OPINION: Baseball memories really do last a lifetime

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The Coeur d’Alene Little League team is living a dream this week as they prepare to play in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Our community has been cheering the team on in this incredible journey, the first team from Coeur d’Alene to make it to the World Series and only the second team in Idaho ever to qualify.

These boys and their coaches and families are making memories for a lifetime.

Case in point comes from a conversation this weekend with Mike Shepperd, CHS Class of 1969. After graduating the U of I, Mike joined the Navy, retiring in 1994 and settling in Cranberry Township, Pa. A Coeur d’Alene boy through and through, Mike played City League ball until the age of 12. The Little League program wasn’t established here in that era.

Recalls Mike, “The last year I played in the City League, our team made it to the City Championship. Lost 6-1 to Central Pre-Mix.”

Over half a century later he still recalled the score of the game and who prevailed. It was the summer of 1963 and Bruce Cooksey and Bob Leno served as coaches, Mike said.

“Claude Everts and Carnie McArthur were teammates. Our best pitcher was Tom McFarland,” remembers Mike, who also pitched.

So over a half century beyond that City League championship game a detail still remembered by Mike: the pitcher for Central Pre-mix was Mike Webb.

“He could throw a sinker that moved like nothing I ever saw. I did, however, hit a grand slam off of him once. Only homer I ever hit.” Twenty years after high school graduation Mike Webb told Mike that he was the only player to ever get a grand slam off him.

Mike Shepperd will make the 3-hour drive from his Pennsylvania home to watch the Coeur d’Alene Little Leaguers play on Friday, hopefully connecting with Coeur d’Alene fans. He knows just how rare and special these memories will be for a new generation of North Idaho boys of summer. A lifetime’s worth.

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A GoFundMe page for helping the families of these boys with the expenses of attending the World Series can be found by searching the site for “Cd’A All Stars World Series Team,” or through checks dropped off at any Bank CDA location.

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David Avery and his fellow servers at Crafted Tap House in downtown Coeur d’Alene enjoyed meeting a low-key billionaire guest at the eatery on Friday night. Facebook CEO (net worth $55 billion-plus) Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla were taking in the summer scene on Sherman Avenue and for the most part went unrecognized.

David said Mark was very nice and told him he was just vacationing here for a few days. I came across a photo of David and some of the Crafted staff posing with Mark ... on Facebook!

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Shelly Servick Lewis learned to golf as a child on Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course, but not until retiring two years ago did she start playing in golf leagues and taking the game more seriously.

On Saturday everything came full circle when she made her first hole-in-one at Coeur d’Alene Public, acing Hole 2, 100 yards with a pitching wedge. Congratulations!

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Things to do highlights: Note from reader Kim Edmundson — it’s the ‘rest up for fair’ weekend, so we can all thoroughly enjoy the North Idaho State Fair and Gem State Stampede that starts next week!

On Thursday, Midtown Get Down! Thursday, 5:30-9:30 p.m. On the lawn across from Midtown Pub. Hosted by Bryan Elementary PTA, admission $5, under 12 free. Live music, beer garden, food vendors, kids games. Bring lawn chairs, blankets.

Also on Thursday, St. Vincent de Paul Thrifted Pop-Up Market, outdoor community event. 108 Walnut, 2-6 p.m.

Saturday, the fourth annual Coeur d’Con 2018 comic convention — celebrating books, movies, games, manga, comics, and all avenues of geek culture. Entrance to the convention is free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Public Library.

Also on Saturday, Choose Local Fest in the Park, Coeur d’Alene City Park from noon to 8 p.m

Saturday and Sunday, the fifth annual Sophie’s Sluggers softball tournament to benefit childhood cancer. Games start at 8 a.m. both days at Majestic Park in Rathdrum.

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Happy Birthday today to Tracy Christopherson, Wayne Longo, Rick Currie, Mary Richter, Anne Couser and Thomas Sorci. Tomorrow Susan Selle, Brian Kirk, Jennifer Ross, Cindy Wagner, Andrea Fulks, Kim Brown, Serena Carlson, Sarah McCool, Paul Sullivan and Brandia Young will celebrate. On Friday Amber Malloy, Jenna Morrison, Kristin Largent, Cynthia Rayner, Terri Seymour, John Gertenbach, Brandee Peacock, Linda Mannschreck, Christina Gardner and Lugene Broadsword mark their special day. Sunny Saturday celebrants are Jim Hail III, Brandi Meeks, Jaqueline Dickinson, Jake Medlock, Jasmine Preckle, Sarah Andrews, Toni Prince, Marissa Davenport, Corrine Larsen, Keva Wolfe, Andrea Sadler, Julie Pierce and Althea Carpenter. On Sunday Vicky Jo Carey, Scott Noordam, Amy Elder, Peter Woods and Frank Garcia put on their party hats. Mary Condie, Nancy Scofield, Elaine Carda, David Buerge, Louise Gillespie, Christina Gardner, Gene Colley and Art Elliott will have Monday birthdays. On Tuesday Crystal Shofner-Moore, Jared Phay, Matthew Behringer, Doris McCaulley, Mike Warren, Ed Hatter and Kelly Chadderdon celebrate their birthday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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