From a “Sidekick’s” Perspective UPDATED!
– Jill Gazzo
For weeks I heard many stories from my husband, Joe Gazzo and his partner, Randy Mintz about a legendary baseball player, from back in the day, by the name of Rocky Colavito.
I was invited to tag along on an interesting journey to visit Rocky in Reading, PA.
We started out on Friday along the Pennsylvania Turnpike which became more beautiful as the miles passed. The conversation during the entire trip included fascinating details about Rocky’s career, and most importantly what a great man he was, on and off the field. Everyone seemed to love this man and would do anything to get a “piece of history” from this beloved baseball player.
We were fortunate enough to have an invitation from Rocky’s very good friend and wife to meet them for dinner at a quaint little restaurant, 201 West. What a beautiful evening we shared with great conversation about so many memories. Steve and Lucy had us back to their home which was another treat as we experienced a step back in time. They are antique lovers, and of course huge fans of their best friend Rocky.
Saturday was the huge opportunity for me to meet Rocky and his wife Carmen for the first time. Humble and engaging are the words to describe this beautiful couple! Rocky kept reiterating that he is so surprised that his fans remember him this some 50 years later! We also celebrated Carmen’s birthday while we were there and “serenaded” her with a Happy Birthday rendition. The purpose of the trip was to pick up the signed limited edition prints entitled “On Deck” that Joe created of Rocky with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Rocky Colavito statue.
The highlight of the day for Rocky and all of us was a presentation from Bob Zimmer, president of the Baseball Heritage Museum at Cleveland’s Historic league Park, for the first honorary lifetime member award at the museum.
Rocky also had the opportunity to speak with Fox Sports Commentator John Fanta, host of Rodeo Kick Round Table, as a preview of the upcoming interview taking place in a few weeks. Stay Tuned! It was hard to leave that day. My husband Joe reminded me that there are surely throngs of fans that would have loved to have been in my shoes that sunny Saturday in Reading PA!!
The ride back home was filled with gratitude for having experienced a truly magical moment!