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!
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.
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.