Monument's Kinne earns All-Eagle baseball MVP
Bobby Kinne's offensive output in the Western Massachusetts Division III championship baseball game wasn't anything to write home about.
Coming back after suffering a concussion on the Monday of that week and surprising most of his coaches and teammates, Kinne went 0 for 3 at the plate. But he handled four defensive plays -- including a stellar sliding grab for a fifth-inning force out -- without peer as Monument Mountain won its first-ever Western Mass. title.
"I wasn't going to miss this moment for anything," Kinne said after his team's victory. "It's something we worked on forfour years. I'm so happy. I wouldn't miss this for the world."
All Kinne did was come back after that championship game and go 5 for 8 in the state semifinals and final. His 4-for-4 day with two runs scored and an RBI was stellar, but not enough to help the Spartans beat Bellingham in the state championship game.
The All-Eagle most valuable player hit .500 and had an OPS (on-base plus slugging) over 1.200. Kinne joins his brother John as an All-Eagle baseball MVP.
But to Kinne, it wasn't about numbers. It wasn't even as much about wins and losses.
"It meant a lot," he said. "I find myself driving home from work thinking about it. It comes back and you still get the goosebumps every time.
"I don't think it'll end any time soon."
Kinne, who had a history of past concussions, suffered his latest during Monument's 7-3 quarterfinal win over Wahconah. Kinne, and Monument's season, might have ended in the bottom of the fourth inning. He reached on an infield single to third, just beating Andrew Beaudoin's throw. That's when "the collision" happened.
Kinne collided with Wahconah first baseman Marco Anastasio, and went down hard. Kinne left the game, and after visiting with doctors, spent the next several days in a completely dark room at home.
"Extremely close," said Kinne, when asked how close he came to not finishing Monument's title run. "Had I not had the successful concussion test scores that I had when I went to visit my doctor in Greenfield, I wouldn't have played.
"Even after those successful scores, I had to work out symptom free that Friday before and I was fortunate enough to do that. I was lucky."
One wouldn't want to describe having Kinne back in the lineup as "lucky," but having him back did help on and off the field.
"I was thrilled. Are you kidding me?" Monument coach Tom Hankey said.
Hankey said he was with assistant coach Joe Greenleaf when Bobby Kinne's father Kevin called and said the if the shortstop got through Friday's practice in good shape, he could play on Saturday.
"I worked out and felt good. I went to practice and felt good," Bobby Kinne said. "It was kind of an incremental process, sped up obviously circumstantially, but I was very close to not playing."
Monument won its Western Mass. title, won its state semifinal game, but couldn't close everything out in the final.
While there was some disappointment, the MVP made it clear that falling in the state final wasn't really a loss.
"You really don't [take it as a loss]," he said. "There's a loss on your schedule but, especially in terms of high school sports, getting to that point was something we didn't imagine at the start of the year.
"We weren't one of those teams that started the year and said ‘Let's make it to the state final.' We were a team that set incremental goals. We were going to enjoy that day win or lose."
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