Take Michelle Out To The Ball Game …

Michelle Mechanic is a Westporter. On Facebook she calls herself a “mom, policy advisor, artist, lawyer (in no particular order), and general lover of life.”

She is not a baseball player.

She always wanted to play. She even made her high school softball team. But her parents made her quit after one day. They worried it would distract from her fine arts work, and her goal of getting into the Rhode Island School of Design.

Michelle did get in. But she never learned to play ball.

Her son Abe Gutkowski learned early — and well. Just 9 years old, he’s already played travel baseball with The Clubhouse in Fairfield.

His Little League team won the 10U championship this spring. Abe pitched 5 innings, and gave up just 1 hit. He sounds like the next Chad Knight!

Abe Gutkowski is a Little League champ.

Michelle’s 5-year-old, Myles, is just starting to throw and hit off a tee. He prefers soccer, she says, but wants to be like his big brother.

Michelle wants to do all she can to share Abe’s passion with him.

So — while he’s at sleepaway camp for the next 4 weeks — she decided to learn how to hit, catch and throw. She wants him to return to — surprise! — a mom who can literally play with him, rather than watch from the bleachers.

She called The Clubhouse and asked about lessons.

The woman at the desk said Michelle was the first woman — ever — to make that request.

Michelle Mechanic and Abe Gutkowski.

Rich Garcés — “El Guapo,” a former Major League pitcher who has coached Abe — said he could probably do it. But the receptionist said they’d first need permission from Clubhouse owner Mike Porzio.

Mike — a Westport — quickly said, “Sure!” In fact, he added, everyone is always welcome to learn there.

Michelle can’t wait to get started. She’s even more excited to play baseball with Abe when he returns.

Come to think of it, maybe she is the next Chad Knight.

15 responses to “Take Michelle Out To The Ball Game …

  1. Daniel Craig

    Just another Westport er signaling — to see how many likes she gets on the story. Kinda sad —. But in an era where people actually die
    Trying to enhance their Instagram profile with likes … it’s not surprising
    — signaling or bragging as it was called back in the day — is the norm now. Yikes

    • Michelle Mechanic

      Hey Daniel. I will always brag about my children’s grit and dedication when earned. However, you’ve got me all wrong in other respects. I’m happy to chat or take you for a coffee so we may get to know each other . I’m optimistic your opinion will change. Feel free to reach out through my FB page.
      Warm regards – Michelle

      • Mary Cookman Schmerker

        As the mother of two boys, now men, I salute you. Good answer! I hope Daniel takes you up on the offer.

  2. Lauren Rownin

    Michelle is anything but the average Westporter!!
    You are awesome Michelle! Such a great mom!
    -Lauren R.

  3. Marion Kelly

    I enjoyed reading about this mother/son human interest story. 06880 readers embrace stories about love, patriotism, inclusion and civility in a
    our often crazy world. Those sentiments and deeds are worth bragging about in my book.

  4. We need more mothers and fathers like Michelle. Kids love when their parents can play sports with them in the yard or at the fields. I coached little league and soccer for many years and the saddest part of it was when a non-engaged parent would drop a kid off at the field and it was clear to all, especially the child, that there was nothing going on to support the young player’s development at home. Parents who choose to be fully engaged with their kids should be applauded and emulated. Also, Mike Porzio’s Clubhouse is a great place for your kids to grow and develop as athletes and strong young people. Keep going Michelle. Come on Danny, let’s not be so negative about a parent supporting her kids

  5. Nancy Axthelm


  6. Sal Liccione

    Good job Michelle she has a great family

  7. Debbie O’Malley

    This is so awesome!!! As a baseball fanatic, I commend you Michelle, and I will play long toss with you anytime. ⚾️💗

  8. Fred Cantor

    I’m surprised anyone had a problem with this story. I think it’s very cool Michelle has decided to pursue this.

    One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is the penultimate one in “Field of Dreams” where Kevin Costner’s character finally gets an opportunity to have a catch with his dad. Who couldn’t relate to that?

    It seems to me that Michelle is following through on a modern-day version of a timeless American scene. Two thumbs up!

  9. Megan Slingo

    This is a great story!! Too many people…and I’m guilty also, don’t take the time to PARTICIPATE with their kids! This is a great reminder for me to go home and pick up a Lacrosse stick so I can practice or just do some passing with my girls and not drop the ball constantly!!

  10. Janine Scotti

    Hey Michelle,

    I will play catch with you and try to impart all the knowledge I have about the game. My mitt just got taken out to go throw with a friend. I have played my whole life until I had my daughter at 40.
    203 613 5408. For Michelle only please.

    • David J. Loffredo

      Janine and I coached together once a million years ago – always love the “moms” who know their way around the diamond (or pitch, or field….)

    • Michelle Mechanic

      Thanks, Janine! I would love that. I’ll text you with my info and we’ll set something up. Be prepared; I can barely throw a ball, but I can’t wait. If you have kids, maybe we can all play together at some point.

      • Janine Scotti

        Hey Dave thanks for the kind words!

        I can teach you most of it, looking forward to it

        PS I am looking for a water polo coach and an over 40 league for water polo.
        Can Anyone Help Me?