Monday, June 11, 2012

Daddy's Girls

This past weekend wrapped up the high school softball season here in the State of Concrete Gardens. Among the schools that fell short of winning a state title this year was Hanover Park. In the Group II semi-finals last Tuesday the Hornets lost to the eventual state champions from Pequannock. However this season marked the first time since 1980 that Hanover Park had won a sectional title. They upset Rutherford 3-2 earlier last week to win the North 2 Group II title. In springing the upset they won their tenth game out of the eleven they had played since May 5, at which time they were under .500 and in danger of missing the playoffs altogether.

This year's Hanover Park squad included the Politi sisters, Danielle and Dana. The sisters - who are twins - combined to produce the winning run in the sectional championship game against Rutherford. May 5, 2012 is a day that these two youngsters shall recall for the rest of their lives. For it was on that day that their dad was struck and killed by a drunk driver while he stood in the parking lot of his own store next to his own vehicle. At the time he was hit, his daughters were down the shore having a nice weekend at the beach with their friends. His injuries were so severe that Ralph Politi Jr. died before his wife and daughters could make it to Morristown Memorial Hospital to say goodbye to him.

The Politi twins could have simply opted out for the remainder of the 2012 softball season. Their dad was not only among their biggest fans but he had also been their coach from the time they were little sluggers until they started high school. No one would have looked askance at either of them for a moment had they decided to call it a year. They did not. And not only did these two young ladies not give up they and their fellow Hornets went on a historical tear, winning a championship that their school last won about a decade or so prior to any of the kids on this year's team being born.

This spring the Politi family home was visited by more than its share of tears. In a time of profound sorrow however Dana and Danielle Politi wiped their cheeks dry long enough to do something simply wonderful. Bravery comes in many shapes and sizes. And as they taught us all this season, occasionally it comes in pairs.

-AK

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