Junior began his WMSPL career in 1982 with Brothers Pizza (which may explain his obsession for pizza). He stayed with that team for two seasons, but moved on in 1984 to a scrappy team who had just won the 1983 WMSPL Playoff Tournament, the Hughes Hawks. �I figured I�d hitch my wagon to a winner,� Junior said. �Who would have thought that they�d go over 30 years without doing it again?�
The Hughes Hawks have been through several re-brands since winning that title, and Junior has been there, relentlessly guarding the third base dugout, the whole time. In 2003, the team was renamed �Falcons� as it remains today, and as the last jersey Junior will wear.
His iconic #77 will be retired by the team in a private ceremony before the 2015 season begins. Junior has held several important positions within the Falcons organization over the years. He�s been Head Coach, Team Rep, and represented the team proudly as a 2009 WMSPL All Star, batting a scintillating .333 in the game.
He leaves as the likely Falcons career leader in games played, at-bats and as the owner of the team�s second-longest consecutive games played streak.
Junior's commitment to the fundamentals served him greatly over his career, even into his seventh decade on earth. Never one to jog out a ground ball, he pushed himself game in and game out. Remarkable evidence of this is that Junior won team MVP the year he turned 60, a feat that is likely unrepeatable. Also unrepeatable is being a member of a team for thirty years and never once being voted �Most Sportsmanlike�, even as a joke.
Unfortunately, age caught up to the grizzly vet. Injuries prevented him from playing in the 2014 WMSPL Playoff Tournament. Who knows what would have happened against the Devils in the championship game if Junior had been able to play (though it sure as hell didn�t help the team in 2013, 2011 and 2010, but I digress). �Injuries? No,� said Junior. �I was just sick and tired of getting to the finish line only for you boobs to poop your pants with the Promise Land in sight!�
The umpiring crew will not be sad to see Junior go, as they�ll finally be able to officiate a game without being (rightly) corrected several times per game. When it came to the rules, Junior was never wrong (except when he was wrong, and even then he wasn�t wrong), and he wasn�t shy about letting the ump know about it. �My next step is to move on to officiating,� said Junior. �I can�t wait to get out there to show you guys how much I REALLY know about this game!�
�I�m going to miss being yelled at by Junior,� said Million Dollar Bill. �He�s not going to read that, is he? That guy scares me.�
�Who�s going to be in the bullpen now?� Ash mumbled. �I�m not pitching every inning. Where�s Barry? China? Tough. Get his ass back here.�
When told of Junior�s retirement, Bird opined:
�Cowards (retire) many times before their (retirement);
The valiant never taste of (retirement) but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that (retirement), a necessary end,
Will come when it will come,� adding �Hey guys! Check me out! I�m all bookie-philosophy and stuff!�
�I wanted to come back for a victory lap, like that Jeter guy,� Junior whispered, wiping away a tear. �All the other teams could honour me, and give me gifts. That would have been nice.� Sadly, none of us will have the pleasure of seeing the other 11 teams �honour� Junior.
For pizza nights, the Falcons will set up an empty TV tray, complete with vintage Blue Jays McDonalds plastic tumbler (featuring Stieb, Moseby, Fernandez, et al) as a tribute.
With Junior�s retirement, the Falcons roster shrinks back down to 15. How do you replace Junior? You simply don�t. The Falcons could have a thousand draft picks every year for the next thousand years and not come within a thousand yards of replacing Junior Tennant, Falcon for Life.
Say it ain't so.
Posted by: Mike Murphy
But JR.....I haven't completed my training yet!!!!!
Posted by: Big Cat
At least I won't get yelled at for not making it to third this year. JR was a great ball player but man that guy was grumpy!
Posted by: Bird
We, the writers, would like to make the following clarifications regarding Junior's slo pitch career:
- 1983 & 1984 (2 years) (WMSPL) played for Brothers Pizza - won the championship in 1984.
- 1985 to 1989 played in the Oshawa Slo Pitch League. Returned to WMSPL in 1990 with Hughes Hawks.
- 1990 to 2014 (25 years) (WMSPL) Never won another championship.
Falconsslopitch.com does NOT regret the error, because we regret NOTHING. YOLO and stuff, you know? But we wanted to put the right information out there so rumours don't get started.
Posted by: Falcons Writing Staff
First time visiting The Falcons website since last September, and I read this. C'mon Junior, you can still out hit over half the league. Very Surprising retirement. All the best. The Hill will wait your for your arrival. I will probably moon you when I see you watching up there.
Posted by: Mike Xtreme