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BHS Custodian Spreads Joy Through Passion For Baseball

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Michael Coccetti, a Burlington High School custodian, poses in the hallway. Coccitti is an avid baseball fan and hands out cards to community members.
Michael Coccetti, a Burlington High School custodian, poses in the hallway. Coccitti is an avid baseball fan and hands out cards to community members. | Photo: Cerella Farinholt/Register

Michael Coccetti is a longtime BHS employee who holds a special place in the school, not only as a custodian, but also as a kind-hearted baseball fanatic and friend to many students.  Students and teachers alike vouch for Coccetti’s consistent generosity, from distributing baseball cards to sharing his knowledge of the sport and of the world.

Coccetti’s love for baseball began at the tender age of six.  He had family members who played ball, and he consequently began following the sport and going to games.  Coccetti says that his passion for baseball kept him busy throughout his youth, and actively kept him out of trouble.  Growing up, baseball allowed him to stimulate his mind in a variety of ways, and it even helped him in school.  He loved to figure out batting averages, and ended up exponentially improving his math skills in doing so.

“Baseball has a lot to give,” both to himself, and to the players that he has met, and “should always be approached graciously,” recognizes Coccetti.

Throughout his entire life, Coccetti has found himself relating with others through baseball.

“Baseball is a world sport.  Almost every country has it,” says Coccetti.

After traveling all over the United States and the world, he has fostered a connection with many players from all walks of life.

“All of the players have all been through things.  I can understand all that. They know that we must move on,” he claims.

Coccetti is  famous around BHS for his vast collection of baseball cards.  He began his collection around the age of seven and became obsessed with collecting all the great players.  However, when he got to Vermont, he realized that he could do more than just collect cards, and started writing to his favorite players.  He started to teach classes to youth in the community, where they were taught to write to their idols in baseball.

“The classes teach students penmanship.  They also learn how to correspond with the older generation, which is very important,” explains Coccetti

Coccetti’s fanaticism for baseball does not stop at a professional, or even college level.  He strives to attend or watch as many games on TV as possible, from the World Series to local BHS games.

When describing his experiences at games, Coccetti simply says, “I watch.  I don’t talk when I’m at the game.  I’m watching every little thing.”

Coccetti describes his favorite moment in baseball, recalling “ I was at Lake Monsters game, years back, and I saw a back to back to back triple.  Never happened before.  I yelled that, and everybody was asking how I knew that. I said ‘I watch”.

Coccetti plans to stay engaged in baseball for the rest of his life and hopes that BHS students will also engage themselves in the sport.  Coccetti believes that there is something special about baseball.  In return, the BHS community believes that there is something special about Coccetti, and the joy and passion that he brings to the school every day.

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