Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford has its own Mr. Baseball

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 7:19 PM


Dan Miller is Penn-Trafford’s Mr. Baseball. He lives and breathes the game year-round and gets to see it from a number of perspectives.

This is a guy who once bought a Volkswagen Beetle “baseball car.” The 2000 model with red “stitching” detail on both ends and baseball glove-like leather interior — and the for sale sign in the window — attracted his full attention at a random church fair. He had to have it. He haggled and bought the novelty ride, part of a promotion from Cracker Jack.

“This car had a turbo-charged engine that went 160 MPH,” Miller said. “And speakers mounted under the wheel wells that played organ music … Take me out to the ballgame.”

Only Miller would need a baseball car to get him to his baseball adventures.

After he coaches the Warriors during the high school season, he works on the grounds crew at PNC Park for select Pirates games.

After that, he packs up and heads to Cooperstown, N.Y. where he umpires youth tournament games for two weeks mid-summer.

Come August, he’s back on the field crew again, this time in Williamsport for the Little League World Series.

“Then I am back home to prepare for our fall season all over again,” said Miller, a former standout at Penn Hills and Point Park. “I love the game. I have been around it all my life. I told my wife (Amy), ‘I’ll marry you if you can read a box score.’ ”

Dedo picks Air Force

Hempfield junior volleyball player Mekayla Dedo knows playing a sport at a military academy entails more than practices and games. It is a commitment to a military lifestyle, something the standout outside hitter is ready to embrace.

She accepted an appointment to Air Force earlier this week.

“What made me choose Air Force was truly the endless opportunities that I know will be in store for me,” Dedo said. “I’ve always wanted to serve my country since I was young, so I just knew it was the right fit for me. I also knew I wanted a to be in a structured environment. I can’t wait to be part of a Division I program. Ever since I was young, I dreamt of playing at the highest level.”

She also had an offer from Army West Point.

Two more for Salopek

Norwin junior quarterback Jack Salopek pulled in college offers last week from Western Michigan and Dartmouth.

Salopek (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) also has offers from Pitt, Youngstown State, Yale, UMass and Duquesne.

• Belle Vernon senior wrestler Logan Seliga committed to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a Division II program.

Volleyball ranks

The Week 5 Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches poll has plenty of Westmoreland flavor.

Derry is ranked No. 1 in Class AA, and Latrobe (4), Hempfield (5), Norwin (7), and Penn-Trafford (8) are ranked in Class AAA.

Jeannette alumni games

Jeannette will host a pair of alumni basketball games May 18 at the high school. The women’s game starts at 6 p.m. with the men to follow at 7:30.

There also will be a 3-point contest.

Cost is $20 per player, and all former Jayhawks players are welcome. Contacts: Jonathan Bass (women), 724-261, 8292; Adrian Batts (men), 412-535-1050.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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