- September 30, 2020
First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you for the kind words. Last week’s article “Let the Kid Play” received tons of love. I had several compliments, and my perspective is now trending. I wasn’t looking to cause a stir. I only wanted to share my side of the story. A local
First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you for the kind words. Last week’s article “Let the Kid Play” received tons of love. I had several compliments, and my perspective is now trending. I wasn’t looking to cause a stir. I only wanted to share my side of the story. A local English teacher asked for my blessing. His students are going to write letters to the PIAA to offering their support. Please feel free to read it along with the other archived columns on webbweekly.com.
I want to add that a few folks have accused me of not knowing the facts. Perhaps. Some have even said that I caused harm. Look. I have nothing but respect for Williamsport’s Allen Taylor. I have known him for quite some time. I graduated from WAHS in 95, played hoops, and I am a huge supporter of the basketball program. I only mentioned three names in my article. Hanief Clay. Alize Johnson. James Zack. My frustrations lie with the PIAA D4 HEARING PANEL. How in the world can they determine the eligibility of a 15-year-old kid after a few minutes of testimony? Their wording and explanation were bogus. Coach Taylor has unfortunately taken a lot of the blame. But he has no bearing. The decision to sign or not sign comes solely from the administration.
It was a tough week in the sporting world. I plan on writing about Kobe Bryant at some point. I was sad to hear the passing of two local legends. Bill Blair and Al “Sonny” Yearick both played on the Original Lycoming Dairy. This was one of the first three Little League clubs started by Carl Stotz in 1939. Yearick, who I had the pleasure of knowing, was the very first Little Leaguer to play professional baseball. My man BIG AL spent four years in the minors. Al was a catcher who batted .307 with Niagara Falls, an AAA affiliate of the Boston Braves. He was a graduate of Lycoming College and served in the Marine Corps during World War II. BIG AL worked under Stotz as a regional director traveling around the United States, helping communities start Little League teams and were instrumental in integrating teams in the mid-1950s. Yearick left Little League in 1956 and accepted a position with Weis Markets, as director of distribution and warehousing, a position he held for 38 years.
BIG AL had many friends and several interests. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, and loved his local athletics. Yearick was a big fan of the Lycoming College Warriors, the Penn State Nittany Lions, and his Bucknell Bison. BIG AL had a special place at Bucknell. He was recently honored for 25 years of exceptional service for just being himself.
Every summer during the LLWS Championship, you could spot Al “Sonny” Yearick signing autographs and sharing stories the Original Little League Field and Museum near Bowman. He would get to meet thousands of visiting players, families, and fans from all over the world.
BIG AL was inducted into the West Branch Chapter Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. He was very active with many service organizations. He will be missed.
Jensen and I ran into BIG AL this past August. He hugged me and was delighted to finally meet my son. We had a great conversation that covered a number of different topics. Yearick always told some great stories. We talked about hoops, and he was so good to Jensen. He signed his cap and wished him the best of luck. If I would’ve known this was the last time I’d see him- I would have told him that I loved him. Farewell BIG AL. Cheers.