Tag Archive | "Joseph Theinert"

Whalers Struggling

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Whaler catcher Stuart Levy tags out a Southampton baserunner trying to make it home during the Southampton Breakers vs. the Sag Harbor Whalers Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League game at Mashashimuet Park on Sunday, 7/1/12.

Whaler catcher Stuart Levy tags out a Southampton baserunner trying to make it home during the Southampton Breakers vs. the Sag Harbor Whalers Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League game at Mashashimuet Park on Sunday, 7/1/12.



By Mike Pintauro

Faced with the threat of inclement weather, the Whalers hosted a double header at Mashashimuet Park on Wednesday. Starting early on our nation’s birthday, the Whalers played two games against the Shelter Island Bucks, winning their first game 2-1, but dropping their second 4-3.

The Whalers had only four hits during the first game, which came sporadically from inning to inning. That’s more than can be said about the Bucks, however, who were held scoreless until the seventh inning by a masterful pitching performance by Whalers newcomer Brandon McClane. McClane was perfect through five innings, hurling seven strikeouts and only one walk in six innings pitched.

The only two hits from the Bucks came in the top of the seventh inning. McClane was pulled from the game and did not pitch the seventh inning, and was instead replaced by Collin Dinges. Dinges finished off the Bucks, but allowed one run on two hits in a game that looked certain to be shutout.

Down one run with only one inning left in the truncated ball game, it seemed the Whalers’ stellar pitching performance was all for nothing; but after a walk from Jake Kingsley and a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Keaton Flint, they had the tying run on second with two outs. John Hennessy was up at bat, and like most other Whalers during the game, he did little from behind the plate. Nevertheless, it was his two-run homerun over the right field fence that snagged the victory for the Whalers, in spectacular walk-off fashion.

Wednesday’s second game was a different story from the beginning. After loading the bases with the first three batters, Whalers pitcher Jason Freeman gave up an RBI double to Geo Saba, scoring two runs. Saba would score himself later in the inning, bringing the first inning run total by the Bucks to four. Down four runs from the get-go, the Whalers knew they had to play catch up, but despite dishing out nine hits in the game, they were only able to score three runs.

Whalers infielder John Hennessey, fresh off a two-run homerun, was 2-for-3 on the day, with one run coming in the bottom of the third. Down two in the last inning, infielder Charlie Curl led off with a strong solo homerun, but it was too little too late. Grant Shambley reached base with a single to left field, but was the first out of a game-ending double play, hit by Dennis Mitchell.

This was the second double header of the week for the Whalers. On Saturday, June 30, the Whalers hosted the Riverhead Tomcats in a back-to-back showdown, but lost both games of the day 3-2 and 4-0. Jim Duff was on the mound for the first game, throwing a solid six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, striking out four. The Whalers were held to six hits in the game, scoring their only two runs in a desperate seventh inning struggle to find the win.

In their second game against the Tomcats, the Whalers were held scoreless, slapping only five hits in the game. Whalers pitcher Will Marcal pitched a strong outing, striking out six, with only two earned runs. However, he allowed nine hits in his four inning outing, and after being down early in the game, the Whalers were unable to get any offense moving.

On Sunday, the Whalers faced the fifth place Southampton Breakers, and came away with a 7-6 win.

With a tough loss against the North Fork Ospreys last Thursday, the Whalers have continued to struggle this season, and are now six games back from the first place Riverhead Tomcats. Regardless, Whalers pitching and hitting are holding up well, bringing games close and competitive.

Scores came out to enjoy the double header, but there was more on the agenda than just baseball. Whalers General Manager Tom Gleeson invited local residents Joanne Lyles and Jim Theinert as ceremonial guests, where they simultaneously threw the first pitch in honor of their sons, Jordan Haerter and Joseph Theinert, respectively, both who died in the service of their country. The crowd welcomed the two, and offered their cheers to the memory of the two fallen servicemen.


Solider Ride The Hamptons Hopes for Patriotic Turnout

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WHEN JOANN LYLES’ SON JORDAN was brought home to rest in Sag Harbor after perishing defending an entry control point in the Sophia region of Ramadi, Iraq in April of 2008, she was greeted by a solemn, but grateful, hometown decked out in red, white and blue – symbolic of the country Marine Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter signed up to defend.

This Saturday, Lyles hopes residents and business owners in the Sag Harbor area give as proud a welcome to the wounded warriors who will ride with community members from across the East End in Soldier Ride — an event that supports the Wounded Warrior Project, a not-for-profit organization that provides support and rehabilitation opportunities for servicemen and servicewomen and their families.

“It was overwhelming,” said Lyles on Tuesday. “What happened for Jordan and for [Army First Lieutenant] Joseph Theinert [a Shelter Island resident killed this June in Afghanistan] – seeing that you just know that people care and I think the wounded warriors will all feel that this weekend. So many servicemen, in particular from the Vietnam era, never got the welcome home they deserve and as a mother seeing people thank them for service, it means a lot.”

Lyles’ organization, In Jordan’s Honor, is sponsoring two contests Saturday for Sag Harbor residents, community groups and businesses, and plans to award prizes for “Most Patriotic Display” and “Shows the Most Spirit.” Lyles’ is encouraging people on the Soldier Ride cycling and walking routes in Sag Harbor, which includes Main Street, to decorate homes and businesses in red, white and blue, display flags, set up water stations for riders, make signs supporting their troops and line the Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge and Main Street to support participants in Soldier Ride, in particular, veterans riding in the event.

Lyles borrowed the idea from Tim and Janet Scherer, of East Northport, whose son Corporal Christopher Sherer died at age 21 from wounds sustained in combat in the Anbar province of Iraq in July of 2007. The couple hosts a walk and run, “I Did the Grid” Memorial Day weekend and hand out similar awards for patriotic displays. Inspired, Lyles said she hopes it will draw people to support the Soldier Ride event.

This is the third year Lyles son with Chris Haerter, another Sag Harbor resident, will be honored at the Soldier Ride The Hamptons event, with a tribute from 11:30 a.m. to noon at the base of the bridge named in his honor. Lyles, who will walk with Theinert’s mother and stepfather in the event, said becoming involved with Soldier Ride has given her the opportunity to celebrate her son, while being involved with an organization close to her heart.

Soldier Ride was founded in 2004, when East Hampton resident and Railroad Avenue Fitness owner Chris Carney teamed up with Stephen Talkhouse owner Peter Honerkamp and other locals to design an event to support Joe Melia’s Wounded Warrior Project.

Carney cycled cross-country, raising over a million dollars for the organization, setting off for a second cross-country cycling trip in 2005.

Since then Soldier Ride has evolved into a national program, hosting cycling and walking events aimed at not only raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project, but also at providing rehabilitative sporting equipment and training for troops wounded in overseas combat.

Last year, in honor of Haerter, the Amagansett-based event expanded into Sag Harbor. Last week, Lyles said she hopes eventually Soldier Ride will also include a leg through Shelter Island, the home of Theinert. Lyles said she plans to honor the fallen soldier in her address at the tribute to her son.

The event begins Saturday with registration at 8 a.m. at Long Wharf in Sag Harbor and at Oceanview Farm in Amagansett. Participants can choose from 30 or 60-mile bicycle routes beginning in Amagansett, or participate in one of two four-mile walk/run routes in Amagansett or Sag Harbor.

The 30 mile-route takes riders from Amagansett to Sag Harbor for the Haerter dedication and then back through Amagansett. Following the tribute to Haerter, at noon Carney will lead a group of wounded veterans down Main Street, Sag Harbor in an event dubbed “Honor Our Heroes.”

The 60-mile route extends the cycling tour from Amagansett to Montauk Point Lighthouse, and back to Amagansett for a celebratory barbeque at Oceanview Farm. Last year’s event raised $200,000 and Lyles admitted it may be hard to top. But she’s hopeful.

“And I hope we see a lot of red, white and blue out there,” she said.

To register for Solider Ride, visit soldierridethehamptons.com. The cost is $50 for cycling, $25 for the walk/run and $75 for cycling on the day of the event. For more information, call 903-1701.



Sag Harbor Mourns Another Fallen Serviceman

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web_Theiner Funeral Procession_8273

By Andrew Rudansky


U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Joseph J. Theinert was killed by an improvised explosive device last Friday, June 4, 2010 while serving with the 10th mountain division in Afghanistan. He was 24 years old at the time. An East End native who divided his time between Shelter Island and Sag Harbor,  1st Lt. Theinert was mourned by both communities.

1st Lt. Theinert had been in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, stationed just south of the city of Kandahar for only one month when his dismounted patrol came under enemy fire. According to his commanding officer,  1st Lt. Theinert and his men were forced into an area that was known to have IEDs. He disabled one of the IEDs and was working on disabling a second when the device was triggered. Before the device exploded Lt. Theinert was able to warn the men under his command to get back, saving their lives.

“We live in a very self-centered society and he is my example of a selfless person,” said  1st Lt. Theinert’s mother, Chrystyna Kestler. Kestler described her son as “steadfast…a patriotic child who worked very hard to get where he got in life.”

web Joseph's Parents

Christine M. Cava,  1st Lt. Theinert’s sister-in-law called him “a man who lived out his dreams of serving his country and gave his life to keep those closest to him safe.”

James Theinert,  1st Lt. Theinert’s father, a Sag Harbor resident, was the first family member to be notified of his son’s death at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 4. He did not wish to comment on his son’s death.

1st Lt. Theinert attended Shelter Island High School, where he ran for the Pierson-Shelter Island Cross country team and was co-captain and midfielder for the Ross Ravens Lacrosse team, which also included students from Pierson and Shelter Island. Lacrose coach Joe Silvey said, “He was a tremendous player. He was the heart and soul of a young club.” Silvey said that he saw leadership skills in  1st Lt. Theinert before he joined the military.

“He was a real leader, and he did it mostly through example: through hustle and effort,” said Silvey.

1st Lt. Theinert was remembered as much for his humor as his dedication. Kestler described her son as a master of the one liner.

“When Joey said something it was either going to be shape up or something that was so funny you would remember it for days,” she said.

Kestler said her son had wanted to be in the military from an early age, first bringing up the subject when he was as young as six years old. She remembers Joseph and her other sons playing army games in the back yard.

After graduating high school in 2006, Theinert enrolled in the Valley Forge Military College, and then SUNY Albany where he received his bachelor’s degree. That same year he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant through the Siena College Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program.

“Joey was one of those quiet, steady people,” Kestler said.

While still in high school, he started a photo album which he entitled, "My Life by Joseph Theinert." The small green book included photos of  him with his friends and family. Kestler said that neither she nor anyone else in the family had ever seen the album before. 
Among the quotes written by Theinert were the words, “The people in this book is why I choose to fight. It is for them that I am willing to lay down my life.” 
In honor of  1st Lt. Theinert’s sacrifice Congressman Tim Bishop entered a statement into the official record of 111th Congress: “I also join these closely-knit Peconic Bay communities in mourning the loss of a young citizen of enormous potential.”  

“I am so sad and shattered that my son is dead…but on the other hand I was so lucky to have such a gift like Joseph,” said Kestler.

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On Wednesday, June 9, at 4:45 p.m. the procession for fallen hero 1st Lieutenant Joseph Theinert slowly passed by rows of mourners on Main Street, Sag Harbor. The convoy had traveled to Sag Harbor from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach. Once on Main Street the convoy passed over the Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge, named after the Sag Harbor Marine who was killed in Iraq two years ago. From there they traveled to the South Ferry and onto Shelter Island. Once on Shelter Island the procession made its way to its final stop, Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church.

The wake will be at the church on Thursday, June 10 from 2 to 9 p.m. The funeral will take place the following day on Friday, June 11 at the Shelter Island School with a reception after the funeral on the grounds of the American Legion Hall. Finally  1st Lt. Theinert will be interred at Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Cemetery.

“I don’t want anyone to forget Joey and his sacrifice but also I don’t want people to forget about the soldiers still there,” said Kestler.

In honor of  1st Lt. Theinert the Southern Cross of the Shelter Island Ferry will be renamed the  1st Lt. Joseph Theinert.

On the honors and outpouring of support for her fallen son, Kestler said, “Joey is the one who is going to be missed, not the fallen hero 1st Lieutenant Joseph Theinert.”


Memorial Day

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Less than two weeks ago, on a brilliant and blue Monday morning, Sag Harbor was awash in red, white and blue as residents lined Main Street in this small village to honor veterans both living and deceased in the annual Memorial Day parade.

Yesterday, Sag Harbor again looked ready for a parade, decked out as it was in its patriotic finery. But this time around, the weather was threatening and the Community Band wasn’t playing. The streets were still lined though —fire and police personnel stood at attention in dress uniforms while school children and adults waited with small American flags and hands over hearts to pay tribute to the East End’s latest casualty in the 21st century’s war on terror — 24-year old U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant  Joseph J. Theinert.

Theinert, a graduate of Shelter Island High School, was killed last Friday near Kandahar, Afghanistan while attempting to disable an IED. He had strong ties to Sag Harbor — his father lives here and before going off to college, Theinert played on a number of local sports teams where he was much loved and admired by friends and coaches alike.

It feels unreal that this small community has had to bury its second war casualty in as many years. In April 2008, we gathered on Main Street to welcome home fallen Sag Harbor Marine Jordan Haerter, who at the age of 19, was killed in Ramadi, Iraq.

As we go to press, we are struck by the eerie similarities in these tragic losses — both Jordan and Joseph were in their respective war zones for an incredibly short period of time —  just a month or so — before being killed. And in the act of dying, both men saved the lives of others. Jordan did so by preventing a suicide truck bomber from reaching a larger group of men beyond his position (he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross), and Joseph, by warning others to step back as he worked to disarm the IED that ultimately took his life.

No matter your position on this country’s involvement in the current conflicts, it was impossible to stand on Main Street yesterday afternoon and watch the black hearse with Theinert’s body go by without feeling a truly profound sense of loss. For this tight knit community, Jordan Haerter’s death made the notion of far off war a reality. Joseph Theinert’s death has made it incomprehensible.

God bless the Theinert family.