One of a Kind
The Tri-Valley Men’s Senior Baseball League lost a brother on Aug. 9.
In the top of the sixth inning, while stifling a Tribe rally, 65+ Giants pitcher Alan ‘Navarro’ Silver collapsed on the third base side of the mound. Despite CPR administered by ballplayers, and the life-saving efforts of the fire department paramedics, Alan passed away that day.
Most players remembered Alan mainly as a good person and secondly as a ball player. But make no mistake: the man could play. “Alan and I go way back to 1999 in the Redwood Empire Baseball League,” said Giants manager Don de Cordova. “Alan was a pitcher and third baseman and a very good hitter.” Tim Ryan confirmed Alan’s pitching ability. “For one 70 years of age Alan could throw the ball harder than most in their 50s,” he said. “He wasn't just a thrower, he was a pitcher.”
Alan accompanied de Cordova on 15 trips to Las Vegas tournaments and at least 10 trips to the MSBL World Series. Zach Jones was among those counting on Alan’s appearance again this year. “I was really looking forward to catching him in Phoenix and the tournament venue as well,” he said. “He will be deeply missed from this game that we all love to play.”
Never did Alan glare at an infielder for booting a ground ball. No one could remember him yelling at a ball player for any reason. “He loved the game of baseball and sharing it with his teammates, and he lifted our spirits with his presence,” said mound partner Jerry Emanuelson. “I will always remember catching Alan, who was a heck of a pitcher, and he rarely if ever shook me off,” said Bobby DeStefano. “We would sit in the dugout between innings and talk baseball and life.”
The talk inevitably reverted to what a genuine, kind individual Alan was. “He was always kind and concerned about my brother and me,” said Rick Hubbs. Nick DiLauro remembered Alan as a very friendly guy and a good player. “I can’t say enough about him, he really was a good guy,” added Lou Ferrari. Rankin Lyman recalled many a dugout chat. “Alan and I had some heartfelt talks about his wife and my late mother, both Alzheimer victims,” he said. “A decent man who will be missed.”
“He was the nicest and most kind man,” said de Cordova. “His kindness led him to offer to pay for players who were struggling to pay their baseball fees, so as to not leave them behind. On several occasions, when Alan was injured and could not make a tournament, he would always make sure his fees were transferred to another.”
As the surreal scene on the field wound down that day, two makeshift columns of Giants and Tribe players flanked the departing ambulance. The players tipped their caps as the ambulance drove along the infield dirt and took Alan away.
Shortstop David Currie memorialized the stunning events in his tribute to Alan. “Even in the end, you were on the mound pitching your butt off for us,” he said. “It was so fitting that you passed away on a pitching mound, working to pull our team out of a mess.”