PLEASE VOTE ‘YES’ – NAME THE NORTH BASEBALL DIAMOND THE DAVID J. BACHNER FIELD

To the members of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District Board of Education:

Anthony Fleres (tonyfleres@gmail.com)
Rachelle Feldman Hurwitz (RFeldmanHurwitz@gmail.com)
Louisa Ho (louisawwp@gmail.com)
Rachel Juliana (rachelpjuliana@yahoo.com)
Michele Kaish (michelekaish@gmail.com)
Richard Kaye (kayeww3@verizon.net)
Dana Krug (danakrug@comcast.net)
Scott Powell (scott.powell-wwp@live.com)
Yu “Taylor” Zhong (yu.zhong.609@gmail.com)

I note that according to the recent WWP-News article: http://www.wwpinfo.com/index.php/component/us1more/?Itemid=6&key=8-22-14bachner that the ad-hoc naming committee will be making a presentation at the 8/26 School Board meeting. The article details that Administration and Facilities Committee has announced that the question whether to name the High School North baseball field after David Bachner will move forward to the full board for review and be voted on at the 9/23 School Board meeting. I’m happy to hear that the e-mails and information presented to the ad-hoc committee has concluded with this result.

I would like to point out possible mis-quotes in the WWP-News article.
1, The article stated that many attended both meetings.
Please note that my wife Maureen and I were the ONLY two people who attended both meetings.
2. The article states several people spoke.
In fact almost all in attendance spoke in favor of David.
3. Input was similar to statements already presented to the Board.
While it’s true that what was presented may be similar, I’d suggest hearing from so many different people first hand with their personal recollections provided further proof of the passion for naming the field after David.

Please thank the members of the ad-hoc naming committee for their time and attention. The two days of forum meetings that were conducted were very helpful. The committee’s attention to the people and the process was commendable. The committee took notes as people talked and not once did they remind anyone of the stated 3 minute time limit. Many at the forum were allowed to speak more than once. On those days I learned more about David Bachner and why he was a model representative of North traditions and North Baseball.

I wish all of you on the school board could have been present to listen to people talking about David Bachner and why the field should be named. Hearing directly the passion and the emotion from those who spoke like Bob Boyce, David’s varsity baseball coach and Kevin Maloney local sportswriter has so much more impact then dry e-mails such as this one.

As Rhonda Bachner is so found of saying “we are in the 9th Inning … 2 outs … 3 balls, 2 strikes and I believe we could be the winning team”

I look forward to your voting YES on the 23rd.

Sincerely,

Tim Hitchings
8 Burr Court

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Five Years Since His Death – Name The North Baseball Diamond The David J. Bachner Field

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WWPNamingRights@ww-p.org

To the members of the ad hoc naming committee

Since the beginning of the year my Facebook profile page has displayed an image of the North baseball field showing  “Bachner Field #16″ spray painted on the field fence from 2009. The words on the image include “Name North Baseball Field For David Bachner In 2014″ and “Let’s not hope the North Baseball field is named for David. This year let’s work together to make this happen. For David. For Baseball.”

I’m hoping in September I can update that image with words that describe the task has been accomplished.

My name has been cited by the district administrators as the person who has brought the topic of naming the baseball field for David Bachner to the school board’s attention. I would respectfully submit that Pete Weale’s letter sent to the school board president in January and reprinted in the WWP News in May was the first request this year.  Michele Demak Epstein’s response in the comments of that article with e-mail addresses of the school board is what prompted me to write my first letter. Pete and Michele should be cited as bring the naming topic to the board’s attention and not me.

I hope I’ve brought a different perspective to this naming request via my e-mails to you and to the school board.  I was never fortunate enough to meet David or watch him play. I’ve learned about David by listening when anyone speaks about him and reading articles published about him.  I was touched by the outpouring of support for David at his funeral in 2009 and by my son T.J. who was in middle school at the time and how T.J. talked about what had happened.

Having participated in the High School North Baseball program with my son T.J. for two years I’m familiar with the high standards that the program holds itself and it’s participants to both on and off the field.  I truly believe from everything I’ve learned that there is no finer athlete/classmate/person than David Bachner that represents North Baseball/North High School and those standards.  By naming the North field after David we really will be bringing not only a name that is well respected but welcome personality to the North baseball field.

Please name the North Baseball Diamond the David J. Bachner Field.

Tim Hitchings
8 Burr Court
Plainsboro resident for 13 years

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Honor And Remember David Bachner

WWPNamingRights@ww-p.org

To the members of the ad hoc naming committee

David is honored and remembered with the over 2500 members of the “IN LOVING MEMORY” Facebook site
David is honored and remembered with the thousands of ‘unhittable’ pictures on the “Unhittable Across The Globe” Facebook site.
David is honored and remembered with the thousands of ‘unhittable’ t-shirts and hoodies worn by people who can tell you what the shirt means when you ask.
David is honored and remembered with the charity work that Steve and Rhonda perform on behalf of The David J. Bachner Memorial Fund.

There are so many ways that people who knew David or know of David honor and remember him every day. Whether it’s drawing a 16 on the back of the mound before pitching or selecting his number 16 and letting Rhonda and Steve know via Facebook they were thinking of David.

David is honored and remembered with the number 16 on the North Varsity baseball field home dugout.
David is honored and remembered with the embroidered 16’s on the North baseball teams hats.
David is honored and remembered with a monument with a bronze plaque describing his achievements which is located at the North Varsity baseball field pitchers bullpen.

Today is the 5th Angelversary of David’s passing.  Saturday David was honored and remembered by his family and friends at the field.

Please honor and remember David by naming the North varsity diamond the David J. Bachner field.

Thank you,

Tim Hitchings
8 Burr Court
Plainsboro

 

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REMEMBERING THE NAME THE FIELD “BACHNER FIELD” PETITION

WWPNamingRights@ww-p.org

To the members of the ad hoc naming committee

On March 12th 2012 the Name the field “Bachner Field” petition reached 1500 signatures.

That petition contained words of eloquence by Bob Boyce who was the coach of the Varsity Baseball team when David Bachner played at North.  Bob Boyce wrote it best and wrote it first.

Everything that I write tries to reflects those sentiments that Bob Boyce expressed so well.

The petition is quoted below.

Please name the North Baseball Diamond the David J. Bachner Field.

Thank you,

Tim Hitchings
8 Burr Court
Plainsboro

Text from the petition to Name the field “Bachner Field”

http://www.change.org/petitions/naming-of-the-west-windsor-plainsboro-high-school-north-baseball-field-name-the-field-bachner-field

Why Bachner Field?
On August 11, 2009 the West Windsor-Plainsboro community suffered one of its most traumatic losses with the death of David Jordan Bachner. Not only was David one of the most prominent baseball players in the history of the school district, setting many records that will unlikely ever be matched, he was also an outstanding young man and true role model of what it means to be a student-athlete.

Since that tragic date there has been a great deal of discussion regarding naming the baseball field at High School North “Bachner Field.” To this date, that has not been done. I would like to make the case of why it needs to be done.

First and foremost, people need to stop blaming school administration for the field not being named in David’s honor. If it were solely up to the likes of Marty Flynn, Mike Zapicchi, Victoria Kniewel, and even most Board of Education members, the field would likely be named in David’s honor. These are outstanding administrators and upstanding people. The hold-back in the process is simply current policy which basically prohibits naming school district facilities (such as baseball fields) after people. I am not going to get into the facets and bases of such a policy, other than to say I understand their position.

Naming something like a baseball field, football stadium, or gymnasium is a major decision. I believe it needs to be done on a case by case basis. There is no “blanket policy” which could possibly handle every permutation of events that might call for such an honor. Naming the baseball field after David Bachner would be his legacy, and he has more than earned the honor.

Forget the 250 career strikeouts (135 in one season), the sub 1.5 career ERA, and sub 1.1 ERA in his senior season, and his many wins and various no hitters, David represented what it meant to be a baseball player in the WW-P North baseball program. Beyond talent, David was a solid student, outstanding citizen in the school community, and a person that all students looked up to and idolized, not because he was such a great ball player, but because he was there for them and he looked out for everyone. When a player walks onto the field at North, they should be aware of what it means to be a player in the program. When you play at Bachner field for WW-P North, it is expected that you will play the game, and live your life the way he did, making your own legacy.

When you walk into Ewing’s “Emil Wandishin” gymnasium to play basketball, you realize the place has history, and the program predicates its practices, at least in part, to the outstanding man Emil is. When you play baseball at Ewing’s “Andy Greener” field, similar feelings and emotions come into play regarding what a great coach and person he is. I could go on with examples, but will instead get to my point.
Fields (especially when only used by one team), gymnasiums, and football stadiums should ALL BE NAMED at some point in time. The person the facility is named after ought to be a proper representative of the pride, honor, excellence, commitment, and other qualities that your program is all about. When it comes to WW-P North baseball, and the outstanding teams we have had over the past decade or so, there is no better representative of what it is all about than David Jordan Bachner.

I have heard a great deal of feedback regarding precedence, and naming of other facilities.
Let me be clear on my point, naming the baseball field “Bachner Field” is not simply a matter of losing a great player, and trying to extend his legacy. I believe the field needs to be named, and that name ought to indicate what it is all about to be a baseball player at WW-P North. It would not be a slight to other deaths of students that have occurred, and it does not set any precedent for naming anything else (it must be case by case, and carefully thought through and discussed).

I could give you two other examples of fields that should be named already, and it has nothing to do with death at all, it is all about legacy and representing the program:
The football stadium at WW-P South should be “Walker-Stuart Stadium”. The baseball field at WW-P South should be “Don Hutchinson Field.” The reasons for this follow the same argument I am giving for naming the baseball field at High School North
“David Bachner Field.”

I trust that the powers to be will look at this situation carefully and understand why the field needs to be named, and also realize that other possible valid namings are out there. Take it on a case by case basis, carefully research and discuss the pros and cons, and make a decision from there. I would love to discuss my side with any such committee that would be looking into the naming of “David Bachner Field.”

Sincerely,

Bob Boyce : Mathematics Teacher, Head Girls Basketball Coach, and
former Head Baseball Coach (all at WW-P North HS)

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TO THE MEMBERS OF THE AD HOC NAMING COMMITTEE – NAME THE NORTH BASEBALL DIAMOND THE DAVID J. BACHNER FIELD

Date 2014-07-30 10:14

WWPNamingRights@ww-p.org

To the members of the ad hoc naming committee.

Please name the North Baseball Diamond the David J. Bachner Field.

At the request of district officials, Gerri Hutner, a district spokeswoman, provided my name to the reporter at fox news for the following article. http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/07/25/new-jersey-mom-hopes-field-will-finally-be-dedicated-to-late-son/
Please note that I was not interviewed nor contacted by the reporter. My quotes were lifted from my blog http://timhitchings.wordpress.com/
I note the article contained a number of quotes by Rhonda Bachner directed towards the School board and the process. I can understand how Rhonda Bachner has some strong feelings over the length of time between her son’s death, the first request to name the field, and the 5 year requirement. It’s apparent that the author of the foxnews.com article chose to highlight those feelings.

I was not there 5 years ago when the first request to name the field was made and Steve and Rhonda were told they would have to wait 5 years. David Bachner was not my son. The 5 year wait didn’t make it any easier for Rhonda and Steve Bachner and every day of the rest of their lives they endure without their son. But, I’m not bitter about the 5 year process. I believe that the 5 year requirement has created a measured ability to consider requests under less heated and emotional circumstances. No matter how difficult it may be to have to wait, the true support for David Bachner will demonstrate the size and love the community has for the Bachner’s and why the field should be named.

I appreciate the honor of being named by the board as the person that has brought the naming matter for your deliberation. I will say that I’m not the only individual, but just one of many concerned citizens who follow the Bachner memorial facebook group and who have approached the Board of Education concerning the Bachner field naming. I have tried to help the Bachner’s as the 5 year anniversary of David’s Angelversary approaches by writing letters to the board of education and on my blog in support of naming the field after David J. Bachner. I have read my letters at board meetings that expressed my thoughts as to why the field should be named. I have strong feelings about the nature of talent, sportsmanship, dedication both on and off the field and the community of baseball. From what I have learned of David and his support and his ongoing legacy no one is more deserving of the honor of having the North Varsity baseball field named after him.

I welcome your decision as I’m confident that you will view my letters and the letters of other concerned members of the West Windsor community, the baseball community, the North baseball community as an overwhelming vote of confidence that naming the North Baseball Diamond the David J. Bachner field is the right thing to do.

Thank you,

Tim Hitchings
8 Burr Court
Plainsboro

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WW-P Board of Education considering official request to name the High School North baseball field

The below was received in an e-mail on Wednesday July 23rd.  Please read and e-mail the address provided.  Please attend one of the forums.  I’ll be attending August 12th.  I’ll be wearing my Unhittable shirt.  I hope we can fill the auditorium that night.

“The WW-P Board of Education Administration & Facilities (A&F) Committee is considering an official request to name a baseball field at High School North. [The process for naming a facility can be found in Board Policy 7250.]

To begin the process, the Board of Education A&F Committee appointed members of an ad hoc naming committee: Gerard Dalton, assistant superintendent, Pupil Services/Planning; Jean Marie Seal, director of Athletics; Michael Zapicchi, High School North principal; Michele Kaish, Board of Education; High School North baseball Booster Club representative; High School North PTSA member; and WW-P community member.

The ad hoc naming committee will review Policy 7250, request community input via open forums and electronic communications, and prepare recommendations for the A&F Committee.

The ad hoc naming committee will be hosting two open public forums to hear suggestions for names for the High School North Baseball Field and comments on the naming process. These forums will be held on:

·         August 12, 2014, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at High School North

·         August 18, 2014, at 12 noon at High School North

For those who are unable to attend these meetings, please send comments and suggestions to WWPNamingRights@ww-p.org. All these comments will be reviewed by the ad hoc naming committee.

On August 19, 2014, the ad hoc naming committee will deliver a report to the A&F Committee; in turn, the A&F Committee will present the findings at the Board of Education Meeting on August 26, 2014. The Board of Education is expected to take action on a recommendation at its meeting on September 23, 2014.”

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