Record connects two generations of sluggers

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Haddonfield Sun
The record stood for 25 years. Borough resident Andy Reinicker smashed seven home runs during the regular season of 1983. But this year, with eight swings of his bat, sophomore slugger Chris Davis broke the Haddonfield regular season home run record.
When Reinicker hit his seventh home run in 1983, he said he didn’t even know he set a new HMHS record. His coach, Chris Spicer, told the athlete of his accomplishment.
“After I hit the home run I was told it was a record. I was coached by Chris Spicer, whose father Russ coached for a long time,” he said. “I was told by a few different people that it was the Haddonfield record. I was a senior at the time.”
A self-described “baseball man,” Reinicker coached his own son through little league up to Babe Ruth. He actually coached Davis several times during the young athlete’s career.
Reinicker’s son, Alex, plays junior varsity baseball so he was at the baseball complex for most of the season when Davis hit home run after home run. Every time he heard the roar from the crowd up at the varsity field, Reinecker said he would run up to see if Davis hit another home run.
“I didn’t think the record would stand for 25 years. The way the bats have been made now, I thought for sure it would be broken easily,” he said. “I give Chris all the accolades I can think of. He’s a good kid, a good ballplayer, and a great athlete. It’s been fun coaching him; it’s been fun watching him play. It’s just been a great experience, the fact that it was one of the kids that I coached and watch play and grow up break my record. That’s my highlight.”
Davis crushed nine home runs if you count the Bulldogs’ run into the playoffs this year. The 16-year-old shortstop and his brother, Kevin, helped Haddonfield win several games in the playoffs and go 14–7 in the regular season. The Bulldogs were co-champions of the Liberty Division with Sterling High School.
“Overall it was a great team effort this year. We had great leadership, nine seniors, everyone was upbeat the whole year,” Davis said. “It was a fun experience for everyone. Our season was successful as well as fun for everyone.”
Davis said he doesn’t remember the detail of every home run, but two stick out in his mind. Early in the season, Davis hit a game-winning home run against rival Sterling, but it wasn’t the best, Davis said.
The most memorable home run Davis said he hit was when the team played a game at Doubleday Field, located at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
“That was №6,” he said. “Hitting a home run at Cooperstown was unbelievable.”
Davis has been cracking home runs his entire baseball career. At the Majors Level of the Haddonfield Little League, Davis hit 13 home runs to lead the league.
Like any good hitter, Davis said he wasn’t trying to hit home runs through the season and he wasn’t even aware of the record until he was fairly close.
“I was aware of the record, but I wasn’t worrying about it in the season. At the beginning of the season I didn’t think I would hit the ball like this. But, as I got closer and closer I started to become aware of it,” he said. “My mentality is to hit the ball hard every time and hit it on a line somewhere. If you have that mentality, they’ll go out once in a while. I just wanted to hit line drives, get on base, anything to help the team out.”
Hopefully, he said, next year will be even more successful for himself and the Bulldawgs.
“If it happens again, great, if not it’s all right. I’m just worried about the team,” he said. “I’d love to play in college, it’d be an awesome experience, but I’m focusing on next season.”