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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Why Name A Baseball Field?

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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)

The Babe Ruth baseball field at West Windsor Community Park is named after Christopher M. Ciuffani. Chris was a West Windsor boy who played through 12 years of age with the West Windsor Little League, and was tragically killed in a car accident in January 1994.

The Little League field at Cranbury Village Park is named after Peter Zanghi who organized the first Cranbury Plainsboro Little League and is still an active sponsor of Little League teams.

Thomas R. Grover Middle School is named after Thomas R. Grover who was killed in action at the age of 22 while serving in the Army during the Vietnam War. He was a graduate of the school district.

J.V.B. Wicoff Elementary School is named after John Van Buren Wicoff who was a lifelong resident of Plainsboro, he was the chairman of the Plainsboro school board for 31 years and served on the Plainsboro Township Council.

Maurice Hawk Elementary School is named after Maurice H. Hawk of one of the oldest families in West Windsor.

As I worked with Google to try to compile this short list of named buildings and baseball fields in our area I was struck with how difficult it was to find information on the internet that describes the how/why of naming these locations as I progressed to the oldest named facility. I imagine there are plaques at each of the schools that provide more history on each school’s names. I’m surprised that we don’t have any history page on our school sites that provides information on why a school has a name. When the North Baseball Diamond is named the David J. Bachner Field I hope to be able to add an appropriate reference in Wikipedia so that anyone in the future can learn the how/why the field was named.

Naming brings humanity to a thing. Naming brings history to a thing. Naming provides a destination that can be remembered.

By naming the North Varsity Field the David J. Bachner Field we can connect the current marker outside the pitchers bullpen with a place. We provide visiting baseball teams with a location they can easily remember. As the visiting players walk into the area they’ll see the Bachner marker and if the players pause to read they’ll understand why the North varsity field was named for him.

I can imagine the decision to name the field is difficult and requires a great amount of thought and discussion as to the impact. I don’t know of any other naming situation that has taken place in this area in recent times. I hope you will consider the worthiness of this naming request on it’s own merits. I hope that choosing to name this field will not be dismissed in fear that a ‘flood’ of similar requests will appear in it’s wake. From my brief conversations and listening to board members at a previous meeting I’m feeling confident that you are weighing all arguments that have occurred over the last 5 years concerning this request. Thank you so much for your service.

From everything I’ve read and from all of the people I’ve talked to, David represented the ideals of the North baseball program both on and off the field. His marker at North doesn’t just describe his athletic accomplishments. It describes the type of person he was and the impact he had both on and off the field. Let’s complete his impact to North.

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

Sincerely,

Tim Hitchings

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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)

Thank you for listening to my letter at the 6/10 board meeting last night. I appreciate the additional time that you spent talking to me and the other individuals that came to the meeting to talk about David Bachner. It was indeed welcoming of you to speak to myself and others after the meeting. Your understanding and conversation was reassuring that you are engaged in my and the group’s request for the Bachner field.

I heard that the Administration & Facilities Committee will be taking up a task of creating a sub committee to address the request to name the North baseball diamond the David J. Bachner field. I understand that this will take some time and as much as I and others would like to see the request granted on David’s 5th Angelversary it appears more likely that an issue of this importance may not come before the board for a vote until September.

If there is anything that you require concerning this request to name the field that you think I may be able to assist with I do hope you will consider contacting me. If I can not help directly I can certainly work to reach out to the Bachner supporters for their assistance.

Thank you all for your time and commitment. I look forward to speaking to you all at the next board meeting in July.

Tim Hitchings
8 Burr Court
Plainsboro

Name The West Windsor High School North Baseball Diamond The David Bachner Field

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

Rachelle Feldman Hurwitz (RFeldmanHurwitz@gmail.com)
Anthony Fleres (tonyfleres@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)

On August 11, 2014 David Bachner will have been deceased five years. As per your naming requirements he will meet the criteria which you imposed in October 2012 with regards to naming a facility. Please consider this e-mail a formal request to name the North High School varsity baseball diamond The David Bachner Field.

My son T.J. was in six grade when David passed in 2009.  We talked about David’s funeral and the number of people that attended.  My son was fortunate to be able to play Freshman and J.V. baseball at North.  He proudly wore his North baseball uniform hat with it’s embroidered 16.  These days as a Junior at North while he’s not on the baseball team he continues to wear his “Unhittable” t-shirt and sweat-shirt all the time.  He and I visit David’s marker out by the bullpen at North every year on David’s “Angelversary”.

I never met David nor had an opportunity to watch him play.  My son T.J. never met David and never had the opportunity to watch him play.  We have been fortunate to be part of the baseball community and meet and talked to baseball players like P.J. Silva and Scott Feryus and others who have talked to other players that knew David.  His legacy lives on because he was able to touch so many people in and outside of baseball.

I have been fortunate to meet and get to know Rhonda Bachner and Steve Bachner, David’s parents.  They are of course deeply invested in continuing David’s legacy.  They provide scholarships as part of their foundation, The David J. Bachner Memorial Fund.  They raise money by holding a yearly North South hockey game that grows in popularly every year.  They sell “Unhittable” wear at the North South baseball games every year.  Their Facebook site is vibrant with friends posting pictures of “Unhittable” around the world and continuing to reminiscence and tell stories about David.

So after all this information you may ask why am I so personally invested in supporting the Bachner’s and asking you to name a baseball field after their son David?  Because I love the sport and community of baseball.  Because I have a son who loves baseball and if anything ever happened to him I don’t know if I would have the strength of Rhonda and Steve to continue.  Because baseball doesn’t always seem to get the attention and support as much as other sports.  Because from CPLL T-ball to WWP Senior Babe Ruth and both North and South High school baseball teams I have made a life time of friends in the sport of baseball.  Because in the sport of North baseball there may never be another athlete with the talent and potential of David Bachner and ensuring that North field bears his name alongside his marker is a fitting tribute.

Because it’s the right thing to do.  For baseball.  For David.

Sincerely,

Tim Hitchings
Plainsboro

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It’s Spring and Time for Baseball and the CPLL Friday Night Lights.

Spring is a time for the start of the baseball season. As an avid fan of the sport I look forward to watching my favorite teams the Yankees and the Red Sox. Yes that’s correct, I follow both teams. I grew up in Massachusetts during the years of the great Carl Yastrzemski. And my son is a die-hard Yankees fan having grown up in the days of Derek Jeter. I enjoy rooting for both teams and the game of baseball in general. T.J. really only roots only for the Yankees but I haven’t disowned him for it.

One of the highlights of the start of the baseball season for me is the local Cranbury Plainsboro Little League Friday Night Lights. This year for three consecutive Fridays (May 2nd, May 9th, & May 16) the Little League baseball and softball teams play under the lights at Plainsboro Park at 7 PM. This is a great night of community and fun with the kids and their games as the center of attention.

The highlight for me will be the Friday the 16th game when the Little League baseball Majors Yankees take on the Phillies. The Phillies is coached by my son’s former coaches Ray Cella and Jim Caracappa. The team is sponsored by Peter Zanghi who is well known as the person responsible for the start of Little League baseball in our area. The three of them have been generously donating their time for more years than I’ve had the pleasure of living in Plainsboro. And every year I look forward to an email from Coach Ray inviting my son T.J. who is now 17 to come to the event and help coach the team for the evening. Ray invites his former players to take over his team for the night. I know I certainly look on in delight as these giant boys who used to play for Ray and Jim tower in height over the current little league team and often over Ray and Jim.

It’s a fun night for me to catch up on how Mr. ‘Z’, Ray and Jims’ current team is doing and what the players will do in district all-stars. I run into old friends like Bill and Euna Brossman and we trade stories on what our son’s are up to today and reminisce on the good ‘old’ days of Little League with Ray, Jim, and Mr. ‘Z’. Hopefully we’ll have three beautiful nights of weather in the coming Friday’s. I hope everyone in the community will stop by. Say hello if you see me. I think I’ve still got an old CPLL hat from my coaching days somewhere. I’ll be around the backstop cheering on all the boys and girls to make the play, hit the ball, and run to the next base.

Springtime is baseball.

 

Published here:  http://www.wwpinfo.com/index.php/component/us1more/?Itemid=6&key=5-2-14hitchings

follow-up to june jury duty – five year sentence

On July 3rd, according to the online NJ courts public access the judge passed sentence on the defendant.  The jury that I was on,  out of the 8 counts, convicted the defendant of 2 counts.  One count of 2nd degree aggravated assault and one count of 2nd degree eluding.   Very difficult to read the online system but it looks like the defendant had 216 jail days as a result of not making bail and was sentenced to 5 years by the judge.  Don’t see anything about the jail time going towards time served or parole or probation…

I believe for what we learned that the defendant appeared to have done, I’m satisfied that justice was served.  I feel bad for the two women that didn’t want to convict the defendant of anything as I’m sure if they learn of the sentence they are going to be devastated.

I’ll probably check the records in another month to see if there are any updates.

 

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