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Rookie Manager DiVitto
Has a Banner Year
Steve DiVitto was no stranger to the Milford Legion baseball program when he took over as manager at the start of the season. The 29-year-old had been a player on two Post 59 squads and was a member of the 2004 team that advanced to the state tournament and had served as an assistant coach for six seasons under former skipper Brian Macchi.
Still, this was a bit different. Now he was in the top spot and the success or failure of the team would be tied to him. It's safe to say DiVitto navigated his rookie year at the helm successfully, and set a high bar for future seasons, guiding Milford to a 28-11 record, a state championship, and an appearance in the Northeast Regional final. "It was both exciting and relatively stress free because of the players had on our team," he said. "They came to the field ready to work hard and it translated into success on the field."
It didn't come easily. Milford started the season with several key players either injured or finishing high school seasons. Post 59 lost its first three games and was in danger of missing the postseason at 7-7 through its first 14 contests. "Early on, we had some bumps in the road, but we continued to work hard and approached the game with a goal to get better every day," he said.
A fiery competitor as both a player and a coach, DiVitto seemed to approach the managerial role with a clam demeanor. He steadied the team through a number of moments during which its resilient nature was put to the test. After running off 10 straight wins in the regular season and two more in the Zone 4 playoffs, Milford was a game away from elimination against Wachusett. Post 59 responded with a road win to push the three game series to the rubber match and capped it off with an extra-inning victory to earn a berth in the state tournament.
In many ways the team's approach, steady, clam, and with a loose but businesslike demeanor, reflected its manager and the rest of the coaching staff. "As a coach, you are proud of your team's accomplishments but I am a more proud of how they carried themselves," DiVitto said. "I came to the field and tried to do my best to put the kids in a position to succeed. As a coaching staff, we are focusing on making them better ballplayers and better young men."
DiVitto said his approach didn't change too much in shifting into the managerial role, but there were a few new experiences. "Going to the regional was new," he said with a chuckle. "In any coaching experience, there is a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices go into a successful season.
"The biggest sacrifice comes from your family. I wasn't home a lot in the summer, but my wife Nichole and the rest of my family were there to help me along the way."
If the early returns are an indication of what's to come, Milford fans will hope to see DiVitto on the diamond at Fino Field for many summers.




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