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Scholastic Roundup: There’s reason to cheer at Brooklyn Tech

December 10, 2021 Andy Furman
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There’s good news at Brooklyn Technical High School.

Fans, spectators and parents will be permitted to attend their basketball games this season.

“Safety is our paramount responsibility,” Nathaniel Styer, Deputy Press Secretary/New York City Department of Education wrote in an email to Scholastic Roundup.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The question of fans in attendance at the Engineers’ home games was initially raised in an email from Douglas Katz, on behalf of Tech Basketball Parents.

“I am writing to ask for your help,” Katz’ e-mail read, “Brooklyn Tech High School just decided to prohibit all spectators, including parents for home games – regardless of vaccination status, testing or any alternative accommodation.”

Katz said he was surprised to read in the Eagle about a Seniors’ Showcase for the Fall, 2021.

“We heard nothing from the school about it,in fact,” he added, “Tech varsity players did not have any communication from school or coach for 18 months.”

Now, Katz says, the school is doing the bare minimum – no scrimmages, no non-league games, no gym access for practice over holidays, and now no spectators allowed at home games to cheer them on.

Katz reasons the no-spectator policy does not protect players or parents. “We are already in contact every day,” he says. “A limited number of spectators should be allowed.”

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Katz notes that in March of 2020, when this same group of players was on the jayvee, they won their division and were ranked eighth in the New York City PSAL playoffs.

“Now,” he says, “these hard-working student-athletes will have no opportunity to be scouted or recruited.”

But the response from Styler says: “After working closely with our coaches and the school’s athletic director, we are able to permit home spectators at Brooklyn Tech games moving forward. We are so excited to have our student-athletes back on the court and cannot wait to cheer them on.”

David Newman, Brooklyn Tech’s Principal said he provided the original quote and copied Styler, who e-mailed the response to Scholastic Roundup.

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Gil Hodges, the former Brooklyn Dodger first baseman and Miracle Mets manager in 1969, will be enshrined in  the Baseball Hall of Fame —  Cooperstown, New York on July 4, 2022 – and that got former Tilden High basketball coach Jeff Schrier thinking.

“Leo Durocher was admitted to the Hall posthumously in 1994,” he said. “He was suspended for the 1947 season for allegations of hanging out with George Raft and a bunch of his gambling buddies – suspended for an entire season.

“But,” Schrier added, “he came back and managed the New York Giants to World Series championships. Why was he eligible for the Hall and Pete Rose is not?”

Here’s your answer:

“Pete Rose is on Baseball’s Ineligible List, which makes him ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration,” said Craig Mudder, Director of Communications, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in an e-mail to Scholastic Roundup.

“Leo Durocher,” he adds, “was not placed on Baseball’s Ineligible List and was an eligible candidate when elected to the Hall of Fame.”

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Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred also sent an e-mail: “Durocher was not found to have bet on baseball, served his time and came off the ineligible list. Moreover,” he added, “at the time he was elected I don’t think the Hall of Fame had a rule that people on the ineligible list could not be elected to the Hall of Fame.

“In contrast,” Manfred wrote, “Rose bet on baseball – including Reds games – is on the permanently ineligible list and the Hall of Fame now has the rule mentioned above.”

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Back to Gil Hodges – Howard Kellman, the Sheepshead Bay High School grad and radio voice of the Indianapolis Indians mentions that former Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine – a resident of Anderson, Indiana – says that the organist at Ebbets Field used to play, Back Home in Indiana when Hodges batted and Erskine pitched.

Hodges was a native of Princeton, Indiana.

Kellman said: “I just talked to Carl; he is thrilled Gil was chosen for induction. There is no question that a lot of Carl goes with Gil to Cooperstown. So very happy for Gil’s family.”

Erskine was Kellman’s radio partner for Indians’ games years ago.

On the afternoon of April 2, 1972, Easter Sunday, Hodges was in West Palm Beach, Florida completing a round of golf with Mets’ coaches Joe Pignatano, Rube Walker and Eddie Yost, when he collapsed en route to his motel room at the Ramada Inn across the street from Municipal Stadium, then the spring training facility of the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos.

Hodges had suffered a sudden heart attack and was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital where he died within 20 minutes of arrival.

Pignatano later recalled Hodges falling backwards and hitting his head on the sidewalk with a “sickening knock”, bleeding profusely and turning blue. Pignatano said: “I put my hand under Gil’s head, but before you knew it, the blood stopped. I knew he was dead. He died in my arms.”

The wake was held at Torregrossa Funeral Home on Flatbush Avenue. The funeral was held at Our Lady Help of Christians Church on April 4th – in the Midwood section. That would have been Gil’s 48th birthday.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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