MIA: “Glory Days” for 2020 high school spring athletes

Personally some of my best sports memories are from 32 years ago. June 1988. Senior year. MDI high school baseball. I was one of the captains on the first MDI baseball team to ever win a playoff game.

The memories are vivid. It was a beautiful sunny and warm Saturday morning. We were the #7 seed and traveled to face a very good #2 Tigers team in Dexter. I remember the grandstand behind home plate was enclosed with chicken wire and was full of fans. Others lined the snow fence around the outfield. I batted 5th and was the DH. I went 2-2 with a triple, single and a walk. We never trailed in the game and cruised to the historic win.

It was also our prom night so as you can imagine the party that night on then island was amazing! We actually won our next game over #3 Camden. (Pig pile picture post win on left. Yup, that’s me not wanting to jump in and mess up my feathered hair.)

We lost a thrilling Eastern Maine title game to #1, eventual State Champ, and arch rival Ellsworth on a walk off home run.

That memory still stings wicked bad. But right along with the good ones I just mentioned, it’s a memory I have. And one of the many memory that this years seniors wont be able to make. And for that I truly feel so sorry for them.

I do agree that missing out on an official and traditional high school graduation ceremonies is very sad for the class of 2020. But I think the athletes missing this final sports season is worse.

Think about it. They’ll always be able to tell the story of how they still graduated in small groups, or how the ceremony was streamed, and how they had signs in their yards or a private party. Their class reunion in 5 or 10 years could be an epic party.

Alas, the spring season athletes will have no such stories from a season that wasn’t. All they’ll be able to say is “I didn’t get to finish my high school sports career.” And that’s heartbreaking.

I know there are other things more important than high school sports memories. But just like the Glory Days song by The Boss, about once a year or so some conversation over beers with my old friends turns to a look back of that post season.

There are other stories from other sports and games through our high school years. But none hold a candle to that wild one week ride in the spring more than three decades ago.

It truly saddens me that thousands of kids, soon to be adults, won’t have their own senior year glory days to keep talking someday about in a roadside bar.

Jeff Solari

Jeff Solari

About Jeff Solari

Jeff Solari is the president and founder of the Sports Chowdah, Maine’s only free, weekly sports e mail newsletter. Recently, the Mount Desert Island native was the co-host of "The Drive" on 92.9 FM in Bangor.