With the World Series slated to start tomorrow night between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, i wanted to share a little bit of information I know and have been keen to post about for quite some time, and that time is now, since it's World Series-related and a local South Florida angle.
The first North Miami Beach High School grad to ever play in baseball's major leagues was also the first former Charger to ever play in MLB's World Series, catcher Steve Nicosia
Even if they're Pirate fans, as most of the people in that room were.
Nobody I met at IU from Pittsburgh was a better advertisement for what a great school IU was or better company to be around than my friend, Laura Seitz. Laura was a freshman when I was a sophomore, and she lived on the same floor at Briscoe Quad where I already had a LOT of close female friends, and eventually we met and became friends because our personalities really meshed well. Among my male friends, Laura was renown for always turning so many heads when she combined her sporty good looks with her shiny red adidas IU Swimming sweat jacket whenever we went to see a movie or met in-between classes over at the Student Union, or went to an IU soccer game at the-then new Armstrong Stadium, two blocks away from Briscoe. Laura was such a charmer and so honest and level-headed! The sort of friend you can confide in and trust in any kind of situation, no matter how upsetting or awkward, and genuinely feel a great weight lifted off of your shoulders after you've shared the news with her. I always thought she'd make a great psychiatrist, esp. in Left Coast Hollywood, as opposed to the one here north of Hallandale Beach. Just a great friend to have in good times and bad.)
So getting back to the main point of today's post, just to give you some helpful context, Steve Nicosia, who still lives in South Florida with his family, was about six years older than me when he was in high school at NMB, while yours truly was doing my thing over at Fulford Elementary, in 5th and 6th grade his last two years at NMB, when he was such a phenom.
So in a rapidly developing area with lots of well-established family and school loyalties and traditions comes a new school into the mix in NMB with neither, and located in an area of the city that was hard by the side of a huge retail complex and on another side, apartments for mostly senior citizens, a demographic which seemed almost of the city at the time.
Not exactly a target-rich environment to develop school tradition!
What made it controversial from the start, as if that wasn't enough, was its in-vogue educational approach that most parents weren't so crazy about -no letter grades, just passing and failing.
It's hard to get into really good schools with that siort of subjective thing, obviously, regardless of tests scores, so parents and high-achieving kids were not down with the way things were being done
As I told many people in my original email about Nicosia, my pre-playoffs pick was the Pirates playing the Red Sox in the World Series, a rematch of the 1903 World Series, Pittsburgh vs. Boston, Cy Young over Honus Wagner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Other NMB grads whom you may have heard of who came after I graduated in 1979 and my sister Linda graduated in 1982, include Facebook COO and recent author Sheryl Sandberg, actress Garcelle Beauvais and best-selling author Brad Meltzer.