This concerns Capt. Mark Infante, but first I must tell you about his father, Nick, and his deceased grandfather, Marine Sgt. Nick Infante, Sr.
Nick Infante, who’s “College Athletics Clips” is a popular Internet sports feature, is a man with local roots who says (admits?) he had a lifetime batting average of .185 when he played in the Torrington Little League in the 1960s.
I’m betting you have seen Nick’s late father in full dress U.S. Marine Corps uniform leading a Marine Color Guard, and calling cadence, in one parade or another around the state in years past. He served on active duty with the Marines from 1946 through ’49 and was in the Marine reserves for some 10 years after that. He died in August, 2010
Nick, the son, graduated from UConn in 1973 and got his MBA from there in ’78. After college he lived in Hartford, San Francisco, Monroe Conn. and now, Chester, N.J. Nick’s wife Mary-Beth is from Huntington, a section of Shelton. They met in Menlo Park, Calif., married in 1983, had four children and recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.
Mark is one of three Infante sons. Like his brothers, he attended an all-boys Benedictine school in Morristown, N.J., after which he secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating four years ago. Then it was on to the University of Maryland, where he obtained a masters degree in aerospace engineering. He decided he wanted to fly fighter jets.
Which brings us up to the moment. Quoting his father: “Mark is a Captain now, based at Miramar in San Diego, where ‘Top Gun’ was filmed. He’s flying Hornet fighters and will be deployed to an aircraft carrier within a year.”
Mark Infante was what his father called “a fast catcher” on his high school freshman baseball team and ran cross country for four years. But what a non-sports resume he has compiled since then. His grand-dad was button-busting proud of him, as is Nick and the Infante family.
And Torrington, too, I’m thinking, can share a little reflected pride. After all, his grandfather lived here and his father grew up here, so can we not claim him too? By extension? Just a little bit? Well, I’m going to.
How in the world did a bright guy like Curt Schilling manage to get himself into such a financial imbroglio? Famous for pitching courage and accomplishments, he’s also a TV baseball commentator of some stature and a talented writer. Schilling wrote the Forward for a wonderful book called “When Baseball Went to War,” edited by Todd Anton and Bill Nowlin, published in 2008 by Triumph Books.
Owing so much money, Schilling has now been reduced to selling off some of his prized personal property including, according to the AP, “furniture, sports collectables and even plants from his Massachusetts home.” The home is described as a seven bedroom, 8,000 square foot residence in Medfield, Mass.
Stories like Schilling’s, and even more serious ones such as that of Tate George, which involves possible prison penalties, continue to disturb the lives of retired athletes. Sad.
About the Book
The book noted above is a treasury of stories told by baseball players who served their country in World War II. It includes accounts from Bob Feller, Ted Williams, Jerry Coleman, Yogi Berra, Johnny Pesky and a great many more. Some of them, such as Feller, Pesky and Williams have died since being interviewed for the book, but their stories live on, and most of them are great ones.
Eyes Are Burning
Yes, my eyes are burning because I can’t get away from my television. There is just too much great baseball to watch, with some great football thrown in and I can’t back away, can you? Hooked, that’s what I am and it’s not just because of the action. There are always interesting things coming up to remind a man of other interesting things.
Such as when the camera settled on announcer Ray Fosse, Oakland A’s long-time broadcaster, recalling the Pete Rose-Fosse collision at the plate in the 12th inning of the 1970 All-Star game in Cincinnati. There is still discussion over whether base runner Rose of the Reds, flattened the young Cleveland catcher with a cheap shot or not. Fosse appeared to be a sitting duck as he stood waiting for the throw. Rose hit him full on with truck-like force. The injuries, including a broken shoulder that was undiagnosed for a time, altered Fosse’s effectiveness for the rest of his career.
Finally, did you hear Julianna Zobrist, wife of Ben, sing during the seventh inning break of the Red Sox-Tampa game Monday night? Wow! God Bless America, indeed.