ScuttleBu(r)t: Never a dull moment covering Channing-Felch baseball rivalry

ScuttleBu(r)t

ScuttleBu(r)t …

Thank you, Jeannie Bortolini.

Next week I’m undergoing surgery — by robot, no less — and I needed a good laugh.

Did I ever.

Jeannie, wife of Angelo, was kind of enough to fill in a couple holes on my story last week regarding her grandson Tanor, a Kewaunee High School senior lineman that is headed to the University in Wisconsin.

Tanor also plays basketball and took fourth in shot put at the recent state track & field meet. My article mentioned that Tanor is the cousin of former Forest Park football star Connor Bortolini.

There’s a strong athletic background to the family. Tanor’s parents are Scott and Teresa, a former UW-Milwaukee women’s basketball player who later became a coach.

Jeannie’s siblings are Gary VanOss, Janet Roell and Joanne Dennis. You might recognize the connection to other area sports in our area.

Jeannie, daughter of the late Floyd and Marie VanOss of Channing, closed out an email with a mention of her son, Scott, serving as the bat boy many years ago for uncle Gary’s Channing Railroaders baseball team.

It seems young Scott picked up an expression that could only be heard when you’ve got colorful characters like Ralph Cambray and Todder Lindeman in the dugout along with others that could spit out one-liners.

After a Felch Labor Day tournament game, Scott passed on a comment to his mom. This being a family newspaper, I’ll save it for my book.

But after reading what Scott said, I just laughed out loud in our newspaper office.

In my 43 years covering sports for this publication, I’ve had few better experiences than going to Felch for Wishigan League baseball games with the Railroaders and Rangers.

I had the perfect perch — pressbox right above the Felch dugout — and could soak in everything while Ron Kramer or Dick Ferris would take pictures.

Those games were must-see baseball. I skipped my parents’ anniversary party for one game, my family not appreciating the excuse that seeing David Bray and Stu Sundholm hitting a baseball could not be missed

I went to nose-to-nose with Andy Anderson when the Felch manager didn’t like my assessment that Babe Ruth state champions Detroit West 7 could give his team a game. I’m still not sure how ageless Johnny Constantini baffled hitters with slow and slower pitches. Fans would heckle players constantly, and after the game those same combatants would be sharing a beer. And then we had the rain storm where the Channing umpire wanted the game stopped and the Felch umpire held out for a break in the weather.

So now I’m ready for surgery. The surgeons and nurses just won’t understand why I’ve got the big smile …