There isn’t anyone looking forward to the opening day of the New York Yankee’s 2014 season more than Springside’s Mille McCann.
When the snow finally melts this spring and baseball becomes the nation’s pastime once again, she will be watching her grandson, catcher Brian McCann, who recently signed a multi-million dollar contract with baseball’s most famous team.
Brian McCann had previously played for the Atlanta Braves for eight years. His catching skills have earned him five silver slugger awards and all-star honors for seven years, with one of those years having the added designation as All Star Most Valuable Player.
As Millie waits for winter to blossom into spring and her grandson to take his position behind home plate, she certainly won’t need to brush up on her baseball knowledge.
Millie, who is a youthful 89, is known at Springside as ‘Baseball Grandmother.” She rarely misses one of Brian’s games and most nights can be found in front of her television watching a game through a major league baseball package on cable television.
She began following baseball when Brian’s father, Howie, who grew up in Oswego, took the sport up as a young boy.
“I think it was baseball that kept me young,” Millie said. “I drove all over to attend games.”
Howie would go on to both play and coach college baseball. Today, he operates the Windward Baseball Academy, in Georgia, which assists players develop their skills.
In fact, Howie and his wife, Sherry (Brown), were both inducted into the Oswego High School Hall of Fame in 2013.
It was just a natural fit that Brian and his brother, Brad, who now works at Windward, became involved in baseball.
In 2013, when Brian’s contract was up, Millie said, it was an opportunity for him to explore some options.
“The Yankees brought him to New York, where they wined and dined him,” Millie said. “I agree with his decision, it was time to move on. The time was right for another challenge.”
Millie says her grandson is kind hearted and that she is most proud of his baseball accomplishments.
Later this year, Millie hopes to trade in her Springside chair in front of her television for a real seat at a Yankee’s game. She’s never seen her grandson play professionally and with the Bronx within driving distance (as Millie doesn’t fly), it’s a possibility.
Millie said her daughter, Sue Fox and husband, Dick, are seeing what arrangements can be made.
One thing is for sure, the residents of Springside are sure to be supporting the Yankees this year.
Springside at Seneca Hill is a retirement community for active seniors age 62 and older, located between Oswego and Fulton. Springside is an affiliate of Oswego Health.
To learn more about Springside, call 343-5658 or visit oswegohealth.org