On Sunday, the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-7 in 15 innings. While neither team is high on my radar to follow, the Mariners possess one player with very close ties. Denny Stark pitched to four batters in the game. This came after an absence of 1747 days (last appearing on the mound in 2004) and two Tommy John replacement surgeries on his right elbow.
How well I remember back in the day (he was a year behind me in school) when Denny was on the mound or on the hardwood either scoring 1000 points in basketball or pitching on the mound at EHS. Totally amazing and he was definitely one who started out as soon as he was big enough to throw a ball to his father. I know for a fact that his parents encouraged his talent and gift. His father, “Connie” (and mother, Roz), coaching, developing him, but never being the stereotypically domineering parent.
Sometimes, coming from a small town and knowing everyone and what they are doing is a good thing. In little league, I remember having Connie as a coach who never demanded anything less than what you were capable of giving. So often we hear of coaches or parents who push as hard as they can in order to realize their own dreams through their players or children, but it was absolutely untrue in this case: THIS IS DENNY”S DREAM and it has been realized once again… if only for four batters. Hopefully, this is only the beginning. Perseverence does have its rewards. I remember going to a Ft. Wayne Wizards game one summer when Denny was scheduled to pitch for the opposing team. However, we were unable to see him pitch as he was called up to the next level.
UPDATE: According to a more local newspaper, Denny will be used in a middle relief capacity.