If you don’t know who Rocky Colavito is, I gotta ask you to look it up for yourself, or “google it” as Trent Baalke would say. You got to save me some time. We’ll get plenty into Rocky Colavito if I keep going with this. So, basically, while I was growing up as a kid, we were really good friends with the whole Colavito Family.
Mom and “Aunt Carmen” (Humble brag; that’s what we called her; and, yeah, he was “Uncle Rock” to me) were best friends, and our families had kids the same age. My brother, Bob, and Rocky’s son, Rocky Jr., were friends.
My sister, Gretchen, and Marisa, who was their middle girl, were good friends. And I was buddies with Stevie, Rocky and Carmen’s youngest son. My mom and Carmen are the same age, and they had kids around the same time, and each time the gender matched. Told you they were good friends.
We used to go over to the Colavito’s a lot. My brother and Rocky would play Strat-O-Matic, god knows what Marisa and my sister did, and Stevie and I absorbed ourselves in baseball, often hanging out in their basement. Only it was a basement like that. It was a modern, at that time, space that had all “Uncle Rocky’s” stuff.
And by stuff I mean a treasure trove of baseball history, in essence. Photos, plaques, trophies, bats, balls, awards, helmets, commemorations, you name it. The place was a shrine. I was, I don’t know, barely 10 or 11, maybe a little older, I don’t know. All I know is for whatever reason, I found myself growing up side-by-side with the Colavito’s. They were family back then. Still are, thank goodness. My mom and Carmen still see each other all the time.
So among going to watch (and shoot around during timeouts or better yet shoot at an auxiliary gym) my dad’s games, me already playing every sport in the book myself, the connection to the Colavito’s, it should have been an easy call, even back then: I wasn’t going to be a doctor.