, Newburyport, MA


July 2, 2013

Catching on

Chaisson squatting behind the plate after starting on the bench

American Legion Post 150 catcher Tyler Chaisson was all set to join the baseball team at St. John’s Prep in his junior year, but it didn’t happen.

“I feel like Coach Yanchus didn’t really see me,” Chaisson said of the Eagles’ legendary coach, Pat Yanchus, whose team became Catholic Conference champs this year. “He didn’t think that I could add anything to the team. I’m guessing that’s why he cut me. The other coaches liked me, but he thought I couldn’t offer as much as the other players.”

A tough break and with no junior varsity squad to join, Chaisson was out of luck on the diamond. But the Newburyport native made the best of a bad situation, joining the spring track team, where he ran the 100 and 200 meters, eventually running the 100 in the Division 1 State Finals.

But with the summer on the horizon, it was time to think baseball again.

“You should have seen this kid, first day of tryouts,” said Nor’Easters coach Tim Southall. “He was so nervous, he was shaking trying to take batting practice.”

Although Southall liked what he saw, once again, Chaisson didn’t make the opening day starting lineup. It looked like he would split his time riding the bench and playing with the junior team. But that’s when things changed for him.

“We were kind of slumping at the start of the season,” Chaisson said of a young Nor’Easters team that started the season 1-3. “So Coach told us that he had to switch things up and we were going to move people around. He told me at the beginning of the season that he was going to be giving me a chance and he came up to me and said, ‘This is your chance.’ And I’ve just tried to take advantage of it.”

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