Column: Thank you, Shelter Island Bucks baseball

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bucks infielder Thomas Roulistags tags out Riverhead Tomcat Austin Barrois at second in game one of a season-ending doubleheader on Monday. The Bucks lost both games.

The season is officially over for our Bucks but not before they put on a fight and became number one in the Hampton’s Collegiate Baseball league going into the playoffs this week. Also, not before becoming the team with the most runs scored in a single season in Hamptons League history with 10 games in double digits.

First place did give us home field advantage in the playoff double-header this past Monday afternoon against the Riverhead Tomcats. Unfortunately, we lost both games by a mere two runs, the first with a score of 8-6 and the second 5-3. However, losses have never stopped the Shelter Island supporters and these games were no exception. The fan support continued to be the largest of any team in the league and the crowd rooted and hollered all the way to the last strike.

Riverhead is currently playing Southampton in the finals.

I particularly enjoyed the way our town embraced this new team with donations, food, volunteerism, supporters and just taking care of these young men so that they all felt comfortable in their summer hometown. You wouldn’t believe the strict rules these 18- to 21-year-old men agreed to live by just to play ball on our Island. I for one hope they come back in 2013 and would really love to see most of the same players.

Last week, I mentioned many of the strong supporters but I did somehow forget the duo of Linda and Cara Cass, who were always present volunteering to sell assorted Bucks merchandise for every game and Linda Strahm for attending every game, always wearing a Bucks shirt, rooting and keeping the score for all games. You guys deserve a big thank you.

I also happened to notice Keith Bavaro from SALT restaurant pulling up in his van and unloading platters of food for these hungry young players. I left SALT out of my thank yous last week so “thank you” to SALT restaurant.

Who was Billy Buck? That’s right, the person under that hot deer uniform that danced to the music, jinxed the opposition and posed for pictures with every kid who attended the games. Even the big kids made it a point to pose with Billy Buck as he was such a great sport while being dressed in wool on the hottest days of the year.

Don’t tell this Bob any secrets because he will tell everyone, one at a time. Keep it under your hat but behind that deer get-up I happen to know that Ken Lewis did it one night but Pat O’Shea was our consistent Billy Buck.

All right boys, go back to school, study hard and come back and see us next year. Also, if any of you become big stars don’t forget the ones that loved you on the way up! We all enjoyed having you here. It really added a lot to our summer.

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