ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- On Saturday Jeff Leon will call veterans out of the stands to line the first and third base paths at the RTHS Varsity baseball game against Coach Kyle Zick’s Forreston Cardinals. Rochelle Hub Coach Nick Reineck’s players, dressed in camouflage jerseys, will lend assistance. The Floyd J. Tilton VFW Honor Guard will preside. The National Anthem will be played before the first pitch is thrown out by Reineck’s Grandfather and Korean War Veteran Ernie Chisamore.
May 17 is Armed Forces Day and Reineck is embracing it for a number of reasons. This is his last season at the helm of Hub Baseball, a program Reineck and Chisamore men have been involved in for generations. In August he leaves Rochelle to take an administrative position in Sycamore. “Rochelle means a lot to me. Rochelle is where I grew up, where I learned to play baseball. I’m going to miss the kids, the fans, the former players. No one would get a bigger kick out of watching an RTHS ball game on Armed Forces Day than Matt McCulloch,” Reineck said.
“Matt was a permanent presence in our stands through his son Mike’s high school career as well as grandson Micah, now making a name for himself as NIU Huskies designated hitter.” The McCullochs lost Matt, who served in the US Marine Corps between 1955 and 1959, in April.
“Putting together this ballgame on Armed Forces Day gives us a chance to acknowledge veterans like Matt and my Grandpa. We hope all Rochelle area veterans will come out to line the base paths and help us raise a little money and support the Veterans Memorial at Lawnridge Cemetery.”
The double header begins at 10 am Sat May 17. Reineck said all proceeds from the concession stand and a 50/50 raffle will be donated to the memorial. Members of the Memorial committee will e on hand to take orders for the engraved pavers that will decorate the center of the memorial.
The 2014 Hubs boasts its share of veterans: Brian Johnson (Army & Air Force) - father of Doug Johnson; Jim Hart (Army) - great grandfather of Tyler Joyce; Harvey Seebach (Army) - grandfather of Alec Seebach; Richard Hopwood (Marines) - grandfather of Matt Buck; Kenny Roeglin (Navy) - grandfather of Kyle Helfrich.