Field supervisor for Lincoln Park Tower project honored as Home Run Alley Hero

Field supervisor for Lincoln Park Tower project honored as Home Run Alley Hero

Visitors received free hot dogs under the stands in the concession area Wednesday during a tour of the Lincoln Park Tower project. JUCO begins Saturday.

JUCO Chairman Jamie Hamilton hands a signed baseball to Pat Hutchinson, who was being honored as a Home Run Alley Hero on Wednesday along with Tom Worster, middle, and Lynne Sorlye.

The guys at FCI Constructors Inc. might have lost a few man points when they found out one of their own was being honored as a Home Run Alley Hero.

“Ed Forsman (president at FCI) walked into my office and said, ‘I just got done talking with Jamie (Hamilton),’” Marc Litzen said. “I said, ‘Aw, great, now what?’ He said everything was great; they’re gonna put Pat in Home Run Alley.

“I said, ‘OK, you gotta get out now,’ ” Litzen said, mimicking his voice cracking with emotion.

Pat Hutchison, the field supervisor for the Lincoln Park Tower project, Lynne Sorlye, who recently retired as the general manager at the Clarion Inn, and former JUCO Committee member Tom Worster were honored Wednesday in the hospitality suite at the ballpark and received replica baseballs from JUCO Chairman Jamie Hamilton.

Their names on larger baseball plaques are hanging above the left-field bleachers at the stadium, and they’ll be introduced to fans before Thursday night’s game.

Once Litzen composed himself, he called Doug Swann, who was the supervisor of the project, and told him.

“I went over to the barbecues, and I closed one on my head,” said Swann, who also teared up, even though he was in Home Depot. “A guy comes over and says, ‘Are you all right?’ I told him, ‘Yeah, I just really love this barbecue!’”

Hutchison said he came “this close” to crying when he was told of his induction. He will throw out the first pitch Saturday night, representing all the partners in the stadium project.

“It hit me really hard,” he said. “I’ve been coming here forever, and I know what that means out there. For them to pick me…we’re all a team; it’s all of us.”

The three large concrete pillars that hold up the structure that is the Lincoln Park Tower are there because of the work of Hutchison.

Sorlye: A reliable host

In her various positions over 37 years at the Holiday Inn, which is now the Clarion Inn, from working at the front desk to becoming a manager and then the general manager, Sorlye made sure everyone who needed to be tucked in at night was taken care of.

“It’s been a tradition that we hosted teams and the headquarters,” she said. “We had been pretty involved as far as sponsoring umpires rooms and a couple of teams. It’s just something the hotel, the whole staff, looked forward to. We’d decorate the lobby and all wear JUCO T-shirts. It was just a tradition to be involved.”

Hamilton said Sorlye was someone he could always call if the tournament needed just one more room, even at the last minute.

“Lynn and her team consistently roll out the red carpet to host two teams and the headquarters office for the week of JUCO,” Hamilton said.

“She has been there during the years to keep costs down for this community nonprofit event. In fact, for numerous years she has donated rooms for our JUCO umpires, assisting in decreasing one of the tournament’s biggest expenses.”

Sorlye recalled getting phone calls from Sam Suplizio, the longtime tournament chairman, needing another room.

“Whether it was for the banquet speaker or another VIP coming in, before Jamie, I would take calls from Sam at the last minute,” she said. “‘I know you’re full, but can you do this or that?’ It’s just something we did.

“Hotels try to be the home away from home for visiting teams, whether it’s JUCO or basketball teams at Thanksgiving or throughout the year. It’s just real satisfying to make them feel at home and help them through a problem if they have it.”

Worster has seen all kinds of changes in the JUCO World Series.

“Oh, my goodness, in those days we did about everything. Some of it was rudimentary, that’s for sure,” Worster said.

He started out helping Frank Gibbs with the on-field entertainment.

“I remember we used the Shriners’ motor scooters that they use in parades. We had them line up at the gate on the first-base line, and the coaches got on the scooters with the Shriners, and that’s how we introduced them,” he said. “One year we went into the infield and around, and I remember (Dick) Reimer and (Gene) Haggerty got a little upset because we left tire tracks on the infield. After that, we didn’t have them on the infield.”

Worster went to Suplizio with the idea of fireworks on Memorial Day, something that’s become a can’t-miss tradition. It started with a $200 budget, just enough for three skyrockets and one American flag.

“Golly, people thought that was the greatest thing that ever happened,” he said.

JUCO now spends $8,000 on the Memorial Day fireworks show.

Worster ended up at the tournament headquarters, greeting coaches as they checked in.

“I loved that because I saw those (coaches) who I remembered introducing and kept coming back,” he said “I really enjoyed talking to those guys.”


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