Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Parent of Oilers' player appreciates Clarion columns by Chris Graziano

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the inclusion of the weekly columns by Chris Graziano of the Peninsula Oilers. He is a teammate of our son, AJ Shappi, and I am delighted to be able to read, firsthand, about life on the team ... on and off the field.

Chris is to be commended for his writing skills. He is a gifted writer and if he is not pursuing journalism, perhaps he should consider it as a profession. Please extend our appreciation for his talent ... on the field and at the keyboard ... to him. We are truly enjoying his columns.

I don't know if this column has been an integral part of your summer Oilers' Corner feature or not, since this is the first year that our son has had the wonderful opportunity to play baseball in Alaska. But if it is new, it is a wonderful addition to your paper. It speaks well of your commitment to these boys of summer, and the exciting adventure that is Alaska baseball.

Thank you for giving the Oilers' parents an opportunity to stay in touch with our boys' lives while they are so far away. I only know that based on our son's experiences so far, the community of Kenai and its neighbors (he is staying in Nikiski with the Kestors) have given him an experience he will never ever forget. The team support is wonderful, and it is a thrill to hear the fans over the radio/Internet.

Thank you and your staff for all you do for the Oilers' players, fans and families.

Mary Ann Shappi

Yorba Linda, Orange County, Calif.

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