Terry Slick never had a hit, pitched a ball or fielded a grounder in the AAABA Tournament.
But for the past three decades, the Johnstown native certainly had a huge role in making sure every play in each tournament was accurately documented.
As familiar faces arrived at the Holiday Inn for AAABA Tournament registration each August, Slick was there in her role as the event’s head scorekeeper and chief statistician.
AAABA baseball fans usually didn’t see much of Terry as she labored with pencil and scorebook paper inside a small office near the main entrance of Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
However, avid fans who mentally digest the box scores in the newspaper or statistics online saw the results of her work on a daily basis during tournament week.
Slick, who had been ill for several months, died, surrounded by family, at her home in Bolivar on Thursday. She was 69.
“Terry has been involved with the AAABA Tournament for at least 30 years and she actually had the most important part of the tournament, and that was taking care of all the statistics,” said Johnstown Oldtimers Baseball Association President George Arcurio III. “Without Terry organizing the scorekeepers and the people who do the statistics, we would have really had a hard time keeping track of everything.
“She did a wonderful job and was always very pleasant to work with. She loved the tournament. She loved being around the people and she did a fantastic job.”
Fans might not be aware of just how much planning, scheduling and hard work goes into organizing the scorekeepers and compiling the tournament statistics.
With pool play, eight games are played on each of the first three days of the tournament.
That means eight official scorekeepers are needed to man seven sites (The Point hosts a day game and a night game).
Finding scorers willing to document a 2 1/2 to 3-plus-hour contest isn’t as easy as it might seem. Terry still managed to have an official scorer at each field.
After a game, the handwritten scoresheets then were turned into to Slick and her team occupying one of the offices at the front entrance to the Point. Those boxes are double-checked and then stats are compiled for the tournament.
The print, broadcast and TV media rely on the info for stories. The AAABA Committee uses the statistics to name award-winners such as the tournament batting champion, RBI king and Most Valuable Player.
Slick typically was at the Point from early morning until after the lights were shut off on the field.
“Terry always did a fantastic job. She scheduled our scorekeepers. She made sure all the fields were taken care of as far as the scheduling,” said Tony Crisafulli, commissioner of the Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League and a member of the Oldtimers.
“It was one part of the tournament that was taken care of properly and we didn’t have to worry about it because Terry always did a great job of handling it for us.”
Perhaps most important, Slick handled all of these duties with such a friendly and often low-key demeanor.
If you’d ask Terry for statistics or information, she did her best to get you what you needed for a story as quickly as possible.
During a 16-team tournament with eight games a day early in the week, improvisation is necessary.
Computer glitches. Extra innings. Rain delays. A scorekeeper calling off sick.
Terry dealt with whatever happened. I honestly can say I never heard Terry raise her voice in anger or make a disparaging remark during some of those pressure-filled moments when things weren’t always going right.
Others noticed, too.
“Terry was one of those special, behind the scenes people that make the tournament run seamlessly,” said New Orleans Boosters official Tyler Scheuermann, whose family got to know Slick well over the course of 30 years. “Few people understand the hours that go in, and Terry worked long before the first pitch and long after the last out was made to make sure the scorers and the reports were organized, timely and top notch.
“She was a great lady who will be missed by the AAABA family.”
Terry is survived by her husband of 47 years, Carl, who often was by her side during the tournament or at the many Greater Johnstown High School sporting events the couple attended, and son, Jonathan Weyant.
John Henderson Company Funeral Home is handling arrangements.