You can tell it’s summer in Linglestown when Koons Park fills with the colorful jerseys of young baseball players.
And anytime there’s a game, Nate Brame will be there.
“This is my game,” he said. “I’m here every day. I’m here Saturdays and Sundays.”
Brame’s job is to run the scoreboard. It’s a volunteer duty he takes very seriously.
“You have to watch what you’re doing,” he said. “It’s hard.”
“He’s all professional, all business when he’s running the scoreboard,” said Brett Bentz, vice president of the Linglestown Baseball Association.
Brame started with the assocation back in the 1990’s when his high school teacher at Central Dauphin East, the late Steve Foltz, suggested he volunteer with the league. Brame had never actually played baseball, but he quickly learned to love it. His mother, Diane, brough him to Koons Park night after night, year after year.
“He loves baseball,” Diane Brame said. “He can hardly wait until it’s baseball time.”
And because of that love, Brame still treats his volunteer duties like a full-time job, all these years later.
“Nate is the first person at the park before it opens and the last one to leave,” Bentz said.
“He’s the heart of Linglestown Baseball,” parent Nykkia Benkovic said.
“I think it’s great to see somebody have that enthusiasm and I think some of it rubs off on some of these kids,” said Bob Chernikoff, secretary of Linglestown Baseball Association.
And although the scoreboard is Brame’s job, the kids are clearly his passion.
“Nate is a positive guy,” said player Cash Brunner. “He never looks down. He always looks up. He always has this positive energy.”
“Nate gives them confidence,” Benkovic said. “When they do something good, Nate’s going to be there cheering them on. And when they mess up, Nate’s going to say ‘it’s okay, buddy, next time you got it.”
“He’s been doing it for so long and with so many kids that if we go to a restaurant or anywhere, these kids from so long ago stop and talk to him,” Diane Brame said. “He still knows these kids.”
Brame proves that the real home runs in life don’t come from the numbers on his beloved scoreboard…but from enthusiasm, dedication and service to others.
“To come here and want to do it with a smile and bring joy to other people, it’s pretty neat to see,” Bentz said.