GPA in the entire RCSD.

On Bruce’s baseball screenplay treatment 

Bruce returns from Cambodia with “Umpire State”

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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