WHEELING, W.VA.- Imagine never missing a day of commitment. Now imagine doing that 2,000 times. This can be said for one very dedicated scorekeeper from Bellaire Ohio who has never missed a JV or Varsity basketball game in 50 years.
“You never look at it as you’re anything special, says Tom Rataiczak. “I always thought just to be able to walk the hall with some of these kids. Just to be able to be part of that is something neat.”
Tom is also known as the “Rat” and his dedication to his community has stemmed down to his daughter Sheri, who started keeping stats for the Bellaire basketball games in high school and picked up the job later down the road. Fast forward 27 years and Sheri is still a stat keeper, bonding with her dad.
“We’ve always traveled together, and we talk about everything. We talk about the games, what went right and what went wrong, says Sheri McAninch. “We talk about being a teacher because he was a teacher too. So it’s just nice time for the two of us.”
So when the Rat was honored for his 2,000th game Sheri was happy to see her father’s commitment gain recognition.
“He always takes a lot of pride in what he does. He has started a lot of traditions. Not just with Bellaire but with the OVAC as well. He’s just always instilled that in us since I was little.”
“You stop to realize how blessed you are because you’ve never been sick. You’ve had a family issue you never had something that kept you away and the lord gave you good health.
So how long will the Rat keep score at basketball games.
“2,000 games to me seems amazing but I told someone earlier I just read Kal Ripkins just show up book and his comment is everyone has a 2131. He beat record of 2131 games, says Rataiczak . “And I was thinking I everyone can do a 2131 whether it’s a newscast, how many games you’ve worked or something you have been committed to. I thought I’ve been committed to it.”