Abunch of memories came flooding back, last week, when West York High School won the state Class AAA baseball championship for the second straight year.

And not the kind of memories you might think, because I was never part of a state championship team in high school. In fact, all those years ago, they didn't even have state championships in baseball. Or football, either, for that matter.

Basketball? Yes. Volleyball? Yes. But while I played those sports, West York never played for a state championship in either one.

So I have no state championship memories. Or moments. Except through this bunch of baseball players at West York the last two years.

West York’s Carson Fries comes from a baseball family. Hes just one of several Bulldog players with deep family roots in York County baseball.
West York's Carson Fries comes from a baseball family. Hes just one of several Bulldog players with deep family roots in York County baseball. (Randy Flaum photo)

What baseball memories I do have, however, were stirred last week by the recognition that several players on the West York team are either children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of guys I played with or against over the years.

Brandon and Brett Kinneman, first baseman and outfielder, respectively, and both pitchers, remind me that I played against and coached their father, Greg, some years ago in the Central League.

Then I received an email from Malissa Fries, mother of Carson Fries, the current third baseman and pitcher for West York, and his brother, Tucker, a former West York baseball player who graduated in 2010.

Malissa and her husband, Steven, have had the good fortune to experience the state baseball championship adventure through Carson these last two years.

Anyway, Malissa made a point of letting me know that Carson's and Tucker's great-grandfather was Gordy Snyder, a Central League Hall-of-Famer who used to play for Pleasureville in the Central League.

And while she was at it, she threw in several other names -- Dick and Gene Snyder and Dan Kinard -- all of whom played for Pleasureville and were Malissa's great uncles. Gene pitched in the Major Leagues for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Dan is in the Central League Hall of Fame, so the baseball genes run deep in the Fries family.

Gordy is no longer with us, so he didn't have a chance to watch his great-grandson compete for a state championship. But as passionate as Gordy was about the sport of baseball, he would have loved it for sure.

It's a reminder that children often follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, perhaps nowhere as much as in the area of sports.

Baseball, in particular, I think.

I'm old enough now that I can look back at the number of guys I played with or against and realize I also played with or against their sons, and now have the opportunity to watch grandsons and great-grandsons play the game.

Vernard Bacon, for instance, was a longtime Conrads pitcher and manager in the Susquehanna League. He's still kicking, and I've seen him often at York-area baseball games. He still loves talking about baseball, especially the years and games his three sons, Mike, Marlyn and Wayne, and his grandsons have played.

There have been Bacons playing in York County for well more than 60 or 70 years that I know about, and they're all members of the same family.

The same goes, of course, for the Groves, the Grims, the Seitzes, the Shearers, the Shoffs, the Smiths, the Reisingers, the Woltmans, the Stifflers, the Neffs and the Workingers in the Susquehanna League.

In the Central League, it's the Snyders, the Brenners, the Heilmans, the Yohes, the Seiferts, the Holtzapples, the Millers, the Leeses, the Myerses, the Bakers, the Grims (in both leagues), the Hedricks, the Leckrones, the Klines, the Krouts and a whole host of other grandfather/father/son/grandson/brother tandems.

And those lists don't come close to covering them all going back just three generations.

That's the way it is with baseball in York County. And in other towns across America, too, I'm sure.

Right about now, no one is happier about those baseball connections than Greg Kinneman and Malissa Fries.

It gives them something to look forward to.

And connects them to memories, looking back.

It's a great thing about baseball, I think.

Maybe the greatest thing.

Sports columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Thurs days. E-mail: lhick s@yorkdispatch.com.