by Charles Rosenay
Now that the softball season has come to an end, we look back on a pleasant Sunday morning, before a single pitch was even thrown.
In mid-April, the JCC of Greater New Haven started pretty much as it had for so many years. Allan Greenberg gathered all the players, both veterans, and first-timers, to welcome everyone, and detail the ground rules and the proper code of conduct. It wasn't very different from any number of previous season openers, except that Allan was doing his on-field ritual not as the current commissioner or league manager, but as an ambassador, passing the (Mickey?) mantle along to Nicolle DeMorrow Vigneron.
There wasn't the realization that Greenberg would no longer be at games overseeing the proceedings and game-play, nor were there any emotional speeches. After all, remember what coach Tom Hanks taught us in the film "A League of Their Own," that there's no crying in baseball. Covid made sure that there would be no hugs, either. What there was, though, was a bagel breakfast catered by Katz's Deli (who sponsor one of the teams in the league), and an "Appreciation Award" in the form of a custom plaque presented to Allan by a long-time player "For your (Allan Greenberg's) Outstanding Performance Dedication and Exceptional Commitment as Commissioner of the JCC of Greater New Haven Sunday Morning Softball League."
Also inscribed was the following, “He and His Annual Start of Season Rules Meetings, Opening Day On-Field Meetings, Pre-Game Balls and Injury Ice Deliveries, Spectatorship, and Conflict Resolution Skills Have Been the Steady Force Behind the League for Decades." It was dated April 18, 2021.
Some of the new players never knew Allan, or his dedication and integrity. Most of the players probably didn't even didn’t realize that this was Allan’s last time on the field in an official capacity. The opening ceremonies, presentation of the personalized plaque, and congratulatory remarks were over very quickly, as players were eager to get their opening season games underway. For Allan Greenberg, it may have ended a bit too quickly.