[5/1/22 Jason DiPonzio preparing for the first pitch. Except where indicated, photos by David Kramer]
Brighton Town Council Member Jason DiPonzio had not thrown or caught a softball since 2004. Nonetheless, Jason was excited to toss the ceremonial first pitch of the 23rd season of the Game at the Corners played every Sunday at 9:30 am at the Twelve Corners Middle School softball field. SEE ALL ARTICLES AT END
As Jason warmed up, he was surprised by how quickly his softball instincts returned: “It was like riding a bike.” After a few pitches, Jason was landing strikes and fielding the catcher’s return throws with aplomb. His ceremonial first pitch was definitely on the mark.
Jason joined two other Town of Brighton elected officials — all with athletic pedigrees — in throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the season. Town Supervisor William Moehle played baseball and basketball when growing up in Michigan. Councilmember Robin Wilt played and coached rugby. Jason runs marathons.
In The Boys and Girls of Summer complete 22nd season of the Game at the Corners. unofficial commissioner David Esan gives the history of the game:
Before the game, Jason elaborated on his own experiences with baseball and softball:
The game has its roots in pick up games played over 40 years ago at the Hillel School. As families grew, the game disappeared. It started again 23 years ago. The theme is to have fun, and hopefully to pass the love of softball to a younger generation. All are welcome to join us.
Talker: Tell us a little about your personal and professional lives. How long have you been a Town Board member and what motivated you to get involved?
Jason: I have been an attorney for 27 years, being in private practice for the entire time. I started my own practice in 2007 and after working for almost 25 years in Downtown Rochester, I moved my office to an office park off West Henrietta Road in West Brighton. My practice is concentrated on estate planning, estate administration, elder law and real property tax foreclosure litigation. I’m a Rochester area native and I’ve lived in Meadowbrook for 19 years. I’m single and live with my rescue dog, Lupo.
I have been a Town Board member since January 1, 2012, having been elected in November 2011. I became involved with Town matters by submitting my resume for a position on the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2009 and being selected to serve on that board. In 2011, there were 2 openings on the Town Board and based on my service to the town, I was motivated to put my name forward to the Brighton Democratic Committee and was designated to run for one of the 2 open seats.
Talker: What is your previous experience with softball and/or baseball? Have you ever played in an organized league?
Jason: I played Little League baseball when growing up in Gates. I did play in an informal attorneys’ league in the early 2000’s for a few years. We played at Ellison Park and the Harley School. It was great to get together with co-workers outside of the work environment. My softball skills are rusty at best.
Talker: Do you have a favorite baseball team? If so, why did you choose that team?
Jason: I am a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. My mother has family in the Boston area and we would visit our cousins frequently during the summer. The first Major League Baseball game I ever saw was at Fenway Park. It wasn’t easy growing up as a Red Sox fan in an area dominated by Yankees fans. I remember the torture in 4th Grade when Bucky Dent hit his home run to put the Yankees in the lead in a tie-breaker game to see who would represent the AL East in the playoffs.
I remember further torture being a senior in high school and watching the ball go through Bill Buckner’s legs to allow the Mets to win Game 6 of the World Series. Redemption finally came when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. I went to Boston to watch the victory parade.
Talker: I know your main sport is marathon running. How did you get into marathon running? Do you still participate, esp. in runs here in Brighton?
Jason: I’ve been running fairly regularly since college, doing mostly shorter distances. In 2011, I signed up for a distance training program through Fleet Feet to run the Flower City Half Marathon that year. I went on to run marathons in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toronto and Rochester in 2012 and 2013. I’d love to run another one, but between time commitments for my 2 jobs as well as an aging body, I will probably be sticking to shorter distances for the foreseeable future. I do enjoy the 4th of July and the Brighton Believes 5k races here in Brighton.NOTE
¹ I left the game early to go the Market with Jason. According to Ed, we missed an odd event: “On the field: there was a guest appearance by a chicken during the middle of the game. Was this one of your minions sent over from the Farmers Market?” I was not involved in the intrusion.
THE FULL SERIES
2015 Game at the Corners
2016 Game at the Corners
2017 Game at the Corners
2018 Game at the Corners
2020 Game at the Corners (almost)
2021 Game at the Corners