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Jordan Wiener said after he and his family buried their beloved patriarch, Mitchell Wiener, last week all he wanted to do was honor his father’s memory by focusing on his own work as captain of Robert. F. Kennedy High School’s varsity baseball team.
When he pitched a no hitter against Prospect Heights High during the first round of the PSAL’s playoffs last Thursday, the 18−year−old said the victory would have made his father proud.
“It meant a lot to me, because it was my first game without him and he meant a lot to me,” Jordan Wiener said while practicing with his team Monday.
The teen, who has two brothers, said life has begun returning to normal for the family since his father died from swine flu. Jordan Wiener, who will be attending Queens College in the fall, said he connected to his father, an assistant principal at IS 238 in Hollis, through baseball.
Mitchell Wiener was a diehard Mets fan who also coached Jordan’s Little League team when he was younger. During his funeral May 20, Jordan recalled how his father helped bring out the best in him and his teammates.
“My father gave even the most mediocre and terrible players time on the field,” he said.
Jordan’s coach, Mike Mulstay, also described Mitchell Wiener as a hardworking man who went above and beyond for his son. Mulstay remembered a time when his car broke down during a practice and he was helped by Mitchell Wiener.
“The guy drove down, called AAA, waited for like an hour for them to come and even gave the guy the tip,” he said.
The team honored Mitchell Wiener’s memory by painting his initials on the right side of their caps and they will keep the letters on for the remainder of the playoffs. Even though he said Jordan’s no−hitter was spectacular, Mulstay said he was more amazed that the teen took to the field so shortly after his father’s funeral.
“The fact that Jordan went out on the mound was a win already,” he said.
The teen gave an emotional eulogy at the funeral, which was held at Sinai Chapels in Fresh Meadows.
“Mitchell Wiener is the rock of our family,” he said. “If someone tells me I am like my dad, that is the greatest compliment anyone could give me.”
Time and again, friends and family of Mitchell Wiener remembered him as a selfless role model and Little League baseball coach who tried to encourage everyone in his life to reach their potential. IS 238 Principal Joseph Gates quoted John F. Kennedy when describing Wiener’s legacy for his school during his eulogy.
“‘A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but ideas live on,’” Gates said. “Mitch, you may no longer be with us, but your ideas live on.”
Bonnie Wiener, Mitchell Wiener’s wife, who works at IS 238, remembered her husband as her best friend.
“People would always say, “You’re always together, don’t you get sick of each other?’” Bonnie Wiener said. “There was never any better company. He was always the best.”
Reach reporters Anna Gustafson and Ivan Pereira by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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