A letter of thanks to Chris Augeri, from John Gianino, founder and first president of Over Thirty Baseball:

Dear Chris,

The Award at our banquet this year, given in your honor for now and into the future, is emblematic of who you are to this league. The Award includes the words “Most Valuable Player.” This is who you are to this league. Your thirty years of playing ball is remarkable, but what is more remarkable is what you did off the field of play.

You were involved, very early in your playing career as a key support to me, and to the many tasks, behind the scenes, to make OTB the right place for people to play this wonderful and amazing game in an atmosphere of mutual support and caring for one another.

You said it again, so beautifully at the banquet, what you shared after the passing of your son, Rob, fifteen years ago, “I originally went to the park to play baseball and meet friends, and now I go to the park to meet friends and then play ball.”

You, along with the loving support and of your dear wife, Cindy, the Board Members, Managers and all the volunteers that you coordinate, will continue to make OTB the landing spot for those who want the opportunity to play this wonderful game once again, in a competitive and friendly atmosphere.

When I first met you from the time when you came to my home to sign up and now to this very day, I am amazed at your dedication, your easy disposition, your love for this game, but most importantly for the care and appreciation you have for each and every person, who has joined OTB and wants to play this wonderful game once again.

You are an amazing young man and the standing ovation you received at the banquet is a reminder of how grateful we all are to have you at the helm of our organization.

I may have helped to begin OTB, but you have provided the leadership to have OTB not only survive but thrive.

To paraphrase what you shared, it was an honor to meet you and get to know you when baseball brought us together and now I meet you my friend and then we talk baseball.

With Warmth, Admiration, Respect & Love,

John Gianino