Former baseball player, 88, moved to tears when workers surprise him with specialized wooden bat

TWINSBURG, Ohio - An Aurora man, who was known for "flashing the leather" in the the 1940's and 50's as a minor league baseball player, flashed back in time on Friday thanks to surprise gift.

To celebrate his 88th birthday, co-workers at Davco Fastener in Twinsburg presented Dick Potts with a customized wooden bat.

The bat, made at Johnnyville Slugger, has Potts' jersey number 6 engraved on it, along with his signature, and "Radiarts", one of his Cleveland sandlot baseball teems.

Some employees also compiled old newspaper articles that detailed some of his baseball games, including one where Potts, a third baseman, delivered the game-winning hit.

He cried as he looked at the bat. When asked what the gift meant to him, Potts said, "More than anything that's ever had happened to me."

Potts works 18 hours a week at the fastener distribution company.

Warehouse manager Bob Iorillo said all of the employees admire him for still working as he nears his ninth decade of life.

"At 88 years old, he still comes to work three days a week, never late, never misses," Iorillo said.

The company wanted to do something memorable for Potts because he often talks about his glory days playing ball.

"We call him the MVP, which could stand for Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable Person, or his last name is Potts. He could be the Most Valuable Potts," Iorillo said.

During an interview, Potts said he wished he could be back on a ball diamond.

A short time later, he took a couple of swings with his new bat, which was followed by applause and cheers from his co-workers.

"I love baseball," he said.




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