The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Guess Who

May 9, 2014

Guess Who! Week 19!

Since he was a kid, it seemed like he was always running for one thing or another. In high school, mostly for fly balls.

Baseball, his favorite sport, was something in which he was very good.

Ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he would have pointed to the Bronx, and, he said: “Center field, for the New York Yankees.”

As circumstances would have it, when he was 21 and a speedy outfielder, he tried out for the Cincinnati Reds — and not the Bronx Bombers.

He didn’t make it in the “Bigs,” for which thousands of people are now grateful, for reasons you might not suspect. But even now, despite holding a high-profile job, being out on the baseball field is about his “favorite spot on Earth.”

Much better, he joked, than the oddest job he has ever had: calling bingo at Angela Park in Drums, Luzerne County.

Another quirk: “I have a box of old newspapers with important stories in them — when Kennedy was shot, when the Challenger spacecraft exploded, things like that. They are of no real value, but I can’t get rid of them,” he says.

If he couldn’t be a Major League Baseball player, he’d be a guitar hero, play in a band and sing.

“I wish I were a better singer,” he jokes.

That didn’t work out either.

Even now, when he wants to unwind, he’ll “sit down and watch a baseball game, maybe smoke a cigar” or listen to his favorite music of all time, The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Meanwhile, his favorite movie is another classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Which leads seamlessly into his current profession, “serving people.”

But it is stressful.

His two favorite stress busters would be breaking par in a round of golf — “My current low round is 78” or “watching my grandchildren have children.”

Guess Who! in the Discussion Box above!

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