New Canaan Old Timers Association Spotlight: Robert Jones

To say Robert Jones has sports in his blood would be an understatement. The 1980 New Canaan High School grad’s grandfather Deacon Jones played pro baseball for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League before embarking on a long career as a top scout for the New York Yankees. Jones’ father Gordon played in the Cleveland Indians organization, getting as high as Double-A while older bother Lee Jones made it to Triple-A in the California Angels system. And while Robert Jones never realized his dream of playing pro ball, he has made a huge impact on the local scene, starring for the New Canaan Cannons in the Connecticut Senior Men’s Baseball League since 1998. “I was blessed by good coaches growing up in New Canaan including Ed Ready, Gordon Jones, Bill Brown, Mark ‘250’ Rearick, Bob and Roger Fulton, Bill Brown, Joe Ditolla, Jerry Quinn, Dave Prutting and Art Mazmanian—my closest friend for the past 30 plus years,” Jones wrote in his bio submitted by the New Canaan Old Timers Association, who will be honoring the diamond star at their annual celebration on Sunday, September 20th at Waveny.

‘Déjà Vu All Over Again’: Casali Homers Twice for Second Consecutive Game

A great baseball catcher once made famous the phrase “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Tuesday night at Tropicana Field another catcher channeled his inner Yogi Berra, accomplishing a remarkable feat for the second consecutive game. Just one night after belting two home runs against the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays backstop Curt Casali homered twice in the same game, this time off former teammate and fellow Vanderbilt alum David Price, who could do nothing but smile as the 2007 New Canaan High School grad rounded the bases. “I am just so excited for him, because this is a life-long dream for him,” Casali’s former coach at NCHS Mark Rearick told”It looked like Price was really happy for him.” Casali’s first homer was a two-run shot that extended the Rays’ lead over Detroit to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning.

New Canaan’s Curt Casali Hits Two Home Runs for Tampa Bay Rays

The Detroit Tigers saw big things when they drafted Curt Casali in the 10th Round of the 2011 MLB Draft. But they never could have imagined what they saw Monday night in Tampa. Casali—who was traded from the Tigers to the Rays while still in the minors in 2013 for pitcher Kyle Lobstein—hit two home runs against his former parent franchise, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-2 win over the Tigers at Tropicana Field. The 2007 New Canaan High School graduate finished the night going 3-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBI and two runs scored. His first homer of the night was a tape-measure shot off Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez to give the Rays a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.

‘The Most Influential Person I Ever Knew’: Ray Parry, 86, NCHS Teacher and Assistant Football Coach

Before he retired as New Canaan High School’s assistant principal in 2003, Gary Field had wanted to construct what he calls an ‘Emeritus Wall of Fame’ near the auditorium or other conspicuous spot. Composed of plaques listing the names, years taught at NCHS and, importantly, a slogan relating to the honored educator, the would-be Wall of Fame in one special case for Field would honor a man that he said forever changed his life. “In Ray Parry’s case,” Field said, “I think his slogan would be: ‘Young people rely on us to touch their lives in some meaningful way.’ As for me, I know for a fact that they have certainly touched mine.’ ”

He added: “It was wonderful working with him and he was brilliant and he loved kids and they loved him. He was the most influential person I ever knew.

Wilky Gilmore: ‘He Was One of Our Own’

In among the trophies in the lobby of the New Canaan High School Athletic Complex hangs a framed, vintage number-12 Rams jersey. There is no plaque, no marker, no inscription identifying whose jersey it was. As a result, hundreds of students, parents and fans filter past the jersey every day, unaware of the history or the significance behind it, unaware of Maurice ‘Wilky’ Gilmore. Yet for legions of New Canaanites, especially friends and relatives who were lucky enough to know him personally, Gilmore—selfless, charismatic, intelligent and graceful—etched a singular legacy here in town. That he did so in an era marked by civil unrest makes his accomplishments perhaps that much more impressive—though those close to Gilmore say his rare gifts of compassion and decency saw him transcend matters such as race and, in more than one way, “raise the game” of everyone around him.