Tag Archives: Mike Porzio

Unsung Hero #235

With a few days off from Little League practice, 10-year-old Beckett O’Malley wanted to work on his hitting.

So last Saturday, his dad Ian looked for a batting cage. He found The Clubhouse in Fairfield.

The door was open. But owner Mike Porzio said, “I’m sorry. We’re closed for the Easter holiday. I’m just here teaching a couple of students.” Ian thought they were high school or college age.

Mike saw the disappointment on Beckett’s face. He quickly changed his mind, and said they could use an area next to where he was teaching — for free.

That was a super-kind gesture, Ian says.

Beckett O’Malley and Mike Porzio.

But there was more.

Mike stopped what he was doing, and began teaching Beckett the mechanics of hitting, in a way the boy easily understood.

Mike is the real deal. The Norwalk native pitched for 3 MLB seasons with the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox.

Within minutes, Ian says, his son’s swing was “night and day.” Mike went back to teaching the 2 older athletes.

But there was still more.

With only a net separating the areas, Mike kept an eye on Beckett. He continued offering tips, and words of encouragement.

“Mike was a total game changer,” Ian says.

Literally and figuratively.

Congratulations to Mike Porzio, our “06880” Unsung Hero of the Week. If you know of a worthy candidate, email 06880blog@gmail.com,

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.