Baranowski thanks supporters

Mercyhurst, it sure has been fun. A year and a half ago, I was asked by the Merciad staff to share my sports opinions in print, and I cannot say how touched I was by the whole thing. Now, some time later, we have had our issues, but I’ve had a good time doing it and I hope that those who have taken the time to read my stuff have enjoyed it.

After going through two decades of Merciads, I am so proud that some of my stories, my face, my thoughts, have been included in the archives with so many great writers, preserved for posterity.

I’ve had a good run. I began working with the Mercyhurst ACHA D1 Hockey Team (the Club Hockey team, for those not in the know) three years ago, and I have had an absolute blast. I have seen some great players come and go, and I have watched some great teams play. I have traveled about from Canton, N.Y., to Norman, Ok., and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I cannot thank Coach Tom McKinnon enough for what he has allowed me to do, and I highly recommend that everyone support the Club boys as much as possible, by going to games or even volunteering to help out. They’re a great group of guys who deserve recognition, and I thank them to for being so welcoming on the team.

I started the filming and broadcasting of Mercyhurst ACHA D1 Hockey on HurstTV (what is now LakerTV, for those not in the know) three years ago, and I love it. Thanks to so many people helping me, it has been a resounding success, and I hope it continues to be.

Though I have not counted, it has to be nearly 100 games recorded and broadcast, and of that I am very proud. I hope the players and their parents have also enjoyed my commentary on these games, because I know I had fun doing it.

With the Club Hockey team, I have two lasting legacies: the shoulder patch on their new green hockey sweaters, and the Mercyhurst-Oswego State trophy rivalry. Through many long nights at the night desk, we’ve come up with some crazy stuff. One of which is the logo on the shoulders of the jerseys, a ship’s wheel, based on the original Club Hockey logo that dates back to at least 1990, with the M in the middle. With a new M and a revised wheel, I am very proud of this logo, and I hope that it stays with the team for a long time.

The other thing, is the Oswego State Lakers, a team that has an unbelievably nice arena, where I had my first great announced game, and obviously, a team name the same as ours. With some work with the Oswego State coach, we came up with a rivalry with a trophy to be held by the winner each year: the Ship’s Wheel. I hope that those two legacies will be a lasting mark on the landscape of Mercyhurst ACHA D1 Hockey.

I also had a television show here for two years, The Hockey Week in Review, that will hopefully continue in some way in my absence. I have had a handful of people from the Erie community actually approach me and talk to me about my show, and I cannot tell you how touching that is, because honestly, I don’t know why anyone would watch me. But I always thank them profusely, and I really do appreciate it all. I really cannot express how much it means to me.

I’ve worked for three years as a commentator with WMCE-JazzFM for the Mercyhurst NCAA D1 Men’s and Women’s hockey teams. Now, in conjunction with the history department, that has led me to create an as-yet-unreleased documentary about the history of both teams, and I can say that it has been a wild ride with all of it.

None of that would have been possible without my time at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, where I made many commercials that appeared on actual airwaves. Though I left before my tenure at Mercyhurst was done, I spent my time absorbing as much information as I could from the wealth of knowledge that is Randy Stankey. He taught me the finer workings of video, and really none of the things I have done would have been possible without him. I owe him so much. That would not have happened if I wasn’t recruited by Bruce Parkhurst. I was showing my aunt and grandmother around before my freshman year began, and stopped by the video screen outside the PAC office. She talked to us, became interested in what video I did know about, and it really began my stint here at Mercyhurst. To her I am also so thankful.

I have always tried to be a good friend, and have spent many hours listening at the night desk, and I hope I did a good job. I know I’ve angered people, I’ve stepped on toes. It happens. To all those I have hurt, I am sorry. To all those who have helped me, thank you. I really cannot say that enough.

I hope that I will be remembered as a guy who did his best to be a good person and a good friend, and above all, the image of “that guy with the hockey jerseys” will be remembered.