Alumni reconnect through baseball

BP Photo by Louis Keene

Eitan Rothman, Staff Writer

As the summer wound down and college students started heading back to school, 11 Shalhevet alumni gathered at Rancho Park, on August 15 to play baseball and reconnect.

“I just missed playing, so I decided to get everyone together,” said Daniel Bain, class of ’08 and the primary planner of the event.

Joined by former Firehawk baseball coach, Cash Levy, the 12 players were divided into three teams of four players each. The three teams took turns batting, and each person on each team got to bat at least twice. Since in baseball each inning is three outs, if after batting through the lineup twice the team did not have three outs, they were able to continue batting until they got three outs.

The plan was to count the runs at the end of the game, but when the game was over, no one knew the score.

“I’m not sure,” said third baseman Jon Denitz, class of ’06, who graduated from the University of Michigan last June, and will be going to a two-year yeshiva program in Israel. “It was awesome to come back from four years and see your old friends and young guys becoming good players.”

Jon wasn’t the only one who was glad to be back.

“I was elated,” said Sam Blitzstein, class of ’08 and a senior at the University of Maryland, to describe his feelings after coming back and playing with the guys.

As far as anyone knew, this was the first time that there had been a baseball alumni game. Everyone who played in the game, had been on the Firehawk team during high school.

Each group of four had a few good plays as well as great attitudes and always stayed positive.

The play of the game was when Louis Keene, class of ’08, a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, hit the only home run. It was off a pitch thrown by Jonathan Garshofsky, class of ’09, who was getting ready to leave for his freshman year at the University of Michigan after a year in yeshiva. The hit also knocked in runner Daniel Bain, a Maryland sophomore.

Coming back to Rancho also brought back fond memories.

“It was fun seeing the guys I’ve coached over the years,” he told The Boiling Point,” said Cash, who led the team from 1999 through 2009. “Some of them look like they may be ready for the pros.”

Though he now works as a comedian, Coach Cash said that he was thinking about coming back to coach again this year, under the new athletic director David Paradzik — who was already thinking the same thing.

“He’s already committed to me verbally this morning,” said Mr. Paradzik on Monday. 

“He seems to be a well respected coach, not just at Shalhevet, but in the baseball community. He seems to have good connections with past and present players. I’m really psyched to have him back.”

Other alumni in attendance were Benji Bain, class of ’06 and David Granovitz, class of ’07. They were joined by current Firehawks, Saul Rothman and Emilio Lari.

“I went because I wanted to see all the alumni again,” Emilio told The Boiling Point, “I haven’t seen them in a while and it was nice to play with them.”

After the game was over, there was talk of having another game next year.

In addition to being a reunion, it had also been a way for some alumni to relive a little bit of Shalhevet.

“It was really nice to see Shalhevet alumni keeping in touch after leaving the school,” said Benjy Bain, “Plus it was fun to play some baseball.”