(Trail Times file image)

(Trail Times file image)

A difficult loss for Trail … and Dodgers fans

Dave Thompson is a Trail Times columnist

Difficult week.

Everybody’s friend, including mine, Gerry Hollett passed suddenly last weekend. For me the second outwardly strong and healthy close friend to just go, in a year and a half.

It should be a reminder that, no matter how tight the medical market is, it is a good thing to force your way into annual checkups.

Just a note. Everybody knows Gerry as a contractor, probably the best concrete guy around, and a lot of people know him as a ballplayer. Not a lot, I think, know just how good he was, because he never brought the subject up and was humble about it all when it did arise.

He played on Canadian national teams at world championships, and as a, “ringer,” on semipro teams as far away as Alaska before settling back into his hometown. Probably, even in a town full of baseball talent, the best player at the toughest position (catcher) in the sport, this baseball town ever produced.

Some will remember that. Everybody will remember the friendly, hard working, generally good citizen and family man, he matured into being.

RIP, my friend.

• Shockingly, no potential Dodger excuse for me to miss any events coming up. Sad to see Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher on the planet for decade, on the hook for the loss (if not officially, he will wear it). Upsetting to see Dodger manager Dave Roberts still not really capable of handling a major league pitching staff, but probably keeping his job.

I was looking forward to an old school Cards/Dodgers series. Those battles began long before the Dodgers, six decades ago and long before expansion in MLB, moved to the West Coast. Go Cards, now, I suppose.

• The Smokies are beginning to look like the highly touted crew we heard about in the pre-season, and it would not be surprising if they hit Cominco Arena next weekend riding an eight game win streak.

They will eventually have their captain back, and, right now, look to be a team that can go as far as its goaltending allows it to.

We will know better in just a few weeks, after a run of 10 intradivision games to end October and start November, about their potential, but the results are beginning to look pretty good.

• The Nitehawks, entering this weekend, have a six game home stretch, all but one of those games against out of division opponents, on tap. With the Smokies still away until next weekend, this is a good chance for local hockey fans to check out the current edition of the Beaver Valley team, and keep their hockey chops alive while waiting for Trail to get back on home ice.

Especially now, when post season baseball has lost all meaningfulness.