Steelers and Jim Parsons Hit it out of the Park

Forgive the delay on this posting. There was almost no internet service in the Arctic where I was the last week and a half. Hence, no Arctic postings either. Hope to have those starting tomorrow. 

Recognize the guys above? Team Four Investigative Dynamo Jim Parsons, and Stephen Colbert of the “Colbert Report,” showing off their Peabody awards at the Waldorf in New York  Monday, 6/17. It just happens to be one of the most prestigious awards you can receive in journalism–both electronic and print. We are all so happy for Jim, who won for his investigation of spending abuses by the board members of PHEAA–the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Jim and WTAE waged an 18 month long battle for PHEAA to open its records.  Board members had gone on expensive spa trips, rented limos, and engaged in other abuses of taxpayers dollars.

 

 Our news director, Bob Longo, shown here at the table,  and Asst. news director Roberta Petterson were on hand, having played an important role in supporting and guiding the legal battle , as well as editing the final product. Of course, our vice-president and general manager, Rick Henry had to sign off on all of this, so he was was also there, along with  David Barrett ,the president and CEO  of our parent company, Hearst-Argyle, and the company’s senior vice-president of news, Fred Young. Pretty heady stuff for JIm, and richly deserved , since his probe and the station’s stance in court have helped change the state’s Freedom of Information laws. That legal battle was a primary reason Jim, his team, and the station received this prestigious honor. 

So the sports metaphor, “hitting it out of the park,” could not be more appropriate. 

And switching gears here, it was more than a metaphor on Saturday, June 7, when Hines Ward hosted his first charity softball tournament out at North Allegheny High School. Hines’ Helping Hands Fund, which is part of The Pittsburgh  Foundation, aids urban youth, and biracial kids, which has been a theme in his work in South Korea–where he was born. Hines’ biracial heritage has been a motivating theme running through his entire life. 

A strong Steeler contingent showed up in the 90-something heat. This is Max Starks, and the three of us our Co-Captains of the Caring Team for the Caring Foundation. But we weren’t on the same team this day. Max was in the dugout with Big Ben.

The Steelers were  amazing.  I think Ben hit a homer every time, and Santonio Holmes, on our team was powerful. Larry Foote and I both went to Michigan, so we would yell, “Go Wolverines, “ when we went up to bat, but Santonio asked us to say “Go Big Ten, “ since he went to Ohio State. 

 Brett Kiesel, Nate Washington, and Charlie Batch also played,  and there were a lot of TV and radio celebrities who came out. Frankly, I was shaking like a leaf out there. Before I was married, I played softball with a woman’s team in Birmingham, which is how I met my ex-husband. He had played pro baseball when he was younger. Then I played for  the WTAE No-Stars, and my former spouse even played for us the first several years I lived here.  He was a good coach, I have to admit. Anyway, in the first inning, I at least hit the cut-off from the outfield, for an out to retire the side. But I was hitless at the plate. At least I didn’t have a strike. 

But the true star of the game was DVE’s Jim Krenn. He was one of the reasons we were leading for the first six innings. He was snagging  fly balls like a frog with a bug, and he grabbed what would have been a homerun. 

The other star was our own Jon Burton–BUT HE WAS ON THE OTHER TEAM!!!!!!!  That ball just shot off his bat, and he hit a homer that drove in the runs that put them ahead for good. Talk about clutch. I was just clutching my hamstrings, which were screaming for me to stop. 

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