Harmony’s pipeline to the New York Yankees has at all times been going sturdy: Crimson Rolfe, Joe Lefebvre, Bob Tewkesbury, to call just a few.
In late 2019, the Yankees added head coach Matt Blake to that roster, and on January 3 of this yr it was Brian Sabin’s flip to go to the Bronx for his second stint with the group.
Though neither of them will take the sector on March 30 when the Yankees open the season towards the San Francisco Giants, the 2 Harmony natives might be instrumental within the day-to-day operations of a franchise that when once more holds World Collection aspirations.
It has been practically 50 years since Sabean roamed the hallways of Harmony Excessive Faculty, however within the time since then, he is had a profession in Main League Baseball. Within the late Eighties and early Nineties, a scout for the Yankee Collection drafted and signed Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and different main gears to the group’s late-’90s dynasty; Then from 1996 till 2015, he was the overall supervisor of the Giants, who received three World Collection throughout his tenure (2010, 2012, 2014).
Now, he’s again within the group the place he began his main league profession. On this new place as Govt Advisor to the Basic Supervisor, he’ll report on to Basic Supervisor Brian Cashman and might be concerned throughout spring coaching and the draft; He will even have a voice in commerce, free company, minor league improvement, and worldwide participant scouting.
Though Harmony could technically be hostile territory for Yankees followers, it’s nothing new for the Sabean.
“I can not say I actually grew up as a Crimson Sox fan,” he stated. “I beloved the sport, and I have been following sure groups, however once I had the chance after spending a while as a school coach on the College of Tampa to change into a scout with the Yankees, I bought New York expertise, (and) the group was like. Nothing’s larger. Nothing’s appreciated. Greater, extra historical past, so with the ability to do it a second time is absolutely enjoyable, and I am so grateful for the chance.”
Whereas Sabean joins Blake as a Harmony native with the Yankees, the 2 have by no means crossed paths but.
Blake graduated from Harmony Excessive Faculty in 2003 and has been with the Yankees as a pitching coach because the 2020 season. He grew up in Harmony, however always heard in regards to the metropolis’s athletic pedigree.
“It actually meant all the things as a result of it was such a powerful sports activities tradition with its traditions,” he stated of taking part in sports activities at Harmony. “Individuals talked about Bob Tewkesbury and Sabine and Joe Lefebvre. … Simply realizing there have been folks earlier than you who did that, although it’s a small nation, a small city, bolstered the imaginative and prescient that you could be good on the sport. Whether or not you find yourself turning into Skilled or not, I do not know, however no less than there was a imaginative and prescient going ahead that it might be performed.”
He lately had an opportunity to reminisce with Sabean about varied anecdotes from their time at Harmony. Though they spanned totally different generations, they shared that athletic bond that society has.
“Simply listening to his experiences, that are a bit bit like mine, simply 20 or 30 years in the past, is absolutely attention-grabbing,” Blake stated.
One mutual connection? Tewksbury, who performed with Sabean and has since labored in clinics with Blake on the Harmony Boys and Women Membership and all through the group over time.
Tewksbury performed for the Yankees in 1986 and 1987 however didn’t neglect to play for Sabean in American Legion Baseball and through his freshman yr of school baseball at Saint Leo College in Florida.
“He wasn’t massive in any respect. He was a Harmony child who beloved baseball,” Tewkesbury stated of Sabin within the late Nineteen Seventies. He had excessive expectations. You do not have a lot room to maneuver for errors.”
Since retiring from the sport, Tewksbury has change into closely invested within the psychological aspect of baseball, serving as a psychological expertise coach for the Crimson Sox and Chicago Cubs and the Giants (overlapping with Sabean).
Drawing on a few of this work has been integral to Blake’s improvement as an occasional coach. Each day, he manages plenty of totally different personalities, efficiency nervousness, and different hectic conditions for his pitcher.
“I majored in psychology in school, and folks at all times ask what are you going to do with that. Are you going to be a psychologist? Are you going to graduate college?” Blake stated. “I did not know the place my path would go, however the place I find yourself as a coach within the massive leagues, I take advantage of my psychology diploma day-after-day….Having somebody like[Tewksbury]that I may relate to and speak to and his community that I’ve come to know over time is one thing Actually helpful.”
It’d seem to be a pure coincidence that two Harmony guys work for one of many largest franchises in skilled sports activities, however for Sabean, that is a part of a much bigger image.
It is considerably ironic, however I am not stunned, he stated. “New Hampshire has a whole lot of good folks within the sports activities world and particularly in baseball.”
The highway to skilled baseball actually is not a linear one, and most who attempt to get there ultimately flip away, however Sabean and Blake’s careers present that it will probably occur, even from a state that is not often identified nationally for its baseball expertise.
“The primary factor is that it’s potential,” Blake stated. “I would not say it is simple. It has to work out best for you. It’s important to put your self on the market in so many various methods, however the truth that you’ve got seen it twice now and we have seen different individuals who’ve performed it, like Bob Tewkesbury, that is undoubtedly one thing that is potential for you in case you’re prepared.” to pursue him.”
And the Harmony Yankees name is a reminder in Blake’s eyes.
“It is clearly a enjoyable story that these two guys who made it to the key leagues have been separated for 30 years however at the moment are at totally different levels of their careers,” Blake stated. “I am excited to get to know Brian and share my experiences alongside the way in which and issues that helped me from Harmony and listen to his tales about rising up within the Harmony space and taking part in with Warren Doane. Simply to listen to that the custom could be very sturdy in Harmony, I do not suppose folks essentially understand that on a regular basis.”