There were many deserving tributes to Dom this week. In the most genuine way, he touched the lives of generations of students here at Eastchester HS. He possessed a true love for this wonderful community. When I shared my personal thoughts about Dom at the candlelight vigil, I wanted to convey the sense that he worked on a canvas much larger than baseball:
Coach Cecere was a scholarly man who held education in high esteem. So I’m sure he would not mind if I quoted a former Professor of English Renaissance Literature, President of Yale University, and the 7th Commissioner of Major League Baseball – Bart Giamatti:
"Baseball is about homecoming. It is a journey by theft and strength, guile and speed, out around first to the far island of second, where foes lurk in the reefs and the green sea suddenly grows deeper, then to turn sharply, skimming the shallows, making for a shore that will show a friendly face, a color, a familiar language and, at third, to proceed, no longer by paths indirect but straight, to home."
Dom Cecere, Coach, had a profound respect for the absolutes in baseball:
- Home plate is always 17 inches wide – never more, never less
- The distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate – always 60 feet, 6 inches
- The distance from home plate to second base – always 127 feet, 3 3/8 inches
- 3 strikes and you’re out; 4 balls is a walk; and each team gets 21 outs in a 7 inning high school contest, if the home team needs last licks
Dom respected these absolutes as indisputable and part of the eminent fairness of the game. These were the rules. Yet within these rules was abundant room for a master. And among those who mastered this art, Coach Cecere stood at the pinnacle. He was a Michelangelo, a Botticelli, a Brunelleschi.
Baseball was the portal through which he masterfully imparted the wisdom of our great National Pastime, and more importantly, wisdom for life. Those who had the privilege to know him will always remember how they were elevated by virtue of his presence in their lives. As Bart Giamatti said, you only win in baseball by reaching home safely. What a great metaphor for Dom Cecere’s life and legacy. We will miss him deeply. We trust that he is now safe at home.
Dr. Walter Moran
Superintendent of Schools