July 15, 2013

It's like old times for CVBL alumni


The lesson apparently was not lost on the hard-throwing Perry.

“Years later, I faced a similar situation against a guy from the Air Force in the service playoffs and I didn’t forget what Bob had said. I came back with a fast ball and struck him out.”... 

No reunion would be complete without a Tom Kowalowski story. The Lyon Mountain legend of the early sixties made it to Class AA ball with the Yankees at a time when there were six classes of minor-league baseball (AAA to D). however, a twist of fate and injuries intervened to cut short Tommy’s path to the big show.

He was still a force to be reckoned with in the mid-seventies. There was too much talent and not enough openings in Lyon Mountain at the time, prompting the formation of a second entry — aptly named the Lions — with Ves Pivetta and Bill Durnin in charge of the upstarts. The two teams were to meet for the first time when eagle-eye Pivetta spotted Tommy K arriving at the ballpark early. Ves plied Tommy with a couple of beverages and a dish of his infamous Pivetta pasta, hoping to compromise Kowalowski for the main event.

Later, Ves was still taking his bows when up steps Kowalowski in a pinch-hitter’s role. Tommy did get the last laugh, hammering a long home run, just as Pivetta’s idol, Mickey Mantle, would do a few times in his storied career.

As the afternoon wound down last week, Pivetta called on everyone to take note of a road sign a few miles out of the town, stating simply: Dannemora 8 Lyon Mountain 3.

“There should be a line attached to it,” insisted Pivetta, “saying ‘This is not a baseball score. Dannemora never beat Lyon Mountain in baseball.’’’

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