A few weeks ago I read some real sad news about the loss of an Andover legend. It made me sad for sure, but at the same time it brought back childhood memories that made me smile.
Frank Pelletier -- or just plain Frank to those of us 9-year-old kids playing against 12-year-old men (when it was allowed back in the day) -- passed away at the young age of 52. Just to hear you would be playing against Frank’s team and he would be pitching was enough to make a young boy come up with a cough and sore throat that morning.
Frank threw the ball faster than seemed humanly possible. He would never throw at anyone so there was no need to be scared but, trust me, every 9-, 10- and most 11- and 12-year-olds were thinking the same thing: I hope one doesn’t slip out of his hand. Well, three called strikes later and you were heading back to the bench thankful your at bat was over. The next batter up would pass by and you would say “Go get him,” even though you knew he had no chance.
Shaking hands after the game was like shaking the hand of Nolan Ryan. He was the type of person from what I know and what I have heard made the world a better place, which to me is the ultimate ideal of what life is all about.
We never know when someone will leave us. We always think we will have the time or chance to bump into that person and say what we feel. Too often, we never get that chance. Hopefully Frank knew he was thought of as not only a great person but a legend.