SPORTS DIGEST By Bill Byham

Sports announcer, writer Bill Byham and famous for "That's 30" signoff

Sports announcer, writer Bill Byham and famous for "That's 30" signoff

PHILLIES, PLEASE HELP! – I want everyone to know that I have not discussed this with Gabe Sinicroppi of the Williamsport Crosscutters or nor anyone else connected to the local ball club.But I am asking for the Phillies for some help to Gabe and his winter Hot Stove banquets.

I am a fan of Gabes. Going to Bowman Field during the season I see the man working hard every game, almost every inning. He has developed all of these “fan gimmicks” that he uses to entertain all of us in the seats. I see his promotion list for the season. I hear him pushing his ball club in radio interviews.

This past week he staged the Third Annual Hot Stove Night at the Genetti Hotel. In fact, he promoted that event to the point he was running ads telling us that the place was sold out. I know he did me a favor by taking my ticket request as one of the very last seats available.

Sold out! How could that be? Gabe is a seller of a product and he went out and sold out the Genetti ball room. What prompted us to buy what he was selling?

The bottom line was Philly baseball. The image of the ball team that won it all in dramatic fashion last all. I don’t know about others interested in this event but I was waiting to hear his lineup of Philly people who would make the three hour trek to Williamsport so we could see, feel, talk to or get an autograph.

Ok. Let’s take a look. Gabe first announced Philly pitcher J.A. Lapp would be here. Who? Then we learned that Chris Truby, the assigned 2009 Cutter manager was coming. That’s good. “Salty’ Sands Ferguson,a women pro baseball player was another celebrity coming. Huh? Benny Looper, assistant General Manager of the Phillies, was a late entry. Pretty much another Who. Then Steve Noworvta, Phillies Director of Minor Leagues. I am betting not 10 people in the room recognized his name prior to this night. Last but certainly not least, Harry Kalas was coming. Hooray! Harry is a hero to all fans of the Phillies. This was to be his third year coming here and I was happy for Gabe. He now had a star coming to his party.

In the end Gabe was a bigger man then me. He took what was offered and sold it.

But, here is my wonder. Why is it that the home office of the Phillies can’t help a guy like Gabe by sending at least one recognizable Philly up here for a couple of hours?

But, like I said at the top, I did not talk to Gabe or anyone with my question. Maybe they did ask Gabe if he could use a Ryan Howard or Chase Utley and he turned them down. Uh Huh!

But here is Gabe. Not a lot to work with but he sells out and we who bought had a very enriching baseball night. Gabe and Todd Hartley took turns interviewing the guests and both were able to bring out the reason they fit a mid winter baseball night in Williamsport, Pa.

Very nice night!

VERY TOUGH DECISION – Had two tickets to the 33rd Lycoming College Football banquet for Saturday night. This has been a well received and followed tradition during post season January. A night when the seniors on the team are praised and a night when the coaches hand out awards to those players who led at their positions. It is a good feeling dinner. The players, Mom and Dad plus grandparents, brothers, sisters are all in there at the Genetti and it becomes extra special if the team is a winner.

But I also had money to purchase my way into the Magic Dome where Williamsport was taking on Central Dauphin in hoops and where the 1984 and 1999 Millionaire state champion teams were “home” where the home fans could remember those two teams and their PIAA State Championships.

I never knew Mike Bailey’s 1999 ball club but was there for every game the Pete White’s 1984’s played in the playoffs. Want a game and a night to remember from that run? When Williamsport beat Coatesville and the gymnasium in Pottsville on the same night.

So, where do I go? Steve Wiser made the decision when he called to ask for a favor, a means by which I could maintain our attendance record with the Warrior football banquet.

Do you realize that this improbable MAC championship marked the 14th time Lycoming held the title. It also marked the 12th time a Lycoming team was included in the NCAA D-3 playoff tourney.

First year head coach, Mike Clark, let us know that it was the intent of he and his staff to play towards the MAC conference title.

“While we coaches had that plan it was these players who made it a reality. They bought into what we were asking and made it a special season.”

Clark, who chaired the banquet, presented his 14 seniors with their game shirts plus a special plaque. Josh Kleinfelter, the celebrated running back, and Pat Taylor, the outstanding offensive tackle, were the key offensive players named. Nick Reese, defensive back, and Ted Geurds, defensive , earned the Outstanding Defensive awards. The special teams award went to Ryan Godec. The coveted Busy Award, signifying academic and athletic excellence was earned by junior defensive end, Kyle Murren, with his 3.79 GPA. Clark also recognized line backer Ben Rosa, senior linebacker Ed Grambo and senior offensive center Andy Marino “as real team players who gave all of themselves for the team.”

A year to remember for Mike Clark, his staff and his team.

Thats 30

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