While there is plenty of bad news in sports today - see Penn State sanctions story on this page- I prefer to look in the direction of some of the good stuff that has happened locally.
Following are some of my recent favorites:
During the Jamestown Jammers' annual Hot Stove Dinner in January, my cousin, Tim Kindberg, cast the winning bid for a Steve Cishek jersey. Cishek, a former Jammer and now a reliever for the Miami Marlins, was the guest speaker that evening and he kindly signed the jersey and posed for a photo with Tim and his two boys, Jacob and Luke.
Fast-forward six months.
Tim, his wife, Maria, and the boys took a road trip to Pittsburgh last weekend when the Marlins were in town to meet the Pirates. Before Sunday's game, Tim was standing outside the visiting players entrance at PNC Park, hoping that he'd run into Cishek so that the photo taken at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club six months earlier could be signed.
As luck would have it, Cishek rolled up in a cab and Tim, who was wearing a Jammers' cap, identified himself as being from Jamestown and showed the pitcher the photograph.
"Oh, I remember you,'' said Cishek, who not only signed the photo, but personalized it to Tim.
But that wasn't the only pleasant surprise Tim received in his little by-play with the Marlins' reliever. Before Cishek headed into the stadium he reached out and shook Tim's hand.
Class act, Mr. Cishek.
To top it off, Cishek came on in relief and struck out National League MVP candidate Andrew McCutcheon for the final out in the eighth inning.
Tip of the hat to Jamestown High School football coach Tom Langworthy, who enthusiastically embraced the idea of his team competing in the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy 2012 World Games on Aug. 3-4.
The games will include everything from grape stomping to chocolate wrapping.
"If it's anything for the community, I'm always up for that,'' Langworthy said. "I would hope that other schools would do it, too, mainly just to benefit the community. I think our kids would love to do that and compete against other kids they know. It's fun, it's for a good cause and it's probably something they'll remember forever.
"I'm not going to miss some of our linemen stomping grapes. We've got some big boys. I think we can make some great grape juice."
See KINDBERG, Page B2
From Page B1
Thurman Thomas, the Hall-of-Fame running back, made quite an impression on the youngsters at the Fundamental Football Camp at Chautauqua Lake Central School last week. Not only did the former Buffalo Bills great speak to the kids and take questions for about 15 minutes, but he happily signed autographs for another 45 minutes, chatting with each kid as he did so.
Camp coordinator Josh Liddell hit the jackpot by landing Thurm. Most importantly, the campers did, too.
This shout-out is nearly two months late, but I have to give props to the Frewsburg Central School softball team, which put together a very entertaining and well-produced rendition of "Call Me Maybe," the pop hit by Carly Rae Japsen that has resulted in countless fan-made videos.
The Bears made their own video on their bus ride to the Class C Far West Regional in early June and put it on YouTube. A Post-Journal colleague brought it to my attention.
By the way, Frewsburg won that regional game to earn a berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Final Four.