We moved and transferred over from Pony Baseball to Little League...which began our years of friendship/rivalry with the Mazzone baseball "MACHINE"-The Pirate's. To play against Big Nick and his talented son, little Nick, was a fear that every member of the entire league felt. The kids and the coaches alike knew that it was probably going to end up as a loss for their team.
The kids would approach the plate...eyes the size of saucers, as they stared at the strike out king on the mound in front of them. The coaches tried to encourage them that they COULD hit off of Nick, but they just needed some confidence. Nick would stare at them with a little smirk, focus intently on his catcher's sign (which off course Nick had several different pitches in his repertoire), wind up and whisk the ball by them so fast, they would still be swinging the bat as the catcher already had the ball securely in his mitt...the umpire yelling, "S T R I K E T H R E E!"
The next trouble would quickly come when a young pitcher would have to then pitch against the Home Run King. Little Nick would "strut" to the plate, the air making a loud hissing sound as he swung a few practice swings...getting ready for yet another home run. A loud "CRACK" as people began yelling, "Heads Up!" The ball would eventually drop next to the pitchers mound on the next field. Followed by cheering and clapping, the Pirates running out of the dugout lined up as their hero rounded third base, and high five them as he crossed home plate.
The horn would then begin to loudly pierce everyone's ears. Stacy, (Nick's mom) carried it to every game. That horn could be heard continually throughout all the fields, signaling another outstanding game, home run or strike-out for her amazing son. As a rival team it was a thorn in our side...it signaled another loss for our team. But she was her sons biggest fan, always on the field encouraging, and enthusiastically supporting her husband and son. When All-Stars would come around and we were all on the same team, we LOVED the horn. When she arrived at the field we all shouted, "Did you bring your horn Stacy?" She brought excitement and joy to the entire team.
Big Nick would coach and take great pride in not only his son, but our children as well. His practices would sometimes be five days a week for three hours at a time. Little Nick became an incredible player because of it. His bond with his dad was evident by the time they spent together. Little Nick absorbed all of his dad's wisdom and was very competitive. He expected nothing but perfection from himself and others.
Our final Major's All Star season was a season to remember. The boys looked up to little Nick as a leader and example. They never got down because Nick would pump them up. Whether pitching or catching he helped everyone remain calm and stick to the game plan. Our All Star team set a record at Huntington Valley...almost going all the way to Williamsport Little League World Series. Nick also continues to hold the home run record at Huntington Valley.
Nick represented hard work, perseverance, talent, confidence, team work and incredible love for the Lord, his family, and the game of baseball. He spent his life as a leader and an example. The Lord has called him home, but his memory will continue to live on inside of each one of us, until we meet again.
(Funeral services will be held at Cross Point Baptist Church, Monday, February 8th @ 11:00 a.m.)
Click For: STACY MAZZONE MEMORIAL INFORMATION