By Don's Early Light

Don Mahler: A Very GREEN Sweater

Josh Evans knows a good thing when he sees one. And last weekend, he knew he had found something special. But even he — chairman and founder of Lelands Sports Auction House — didn’t know right off just how special it was. To one with a curious eye, the green-hued sweater with the white felt D sewn on the front rated a quick glance on the way to the next table of memorabilia during last week’s Papermania ephemera and collectible show in Hartford, Conn. But

Don Mahler: South Royalton Coach Goes the Distance for His Team

South Royalton — Mike Ballou wasn’t about to let summer baseball die in his town. That’s why the South Royalton Post 51 American Legion coach spent two nights deep into the a.m. hours last week, working on the paperwork. And that’s why he drove all the way to Randolph the other afternoon to pick up a copy of a player’s birth certificate before turning around and driving another hour to Rutland to drop off the documents to beat the deadline. Some might see it as

Don Mahler: Long-Distance Call; Baseball Must Be Flexible to Attract New Players

To be blunt, baseball is killing its young. First, the game’s officials and team owners have sold their soul to the television gods, supporting a postseason schedule that makes viewing your favorite team virtually impossible for baseball’s young fan base. But losing kids from watching the TV isn’t nearly as bad as losing kids from playing on the diamond — yet that is happening at an alarming rate as well. Baseball — the game our fathers gave us, the game our fathers taught us —

Mahler: Spreading Baseball’s Language, and Gear, to Nicaragua

It was a typical December morning in El Hormiguero, Nicaragua. Typical, as in hot and humid. Located in the Atlantic Norte region of the country, the small community is more than 10 hours away from a town with more than 50,000 inhabitants. It is a community of maybe 50 families. In the municipality of Siuna, 318 kilometers from the capital city of Managua, El Hormiguero is in the forgotten side of Nicaragua. To give you an idea of how small it is, El Hormiguero translates

Mahler: Coming Out Is a Daily Occurrence

Krista Perry knows just what Jason Collins is going through these days. It’s not easy putting questions of gender identity and sexual orientation on the table for everyone to see ... and judge. But that’s how change occurs — through the bravery and dedication of single individuals making a stand. It wasn’t so long ago that Perry, a 2006 Dartmouth College graduate and former women’s basketball captain was one of those special people, coming out and proudly declaring she was gay during her sophomore summer

Mahler: O Poor, Pitiful Me: My Yankees Stink

I got a phone call yesterday morning. The caller didn’t say a word. His phone number was ID blocked. All he did was laugh. I knew it was coming. It was just another call from one of my dear Red Sox friends from the Upper Valley letting me know how bad things looked down in the Bronx on Opening Day. New York Yankee haters unite! Here’s your chance to kick a dying dynasty while it’s down. Take out those baseball bats and get in line

Mahler: Three Guys, One Cause; Core Teamers Aid Family Even as Whaleback Goes Silent 

I met three wise men the other day. Well, actually, three wise young men. But age really doesn’t matter. Young or old, what matters most is what you do with your life. And these three young guys are already making a difference with theirs. At an age when selfishness is the norm, these three Richmond School seventh-graders — Brook Leigh, Chanler Miller and Jon Thoms — have, instead, decided that it is better to give than receive. They decided to take their passion for freestyle

Mahler: Meet Dartmouth’s One-Game Wonder

Nearly 70 years before Kentucky and John Calipari popularized the concept of one-and-done in college basketball, there was Dartmouth College’s Everett Nordstrom. He was the original one-and-done guy. And I’ll bet you never heard of him. Our story begins on the basketball hardwood of Dartmouth. The 1943-44 season was a special one for the Big Green. Led by All-American guard Audley Brindley, Dartmouth was coming off a heady string of three straight years playing in the NCAA tournament — including an appearance in the NCAA

Mahler: Wielgus’ Impact Went Far Beyond Dartmouth

It was halftime at the basketball game and Chris Wielgus was walking off the court with her staff of Dartmouth assistants. As she was heading toward the locker room, the game ball somehow squirted loose onto the court. At that very moment, I was steering my 18-month-old daughter down to the floor to get her first taste of a basketball court — hopefully starting her on her way to a lifetime love affair with the sport. Just as we got to the floor, Wielgus picked

Mahler: Wielgus Leaves a Lasting Legacy at Dartmouth

For 28 years, the name Chris Wielgus has been synonymous with Dartmouth women’s basketball. She has been the face of the program, the turbo-charged engine behind its explosive successes and the beacon for hundreds of Dartmouth women student-athletes. But in recent years, the wins have been fewer and harder to come by. And yesterday, after four consecutive losing seasons, Dartmouth announced Wielgus’ resignation in a one-page news release supplied by the college’s sports information department. Around the basketball and Dartmouth community, the news was met