By Jeanne Sager
ROSCOE May 28, 2002:
Name: Keith Buck
School and grade: Roscoe Central School, 12th grade.
Family names: Buck is the son of Nancy and Rob Buck. He has a sister, Pam.
Favorite sport: Baseball.
Favorite professional sports figure: Keith Hernandez.
Ultimate athletic goal or dream career: Id like to try to play baseball at Broome Community College, Buck said.
College plans: Buck will study criminal justice at BCC, which is located in Binghamton, this fall.
Favorite school subject: English.
Keith Bucks love of sports comes from something as American as apple pie and as natural as a father and a boy playing catch in the backyard.
Baseball just seems to be in his blood, he said. The Roscoe senior was named for his fathers favorite player, Keith Hernandez, a first baseman for the Amazin Mets team that defeated the Boston Red Sox in the memorable 1986 World Series.
And from the time Buck was a youngster, hed spend hours outside with his father, Rob, tossing a ball.
Keith credits his dad with his love of sports. He has been playing baseball since he was a Little Leaguer, learning the art of a perfect curve ball and the joy of spending summer days on the diamond.
And every year, his dad took him down to New York City for a game at Shea Stadium, watching the greats play the game. Even though Hernandez retired after the 1993 season, Buck watched his highlight videos and learned to throw like the great first baseman.
This year, like his freshman, sophomore and junior years, Buck filled his days with school and nights with football practice, basketball games, and, of course, baseball.
I love sports, he explained. If theres a spot on the team, Im going to fill it.
I like playing on organized teams, Buck added. I like to keep up the friendships on a team.
Hes been putting in hours on the field and on the court since seventh grade. And though he spent three years perfecting his golf swing while Roscoe made transitions in its baseball program, Buck was back on the diamond as soon as the school re-established a varsity baseball squad.
He plays first base, just like his hero and namesake, Hernandez, and he pitches occasionally.
Buck said that he enjoys the atmosphere on the baseball field, the crack of the bat and the sound of a ball smacking a glove. The avid fisherman and hunter enjoys any chance to be outdoors, and playing baseball is one his favorites.
Perhaps best of all, when he looks out to the stands, his dad is there along with his mom, Nancy.
In all his years competing as a Roscoe Blue Devil, Keith said his parents have yet to miss a game.
My parents give me a lot of my drive and a lot of support, he said.
Besides sports, Buck has dabbled in photography, taking some pictures for the yearbook staff, and he works odd jobs with a buddy.
Hes working toward graduation next month and is planning to continue his education at BCC in Binghamton, where hell study to become a police officer and try out for the baseball team.
Currently, Buck is looking for a baseball league to join this summer so he can continue playing the sport he loves most.