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June 03, 2005

Twelve year-old pitches no-hitter — the day after his father's funeral

From All Headline News:

As Wayne Bonsell Jr. stood on the pitcher's mound at Booth Field on Wednesday night, he tried to remember all of the lessons his father had taught him.

"Concentrate, take a deep breath before every pitch."

This was not just another seasonal game for Wayne Jr.,this one held special meaning like no other before he took the mound.

A day earlier, he had said goodbye to his father for the last time. Wayne Bonsell Sr., 39, was one of three workers from Cortland-based Economy Paving Company Inc. who were killed when a Missouri tour bus crashed through an Interstate 81 work zone on May 20 in the Town of Chenango.

Now, barely 24 hours after his father's funeral, Wayne Jr. -- pitching for Crowley Foods of the Binghamton Youth Baseball League -- was one out away from the first no-hitter of his youth baseball career. His father had made a point to attend every single game.

Reminds me of the song popular back in the seventies, “The Blind Man in the Bleachers

After the game Wayne Junior explained how he got through not only the no-hitter but the game in general.

"By thinking of my dad."

"At the end of the game, he gave me the ball and said, 'This one's for Dad, Mom,'" Rebecca Bonsell said.

"Their father loved baseball and was good at it, pitching his own no-hitter in high school", his wife said....

"At Tuesday's funeral, Wayne cemented that link when he walked up to the casket and placed his first home-run ball in his father's hand", his mother said.

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 3, 2005 07:27 AM

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