Roundup: Ben Casparius, Cosmos, Wienermobile …


Ben Casparius is one step closer to Major League Baseball.

The former Staples High School star was chosen in the 5th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in yesterday’s draft. He was #162 overall.

The pitcher recently completed his senior season at the University of Connecticut. He was 8-5, with a 4.03 ERA, and a team-leading 15 starts. He struck out 15 Georgetown players in 7 innings, a career high.

According to SB Nation:

Casparius led the Huskies in innings (91 2/3), as well as strikeouts (127), which translates to 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. His strikeout mark is second in UConn history…. This was enough to earn Casparius ABCA First-Team honors for the Northeast region, as well as second-team all-conference honors and a spot on the Big East all-tournament team.

Casparius’ best pitch is his change-up, which MLBPipeline graded a 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale, which translates to above-average. His fastball, slider and control were each given 50 grades, which is average. His fastball sits around 91 mph but he has been recorded as high as 95 mph. He projects as a strike-thrower with a solid three-pitch mix. This, despite his slight 6-foot, 208-pound build, leaves him a chance to start through his professional career.

The “recommended signing bonus” for Casparius is $318,200. (Click here for the full SB Nation story. Hat tip: David Goldstein) 

Ben Casparius, in a post-game interview.


Looking to improve your photos of the cosmos?

The Westport Astronomical Society’s next free virtual lecture features Adam Block. He’s one of the world’s (universe’s?) leading astrophotographers.

Mark your calendars (sundials?) for July 20 (8 p.m.). Click here for the Zoom link. Click here for the YouTube stream.


Longtime Westporter Leonard Kritzer died Sunday in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 97 years old.

In 2012 — nearly 70 years after he helped liberate France from Nazi occupation — he was named by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to that nation’s elite Legion of Honor. The group was founded in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

A group of 20 World War II veterans received an insignia from the French Consulate in Boynton Beach, Florida. Their Knight honor was the highest of the Legion’s 5 degrees.

Kritzer spent 50 years in Westport, as a merchant and home builder. He and his wife Lea moved here from Long Island in 1954 to open Country Casuals, a women’s sportswear and country attire shop in Compo Shopping Center. He later founded Kritzer Development Corporation, and built 50 homes in Westport and Weston.

Kritzer was a 19-year-old student (and 6-4 basketball player) at Brooklyn College when he was drafted into the Army, in 1944.

He landed at Utah Beach a month after D-Day. A veteran of the Battle of the Bulge and 3 other engagements, he spent most of his time at the front. His unit calculated the distance to enemy artillery based on the sounds of big guns.

After France was liberated, Kritzer’s unit moved into Germany. They remained there as an occupying force, after surrender. He was discharged in 1946.

He retired 2 decades ago to Florida, with his wife Lea. He was an avid tennis player there.

Kritzer is survived by his wife Lea; son Harry; daughter Lizzz; granddaughters Lauren Hammarstedt and Erin Spillman; great-grandsons Sagan and Julien Spillman, and great-granddaughter Hariet Spillman.

Services will be held in Florida.

Leonard Kritzer


Jon Olefson spotted this strange sight yesterday, on the top level of the Wilton Road parking garage opposite National Hall, OKO and Bartaco:

(Photo/Jon Olefson)

If it’s a tire theft, that’s pretty obnoxious (and bold). If it’s something else, click “Comments” and let us all know.


Speaking of parking: There are a few parking spots on the east side of Hillspoint Road, in front of the old Positano’s restaurant.

Savvy out-of-towners used to park there, then walk to Compo Beach. Now they’re reserved for beach sticker vehicles only.

Occasionally, someone parks just south of the permitted spots. Westport Police are quick to ticket them.

I’ve never seen anyone park quite so illegally as this, though. This was a couple of hundred yards south of the zone — closer to Schlaet’s Point than Old Mill.

And please, do not comment that “it may have been a medical emergency.” Unless the emergency was a complete stoppage of the driver’s brain.


Also spotted parked in Westport: the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Drivers heading past the Exit 18 commuter parking lot on the Sherwood Island Connector relished this view yesterday.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


Wendy Levy is a clinical forensic psychologist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

In her spare time though, she takes beautiful photos. Like this one — today’s “Westport … Naturally” selection.

(Photo/Wendy Levy)


And finally … on this day in 1985, the Live Aid benefit concert for famine relief took place in London and Philadelphia. Concerts inspired by the event were held in the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany.

An audience of about 1.9 billion, in 150 nations, watched the live broadcast — nearly 40 percent of the world population.

6 responses to “Roundup: Ben Casparius, Cosmos, Wienermobile …

  1. Susan Iseman

    Live Aid was incredible- even as we watched on Television!

  2. Congrats to Ben C. All his hard work has paid off and a great kid to on top of that!!! Your Staples friends are thrilled for you and your family

  3. John D McCarthy

    Congrats to Ben and the Casparius family. Seems like only yesterday we were watching him in kindergarten T-Ball and knowing that this would happen someday.

  4. I think they go for the expensive alloy wheels; there’s little resale value in used tires. I saw a similarly cemen-blocked, wheels-stolen car — a similar late model Honda, I think, at the train station right outside of the Avis office. Reminds me of 1980s NYC. Aren’t there security cameras in places like this? These are very prominent, high rent locations; not a dark alley. Are the police doing anything about it?

  5. Linda Parker

    Thinking about Leonard and Lea Kritzer , and what wonderful bosses they were ! Worked at Country Casuals just the summer of 1962 ,but what a fun job it was .My sincere condolences to the family.

  6. Nick Thompson

    Maybe the same folks who illegally fish during the day and come back at night with flashlights/head lamps daily to take buckets and buckets of crabs.