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Huckleberries: Huckleberries: Sometimes it takes a Sandpoint southpaw to get it right

 (Marianne Love/Slight Detour photo)
(Marianne Love/Slight Detour photo)

It is becoming harder to argue with Marianne Love’s claim that Sandpoint’s connections extend around the world.

Latest case in point: Nick Hagadone.

Marianne and hubby, Bill, were on full alert for the Seattle Mariners’ relief pitcher during a recent visit to the M’s Arizona spring training home: Peoria Stadium. First, they unwittingly tried to enter an area reserved for staff and guests. And got shooed away. Later, Marianne and Bill approached a tall player - 6-foot-5, 229 pounds, to be exact - on the practice field and asked directions to Nick.

They’d hit paydirt. It was Nick, a promising pitcher before he fractured his left throwing arm. The 31-year-old Sandpoint native signed a Minor League contract with the Mariners Jan. 31.

In her Slight Detour blog, Marianne writes: “We were thrilled to meet this polite son of Mike and Alison, whom I’d known as students at Sandpoint High School.”

Nick pitched for Cleveland from 2011 to 2015 before requiring surgery to fix his pitching arm. He took 2016 off to heal. According to Outside Pitch Sports Network, Nick’s chances of making the Mariners to start the regular season aren’t good. But he’s a lefthanded relief specialist, something Seattle needs.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Fan mail

Patsy and Dale Furnish of Spokane Valley pass along a 1979 newspaper clipping showing two old photos of road work in the Fourth of July Canyon (circa 1913-14). One photo shows dozens of men with shovels and other hand tools fixing the rocky road. Seems the locals formed a “good roads association” to repair the mountain pass because (drum roll, please) – the state of Idaho wouldn’t appropriate money to do the work. Some things never change.


BTW, Zach Hagadone, editor of the Boise Weekly, is a shirt-tail cousin of the aforementioned Nick Hagadone – and roots for him. But Zach doesn’t know of a family connection to Coeur d’Alene’s native son, Duane Hagadone – other than he worked as a copy editor/cartoonist/correspondent for Duane’s Bonner County Bee from 1999-2000. … Yes, Zach’s been asked about the connection to the Coeur d’Alene multi-millionaire many times … Poet’s Corner: Waking from a wintry slumber,/The Easter lily lying under,/A layer of nurturing ground,/Blossoms waiting to abound – Remember The Bard (“The Forgotten Bulbs”) … Poll: Almost 45 percent of my Huckleberries blog readers expect the Gonzaga Bulldogs to reach the Final Four, including 6 percent who say they will win it all. This compares to a handful of party poopers (9 percent) who say the Zags won’t make it out of the first two rounds, including 4 percent who say they’ll be upset by South Dakota State in Round One this morning.

Parting Shot

In a letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press Sunday, Shanna Bublitz argues that newspapers should ban the offensive slang word, “libitard” (or “libtard”), which is a combination of the terms “liberal” and “retard,” used by conservatives to mock liberals. Huckleberries agrees. And suggests that liberals avoid the equally offensive term, “Trumptard,” too. This column believes in equal opportunity, even when dealing with partisan political trolls.

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You can contact D.F. Oliveria Or follow his blog ( or Twitter (@HucksOnline)

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