"Welcome to this year's induction ceremony to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. As Commissioner of Major League Baseball, it is always my pleasure to host the annual induction ceremony. However this year is extra special because for the first time in history The Baseball Hall of Fame has waived its 5 year waiting period to accommodate the induction of not only one of the games' greatest players of all time, but also one of its greatest ambassadors. Dominick Carvoli Passed away 3 weeks ago succumbing colon cancer after a 3 year fight. He died the same way lived his life: thinking of others first and fighting the good fight to the end. We have as presenters for you today several of Dom's coaches from throughout his career and accepting for Dom will be Angie Carvoli, Dom's wife of 17 years.
First, may I Introduce Dom's High School coach, Coach Bud James."
"Thank you Mr. Commissioner. It's my honor to be here to help induct to baseball's Hall of Fame the greatest player I ever saw play the game. The first time I saw Dom was the spring of his sophomore year. Here comes this tall, gangly..."
Angie reminisces: The first time I saw him, he was tripping down the hall in our high school, and I do mean tripping. Dom was about 6'2" and weighted about 130 lbs. Like me, he was a sophomore and obviously had just had his growth spurt - vertically anyway. Dom's other outstanding feature was his ears - they were huge. Not only were they big, but they stuck out from his head like a wind break. He had to have strong legs just to keep moving forward against the drag those ears must have created. After all these years I still remember my astonishment when I first saw those ears.
My best friend Cindy and I were on our way to our next class when we passed Dom. Cindy, with her normal lack of discretion almost screamed "Who's that dork"? I was mortified, but Dom just smiled and kept going.
I was intrigued; I just had to find out more about this person. I finally found out his name was Dominick Carvoli. He was from a large Italian family on the east side of town. He had that sultry olive complexion that characterizes those of Mediterranean decent. Dom's hair was near black, and his dark brown eyes would flash obsidian when his passions were aroused.
On the other hand I am Irish; pale skin, red hair and freckles - lots and lots of freckles. My family is the law in our little town of New Madrid, MO. Da is the Chief, and both my uncles are patrolmen. My aunt is our cities detective. My older brothers want to go into law enforcement. I'm so screwed and any potential boyfriends better be ready for the inquisition.
But like I said, I was intrigued by this long tall scarecrow with twin wind socks. So I started my investigation. What? I do have the investigative genes you know. The first thing I learned was his nickname - Dombo! You know, like Dumbo the flying elephant. Kids can be so cruel. The second thing I learned about Dom was he was man totally comfortable with himself. He always knew he wasn't perfect, but so what. God, that we all could be that way.
Anyway it was still amazing that that Dom got along as well as he did. For one he was terminally clumsy, Dom could (and did) trip over the cracks in the linoleum. I noticed that teachers, when they had Dom in a class would hide the trash can because he would invariably find a way to trip over it.
Then there was his voice. That year, his voice was in the middle of changing and would go from a low baritone to a high screech all on its own and seemingly in the middle of a syllable. This drove my Da crazy when they finally met, but that was somewhere in the future. That's what Dominick looked like, but, as you all know, looks only tell part of the story. Dom was the oldest son of a large family. As I learned from observing Dom, he was always looking out for his younger brothers and sisters. The easiest way to get those eyes to flash obsidian was to mess with his siblings. I soon learned all the little kids looked up to Dom and he in turn, always had time for them. The more I learned about Dominick Carvoli, the more I was intrigued.
I decided I had to meet him. So, I started my campaign to get him to notice me. I arranged to drop a book in front of him and he promptly tripped over it. I cut in front of him in the cafeteria line and he promptly tripped over me! He screeched an apology but I had finally gotten him to notice me. As time went on we would sit together at lunch and look for each other in the morning upon arriving at school.
One thing I learned as we got to know each other was that Dom was never offended by his Dombo nickname. In fact, he encouraged the young kids to call him Dombo and I was amazed to learn that he taught himself to wiggle his ears to be better able to entertain the youngsters.
So it was natural that I came to call him Dombo and I became his Angel - and that's when I started falling for him.
I told you I was Irish, red hair, pale skin, freckles, the whole bit. I also had the red haired personality; outgoing and outspoken, and an Irish temper when provoked. I have been told I have a devilish sense of humor and an open face, so you always know what I'm thinking. But I've never been called an angel, much less to BE someone's Angel, even if he was screeching when he called me Angel. How could I not fall for him?
Back to the present:
" ... here he comes barreling down toward 3rd base. I've got the stop sign out but Dom just keeps going. I never could see how he got those long arms and legs moving so fast, but he was as fast as anybody I've ever seen before or since. In addition, when he needed it he seemed to have an extra gear. Well, he kicked into the passing gear and scored standing up! A stand up inside the park home run! If we hadn't filmed the game, I never would have believed it. I know I needed to chew his ass out for disregarding my stop sign. But how do you do that after what Dom had just done..."
I found out Dom was on the baseball team. I didn't know much about baseball, but my Dom was playing, so Cindy and I decided to go to the first game of the season.
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but watching my Dombo trip across the foul line and turn into Super-Stud Shortstop was not on the list. He went out to his position and promptly took over the entire game. He ran the whole team when on the field. Nobody even questioned this sophomore telling everyone what to do, they just did it. For the record, Dom went 4 for 5 with 2 home runs (one of those being an inside the park HR). In the field he had 8 chances and no errors. Oh by the way, he had an unassisted triple play, something that I later learned was so rare as to be almost mythical.
And so our lives went on, Dom played baseball and Dombo and I continued as best friends. But I wanted more.
I got my opportunity late in the spring. Sophomores could not go to the prom, but we did have a Sadie Hawkins Dance. For those of you who may not know, a Sadie Hawkins dance is one where the girls ask the boys to the dance. I cornered Dom one day at lunch and asked him to go to the dance with me. He looked at me, opened his mouth, closed it and opened it again. His face turned several interesting shades of red and he finally looked to my eyes and screeched "OK".
That presented a new problem, my Da. Da was very protective of his baby girl and he demanded that he meet (and interrogate) any boy who would dare date his Angie. I told Dom he would have to come to our house to meet Mom and Da and after warning him what to expect, Dom screeched "OK".
Thank God for Mom. If not for her, Da might still cross examining and intimidating poor Dom. After an hour of telling Dom what he could and could not do with me on our date and what would happen to Dom if he should break any of Da's rules, Mom finally came up behind Da, slapped him on the head and said that was enough. Mom then winked at me.
For his part, Dom screeched his understanding of Da's rules. Dom also reassured Mom and Da that he would never do anything to hurt his Angel. At this declaration Mom smiled and Da's face turned almost as red as his hair. I was sure that the whole New Madrid police force was going to be at the dance. I was so screwed!
Somehow we made it through the dance. Dom's Godfather took us to the dance in a limo. You should have seen the jaws drop, at least until Dom fell getting out of the damn car. Ah well, he WAS my Dombo! We danced, well I danced and Dom stepped on, and tripped over, whose ever toes happened to fall with-in a 5 foot radius. Funny thing, toward the end of the night we had the whole dance floor to ourselves, hmm. All in all, it was a magical night. I was falling further and further for my Dombo and, I believe he was falling for his Angel.
It was perfect until we got home and Da saw the limo. As Da came out of the house and walked toward the car Dom's Godfather got out from behind the wheel. The first words out of my Da's mouth were "Who are you and where did you get this limo?"
"I'm Dominick's Godfather and I made someone an offer he couldn't refuse." Dom's godfather replied with a smirk. I could only think "I'm so screwed."
Thank god Mom chose that moment to come out and introduce herself. With-in 30 seconds she had thoroughly charmed Dom's Godfather who explained he owned a car lot and had taken the limo in trade. Da settled down and finally walked away muttering something about the Hooterville Mafia. I didn't realize it at the time but Dom's Godfather heard the remark. It would later come back to haunt Da.
Back to the present:
.... There is more of this story ...