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.
8 Burr Court
Text from the petition to 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.”
Bob Boyce : Mathematics Teacher, Head Girls Basketball Coach, and
former Head Baseball Coach (all at WW-P North HS)