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 You're never too old to fulfill a dream!

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Savannah
"Psalm 34"



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PostSubject: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 12:28 pm

I LOVE this story! And it reminds me of one of my favorite sayings: You're never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream. Although in this case, it's, "You're never too old to fulfill one of your old dreams." Love



At age 92, Tony Gianunzio doesn't have the same heat on his fastball that he did when he was an up-and-coming pitcher being recruited by the Chicago Cubs.

But when he takes the mound Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field to throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs play the Kansas City Royals, he says he will be ready. He's been ready for more than 70 years.

As a 19-year-old hurler, armed with five different pitches, Gianunzio was on the fast track to make the Chicago Cubs squad and invited for a tryout.

"I was sure I could pitch in the big leagues," Gianunzio said from his Kalamazoo home.

But that's when a letter from Uncle Sam changed the direction of his life. The draft age had been lowered to 19 and Gianunzio was called upon to serve in World War II.

"I got a letter from the Cubs that said 'take care of yourself. See you after the war,'" Gianunzio recalled.

But after more than three years as a Coast Guard gunner's mate on the USS Machias, his opportunity to play pro ball had slipped away,Gianunzio said. Although he played semi-professionally in the Upper Peninsula following his military service, he hadn't fulfilled his childhood dream of stepping onto Wrigley Field.

Until Sunday.

Gianunzio said the opportunity arose after a filmmaker found out about his story. Daniel Deal, a student at Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids, is helping to produce a feature-length documentary about West Michigan W.W. II veterans.

When Deal learned about Gianunzio's baseball career during interviews with him, he decided to contact the Cubs.

After the team confirmed that Gianunzio was expected to make the roster at age 19, the organization invited him to appear at Wrigley Field. Gianunzio will throw out the first pitch Sunday and will also receive a special salute in the fourth inning.

The film crew delivered the news to Gianunzio during a filming session at the Water Street Coffee Joint on Oakland Drive.

"I had to turn away because I couldn't hold back the feelings inside," Gianunzio said. "I wasn't crying, but eyes were definitely watering."

He said some of the people in the coffeehouse who overheard the interview were brought to tears as well.

Since learning about his big league debut, Gianunzio, a retired Portage Public Schools teacher, has gone back to the mound to make sure he is ready to make his pitch. He has been training for about two weeks at Portage Central High School and in his backyard.

"I know I can throw it 50 feet on a line. It's still got some punch on it," he said.

Although he will be on the spotlight Sunday, he said Gianunzio hopes that the day will honor all those who have served in the military, especially those who had to forego baseball careers to protect their country.

~~~~~~~~~~



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Krissy
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PostSubject: Re: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 2:15 pm

That is true indeed!!!


“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it... Yet.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
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Savannah
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PostSubject: Re: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 2:25 pm

loveheart Thanks, Krissy!
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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 2:28 pm

Wow, very inspirational! Thanks, Lisa!
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Laura (Half Pint)
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PostSubject: Re: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 7:55 pm

That is great that he gets to throw out the first pitch.

I just worked quite a few games with a 79 year old umpire. He is in great shape even after having a triple bypass.


"We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves." -The Walnut Grove Congregation on various occasions

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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 8:04 pm

How nice! My dad had a quintuple bypass when he was 72, and it gave him thirteen more good years.
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Krissy
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PostSubject: Re: You're never too old to fulfill a dream!   Sat May 30, 2015 8:32 pm

Savannah wrote:
loveheart Thanks, Krissy!

Love Smile Thumbsup


“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it... Yet.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
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