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ST. MARYS — A local baseball legend returned to town Wednesday to hand out a Little League award that bears his name.
Galen Cisco visited members of the St. Marys Rotary Club during their weekly meeting at the St. Marys Eagles and talked about all things baseball. He also handed out the Galen Cisco Award, which is presented annually to the St. Marys Little League’s team most valuable player.
Cisco touched upon a variety of topics before handing out the award. The retired Major League pitcher and coach gave his impressions of the playoffs, including the wild finish to the regular season.
“Things like that happen,” Cisco said of the collapse of his former team the Boston Red Sox. “When you don’t do the little things and you get toward the end, pressure starts to build and things happen that normally don’t happen earlier in the year when there isn’t quite as much pressure. Believe me, the playoffs are much more pressurized.”
Like he always does during his visit, Cisco gave his predictions and commentary on the current playoff picture. He also talked about the resignation of Terry Francona as Boston’s manager. Cisco served as a pitching coach on Francona’s staff in Philadelphia in the early 1990s.
“I don’t know the exact reason,” Cisco said of Francona’s departure. “I know that Terry is a very good friend of mine and I worked under him for five years in Philadelphia. He’s a terrific manager, a players manager and I don’t know what happened in Boston.”
One Rotarian asked Cisco what pitching coaches talk about during mound visits.
Cisco, who had a long career as a pitching coach for the Royals, Expos, Padres, Blue Jays and Phillies, said it varied.
“What I always tried to do was get the pitcher’s ideas off what has already happened,” Cisco said.
“I don’t go out unless he’s already in trouble. I go out and I try to get him to focus on what’s at hand and forget about what happened and give him fresh ideas on how to pitch this hitter.”
Cisco also admitted some visits are used to stall the game to allow a reliever more time to warm up.
After a handful of questions, Cisco presented the award to Derek Jay, the son of Mike and Kelly Jay.
Jay played for the Yankees and batted more than .700.
“I’d like to first of all, thank the Rotary for having this nice meeting and sponsoring the Galen Cisco Award.” Jay said. “I’d like to thank the Eagles for the food .”
Jay also thanked his teammates and the volunteers who helped make the Little League a success.
“I’d like to thank the president who was always behind the scenes doing stuff that no one else saw — Mark Huber he did a really good job,” Jay said, who thanked his coach for volunteering his time.
“I’d like to thank my teammates ... they made it a very enjoyable year for me. I’d like to thank my mom and dad. They spent many hours in batting cages and showing me how to throw and pitch. They’ve just done so many things for me and I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me.”
Jay also thanked Cisco for remaining active in the community.
“I’d like to thank Galen for still showing interest in the city even though he has been so successful,” Jay said.
“He’s still involved in the town and I think St. Marys is very lucky to have him around. It’s an honor to have an award named after him given to me. Thank you.”