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MICHAEL J. LACIVITA It was Grandpa's thought that counted



Published: Fri, July 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Over the years I have written articles about my grandson Michael Krieger and his Little League and high school baseball career. This story is about a game three months ago when he was a junior pitcher for Ohio Wesleyan University in Dela-ware, Ohio. The temperature hovered around a cold, damp 40 degrees. My daughter Linda Krieger and I sat in the aluminum stands all bundled up.

Her husband, Greg, was behind the backstop fence videotaping the game, while I was using my N80 Nikon 35mm camera to get some action shots.

Insulated gloves

When we were leaving Youngstown to go to the game, I told Greg, "I am going to give Michael these insulated gloves to put on between innings." Upon arrival we gave the gloves to Michael. He was pitching the first game of a doubleheader against Wittenberg University, another Division III school.

I felt my gloves and shouting might help him to win the game. I was shouting, "settle down" or "strike him out." The shouting rattled Linda and she told me to stop it. How could I stop this lifetime habit? I replied, "That's why I fought in World War II, to give me this freedom of baseball speech." Half of the stands were filled with Wittenberg fans doing the same thing. It was my job to at least attempt to neutralize them.

Michael pitched the complete game and won a pitching duel, 2-1. I was certain my gloves helped him to win this game. A gloating Grandpa went up to congratulate him after the game. I said, "Michael, Grandpa's gloves sure did the trick." He replied, "I didn't use them."

On May 12 he was named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference first team, giving me a real reason to gloat.

X Michael J. Lacivita of Youngstown is an inductee into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.




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