The Gilded Age: Alumnus Recalls ‘Best Four Years’ of his Life
John Fogerty’s song “Centerfield” might well have been describing “Rapid” Roger Hancock ’74 and his desire to play ball, except for Roger it was left field.
After convincing then Laker Coach Walter J. “Doc” Nitardy to play him in his senior year, Roger took advantage of the opportunity to show his exceptional skill in bunting and stealing bases. He could ruin the focus of an opposing pitcher with his large leads off the base. By the end of the season, he led the team in on-base percentage, walks, stolen bases runs scored, and sacrifice bunts.
Roger’s memory of his time on the Laker Baseball team is one of many he shared in an online account of his four years at SUNY Oswego, written while he was home during the pandemic.
He also pays tribute to the many friends he met and experiences he had, including attending his first rock concert, deepening his love of R&B music, enduring Oswego winters, enjoying the variety of meal options in the dining halls, attending classes, and discovering his passion for the brand new computer science major.
“I was really taken with my C.S. classes, and (the college) announced that they were having the first CS degree program … I was all in!” said Roger, who went on to have a 45-year career as a software developer and engineer.
He remains in contact with many of his Oswego pals and tries to come back to campus for the quinquennial Return to Oz, a reunion of alumni of color.
“Like many college graduates will agree … these were the BEST four years of my life,” he said. “I started to come ‘of age’ during those years and made lifelong friends.”
Learn more about Roger’s Oswego experience.
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