What you will read below was written by my former student Kevin Faggella. Kevin was a math major at Quinnipiac University. Kevin later joined me in my sabermetric research. Kevin provided many helpful suggestions during the time I was writing my book: “Sandlot Stats; Learning Statistics with Baseball.” He was also the recipient of The James Fickes Award which is given to the senior mathematics major who has shown the greatest achievement and future promise as a mathematician. Kevin currently teaches mathematics at New Fairfield High School and also is their freshman baseball coach.
Those of us who have played for our high school or college team have all experienced what it meant to be part of a team. As is often said “there is no I in the word team.”
Here is Kevin’s essay about what it meant for Kevin to be part of his team.
“Someone asked me recently if I missed baseball. It might kill my parents to hear that I don’t miss playing.
But what I do miss the most, is wearing the uniform. Wearing a uniform is something special. There’s something exciting about being able to put it on game day. There’s something about being a part of a team, and getting to represent your town or school. There’s something about wearing it, and I can’t put my finger on it.
I miss being able to go out to eat after practice or a game with my friends. I miss my parents buying the whole team Corey’s after a big win. I miss being on the bench with my friends. I miss having a reason to go outside on a beautiful day and play catch.
But still, I miss wearing the uniform. I feel all too often today’s kids are too concerned with looking cool in their uniform, rather than what it truly means. There is nothing more special than being a part of something bigger than yourself.
All I can say is thank you to my parents Victor FaggellaPatrice Hodde Faggella, and my brother Victor Faggella for trucking all over the place to watch me play, and sending me to baseball camp. You are the reason why I get to show my players what it means to be a part of something special.”
Kevin’s words got me to thinking about when I wore the uniform in basketball at Hackensack High School. I started playing basketball at the eighth grade level at State Street Junior High School. From that point on until I graduated high school, every season I wore a basketball uniform and represented my school. During the season we practiced together every day we did not have a game. My teammates became my brothers. I will never forget the bus rides after a game back to Hackensack. When we won there were happy moments and when we lost we consoled each other.
I saw some of my old teammates at my 50th high school reunion. Of course, some are no longer with us. My teammates will always be in my memory because for those years they were my brothers.
If you would like to tell your story about what it meant to you to be part of a team please send me your story as an email attachment and I would love to publish it.
Finally, as Kevin did in his essay, remember to thank all those people including your parents, grandparents, coaches, and other relatives and friends who made the sacrifices necessary for you to be able to be a member of your team.
In the photo above, taken in Feb. of 2013 in my office at QU, are: Dr. Stan the Stat’s Man (me), Rico Brogna (10 year major leaguer), and Kevin.