Doin’ Dunmore: A Field of Dreams For a Dad and His Son

baseball-picBy Steve Svetovich

Sometimes you just have to seize an opportunity. 

And on sunny summer day at Saint Anthony’s Park in Dunmore last month, a father and son had a chance to live a dream. 

The Dunmore Freedom League had a baseball game scheduled that day.

It started as an ordinary baseball game played between collegiate level players. 

And this scribe’s son Dylan was pitching for the Dunmore entry in the league.

But the team was one player short. And that is where this scribe fits in. 

My son Dylan, 23, has been playing in the Dunmore Freedom League for the past six years. The league is filled with mostly collegiate level players and beyond in their 20 and into early 30’s. There is one older player in the league, Charlie Terrery, Dunmore, who last played at 59.

My son Dylan always had a dream to play one competitive baseball game alongside his dad in the outfield.

Seeing the team was one player short, I asked Chaz Ehnot, the team’s manager, if he could use another player. 

So quickly this scribe was inserted into right field with my son Dylan on the mound in the second inning. With Dylan pitching, a ball was hit to the outfield which I fielded and threw to the cutoff man.

In the next half of the inning, I put on a helmet and came to bat against a pretty fast throwing collegiate level pitcher. I was batting in my first competitive game since my final Green Ridge Teener League game playing for the late Tony Miele in the 1970’s.

And with my old Rod Carew/Cecil Cooper batting stance, I squared to bunt, immediately pulling a muscle in the back of my left leg. The bunt attempt went foul.

Batting now with a pulled muscle, I dropped a bunt between the pitcher and first base on the very next pitch but was easily thrown out at first. I could not run due to the pulled muscle.

As the bottom of the next inning started, I asked to come out of the game due to the pulled muscle. But Dylan asked me to stay in, so he could play centerfield with me in right field. “I’ll cover for you, dad.”

And so I limped into right field with Dylan playing next to me in center field. “This is like Griffey, Sr. and Griffey, Jr.,” he yelled to me with a broad smile.

Another ball was hit my way which I limped to, fielded and underhanded to the cutoff man. Dylan signaled to me how many out there were with each out.

And after the third out he sprinted in while the old man tried running, but kind of slowly jogged in with a pulled muscle and noticeable limp.

The Dunmore team batted around and my turn came to bat again with a runner on first. My mistake was not telling the base runner to run on the first pitch because the only thing I could do with a pulled muscle was bunt again.

“Look for the bunt,” the opposing team’s third baseman yelled.

And so on the first pitch I laid down a nice bunt between the pitcher and first base again hoping for a sacrifice. The runner was not going on the pitch and he barely got thrown out at second. With me unable to run to first, the opposition turned a potential sacrifice bunt for me into a double play.

After that I was forced to leave the game with a pulled muscle, but not before a high five to my son.

It ended up as a two-inning stint in the field with two at bats. But I did not miss a pitch batting, did not strike out and did not make an error in the field. 

Not counting softball leagues, it had been more than four decades since I played a game of organized baseball. But this game meant more than any of them because I got to play next to my son.

It was always one of Dylan’s wishes for that to happen.

And for one moment of time on a sunny day in July, it was “our field of dreams.

Doin’ Dunmore: Dunmore Freedom League Gearing up for Summer Season

baseballBy Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Freedom League (formerly Collegiate Summer Baseball League) has been going strong for over two decades now and this summer will be no different at Sherwood Park.

Charlie Ehnot returns as league commissioner for a 15th season. His son, Chas Ehnot, returns as a player-coach for a sixth straight year. Prior to that he played for several years in the league.

Chas Ehnot and Mark Simko, another former player in the league, return once again to coach one of the two Dunmore entries in the league.

Tyler Chulvick returns as a player/coach for the other Dunmore entry.

Honesdale will be another entry in the league. There is also a Mid Valley team.

“Right now we have four teams slated to play in the league,” said Chas Ehnot, “but we are looking to add more players and teams.”

Local baseball players 17 and older can play in the league. There is no maximum age limit, but players need to be very competitive to play. Charlie Terrery, still as competitive as the younger players, returns at age 60 as the oldest in the league. Most of the players in the league have played high school or collegiate baseball and are used to competition.

Those interested in playing can call Chas Ehnot at (301)503-0131.

“We are a very competitive league, but we also have a lot of fun,” said Ehnot. “My dad plans on getting back into the coaching side this year. He missed that part of it.

“This is a game. We should all compete, but have fun doing it. The game makes me feel a lot younger myself. We are trying to do the best we can for the kids here.”

Some of the better known players returning this season, said Ehnot, include Anthony Duchnowski, Dylan Svetovich, David Chromey, Chris Rinaldi, Corey Rinaldi, Tyler Fisch, Michael Villa, Corey Sullivan, Riley Sullivan, Alex Terrery, P.J. Mandarano, John Joe Gustin, Billy Keating, Justin Magistro, Zack McGinty, Harry Wildrick and Chulvick.

“The future of the league is in good shape,” said Ehnot. “We have reason to get more and more teams on the field.

“We have a lot of projects planned for the field. We are going to make some drastic improvements. We want to improve the playing surface. There are a lot of things we are waiting on. We want to insert new bases and rebuild the mound and the back drop.

sherwood

“We want to keep the baseball field at Sherwood Park in great shape for years to come. We want this to be a top notch field in the area.

“And we want the field in use not only for us, but for the public. We want fathers and sons coming out to Sherwood Park to play catch and practice. We want it for everybody.”

Ehnot said the Dunmore Freedom League begins play Memorial Day weekend. Regular season games are played through the first week of August followed by playoffs. All teams are seeded in the playoffs. Semi final and championship final playoffs are slated to be best of three this season, said Ehnot.

Ehnot said the Dunmore Freedom League would like to add two more teams to its existing four clubs. He is encouraging local collegiate players and even older players to join. High school seniors are also eligible.

“This is a competitive league,” he said. “But there is a lot of fun between all the players involved. We look at it as a game to enjoy.

“We would love to have more teams and players. The Dunmore Freedom League at Sherwood Park is here to stay, so we would like to expand a little more. We can’t wait for the season to start.”

Doin’ Dunmore: McGinty’s Wins Third Straight Dunmore Freedom League Title

 

Doin Dunmore McGinty team

Members of the McGinty team include, kneeling from left: Colin Maldonado, Charlie Terrery, Manager Tyler Chulvick, PJ Mandarano and Corey Sullivan. Standing, same order: Robert Donovan, Dan Capwell, Justin Magistro, Robert Seprish, Alex Terrery, Billy Keating, Zack Foley-McGinty, Mike Villa and Riley Sullivan.

By Steve Svetovich

McGinty’s won its third consecutive Dunmore Freedom League title with two wins over the Dunmore entry last month at West Scranton’s Battaglia Field.

Managed by Tyler Chulvick, McGinty’s played Honesdale in the semi finals, taking two of three games at Dunmore’s Sherwood Park last month.

McGinty’s finished the regular season with a 6-4 record as the number two playoff seed to first place Dunmore.

All regular season games were played at Dunmore’s Sherwood Park.

Members of the title team include the player-manager Tyler Chulvick, Charlie Terrery, P.J. Mandarano, Corey Sullivan, Robert Donovan, Dan Capwell, Justin Magistro, Robert Seprish, Alex Terrery, Billy Keating, Zack Foley-McGinty, Mike Villa, Riley Sullivan, Corey Rinaldi, and Colin Maldonato.

McGinty’s lost its first best-of-three playoff game, 8-4, at Dunmore’s Sherwood Park.

The team came back strong in game two with a 16-0 win over Honesdale at Sherwood Park.

Riley Sullivan hurled a five-inning shutout in the 16-0 win. He struck out three while allowing only one hit and one walk.

“It was a very efficient effort by Riley,” said manager Chulvick.

baseballZack Foley-McGinty had three hits, including a triple, in the win. Billy Keating had three hits, including two doubles. P.J. Mandarano and Dan Capwell both had two hits and three RBIs each.

“The team was fired up after that win,” said Chulvick.

McGinty’s then beat Honesdale, 8-5, at Sherwood Park to advance to the best-of-three championship against Dunmore.

Colin Maldonato had a seven-inning complete game win in the semi final contest. He struck out six while allowing only four hits and two earned runs.

Foley-McGinty continued his hot hitting with a 4-for-4 game and three RBIs. Keating hit in the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning.

P.J. Mandarano pitched a masterpiece shutting out Dunmore, 5-0, in the first game of the best-of-three finals at Battaglia Field. He struck out six and gave up only one hit and three walks in the seven-inning shutout.

Mike Villa and Alex Terrery had two hits each in the win. Justin Magistro drove in three runs with a double in the first inning to put the team ahead for good.

McGinty’s then came back from behind in game two to win the Dunmore Freedom League title, 13-9, over arch rival and number one seed Dunmore.

Sullivan picked up the win with excellent relief work.

“He did a really nice job,” said Chulvick.

Alex Terrery had two hits, including a double. Villa hit a double and triple. Magistro added two hits.

baseballDylan Svetovich led Dunmore with four hits. Anthony Duchnowski had two hits for Dunmore. Matt Fisch added a double for Dunmore who had a 10-2 regular season record.

Players on the McGinty’s team ranged from age 21 for P.J. Mandarano to age 59 for Charlie Terrery, the oldest player in the league.

“Charlie is a key member of the team,” said Chulvick. “He keeps us together. He serves a big role on the team. He keeps us out of trouble and focused. He keeps us unified as a team. He also gets some big hits for us. We expect him back next year too.”

Keating and Foley-McGinty led the team in hitting. Both had batting averages over .400. Alex Terrery and Magistro both hit over .350.

“A big key to this year’s team was adding P.J. Mandarano and Colin Maldonato as pitchers. They made the difference. It was great having them on our side.

“This was our third title in a row and it was my favorite of the three. It was the most difficult of the three.

“We came into the summer with great expectations, started slow, but then picked up as the year went on. The depth of our pitching staff is what helped us most win the title. Some of our starters got us some key complete games. And that was huge. It gives other pitchers a rest.

“We had to grind out a lot of wins. That is why this is my favorite of the three.”