Over the years I would see him from time to time. The coach would tell stories about the juvenile delinquents he coached in Haverhill. We would always laugh about those Merrimac games, how his little sons Matt and Mike were the bat boys and how they both grew up to be great baseball players. He had great recall and could resurrect moments that I had long forgotten. Mostly, he was a guy who was fun to listen to.
Recently, I opened the paper and saw that he had died at age 61.
Sometimes, when I drive through Merrimac during the summer, I can still hear Jim Favalora’s gravelly voice, shredding the humid air during a close game on Locust Street.
Opponents thought he was crazy. We knew better. He was our coach.
Michael J. Ryan is a former staff member of The Haverhill Gazette and The Eagle-Tribune. He can be reached on Twitter @Luck.