Ted MacCarrick, who kept his passion for softball alive for decades.

Ted MacCarrick, who kept his passion for softball alive for decades.

 

Two years ago, I wrote about the passing of two local softball legends, Eddie Joseph and Ted MacCarrick, both of whom played in local leagues and brought as much heart—if not speed—to the game in their 70s as they did in their 30s Eddie and Ted passed around the same time, and while I wish I was still showing up at over-70 tournaments and cheering them on, I am so pleased that their names and legacies live on. 

I spoke with Amy Kenney, who is Ted’s daughter, and she was thrilled that the 2nd annual softball tournament to benefit the Ted MaCarrick Memorial Scholarship Fund is coming up on June 1, starting at 10 am at Cass Park Fields #6 & #7. “We were at my dad’s memorial service,” Amy offered, “and Doug Joseph (Eddie’s son) said, ‘We should get some of their friends and former teammates together!’ It grew from there.”

This year’s tournament field has grown from five to eight teams, there will be food, a raffle, a silent auction, a bounce house and a dunk tank to cool off the losing teams!  It is a true family effort, as Amy’s two brothers (Paul and Dan) are involved, and given their father was playing softball at age 76, they are not worried about running out of energy.

While the event looks quite typical from some angles, its mission is as unique as Ted himself. In Amy’s words, “My dad was not really that into school. He loved sports, and he loved working, and he started working in his father’s auto body repair business in high school. He bought it in 1969, and to honor him we have created a scholarship in his memory.” 

She paused, eager to spell out the caveats… “The scholarship is to be awarded to a Trumansburg senior who is graduating from TST BOCES, and they have to be going into one of the trade professions.” 

I asked Amy if they were able to find an appropriate beneficiary last year, and she could barely wait to get the story out. 

“Oh, it was wonderful,” she said. “There is a young woman who was graduating from the welding program, and she had plans to start her own business where she went from place to place and did welding for people.” 

That plan faced a bit of a challenge, as the student did not have her own tools, but the scholarship changed that. 

“She showed up with some of her family members and spent the day with us at the tournament!” Kenney said. “She helped with selling, and serving, and it was just great. Our family is so thrilled. We love keeping this going in my dad’s honor.”

To get involved, please visit The Ted MacCarrick Memorial Scholarship and Softball Tournament page on Facebook, or call (607) 220-7066

• • •

F

arewell to the Gas Man: It was just last fall when Ithaca native and NASCAR pit crew member Clint Smith retired from his 24 years as a gas man for many different (and top-shelf) NASCAR teams. I saw the announcement on social media, reached out to ask the 1979 Ithaca High grad (and All-STAC soccer player) if I could write a feature about his career, and he said he’d be delighted to be interviewed, and when his photo ended up on the cover of our November 21 issue, Clint was so grateful. 

The news ran across Facebook at the end of April that Clint had suffered a major stroke—related to his long-term battle with diabetes—and his friends in Ithaca and North Carolina hoped and prayed he would pull through. 

Sadly, after a mere 6 months of retirement, Clint went to join his lifelong friend and racing mentor Bill Frisbie in that “Victory Lane on the sky” referenced in the November story. Tributes have been pouring forth from around the country, track announcers have led moments of silence, Clint Smith decals were affixed to cars and helmets around NASCAR, and people in North Carolina are getting a glimpse of how much Clint was loved up north, and vice versa. 

I will personally miss his regular comments on my column. Despite the fact that Clint lived 500 miles away, he stayed connected to Ithaca and read our paper on the web on a regular basis. He was so positive, so grateful for the exciting career he had, so loyal to his friends. I will miss him.

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