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Boy, Oh Boy, What a Year!
Douglas S. Looney
December 25, 1989
Chris Drury was a World Series hero and a national hockey champ too
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December 25, 1989

Boy, Oh Boy, What A Year!

Chris Drury was a World Series hero and a national hockey champ too

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On an Autumn evening in Trumbull, Conn., Marcia Drury asked her son if he would like to run some errands with her. Chris, a cherubic 13-year-old, demurred, saying he had too much homework. "O.K.," said his mother. "Just don't leave the house."

She left—whereupon, of course, Chris did, too, running off to lollygag with his buddies in the neighborhood. When Marcia returned home unexpectedly early, she was fuming. "I can't believe it," she said. "He snuck out on me."

When the wayward—and hopelessly contrite—boy reappeared, his mother had a few thousand words of reprimand for him. She concluded by saying, "Christopher, you are supposed to be an example to the youth of America."

Said Chris, "Oh, Mom, I'm just a kid."

She agreed. "You're right," said Marcia. "You were a nuisance before all this, and you're still a nuisance." The confrontation dissolved into laughter and hugs.

Perhaps never before in the history of puerile sport has one boy reached two such lofty athletic heights in such rapid succession. Earlier this year, Chris was the star of his Greater Bridgeport (Conn.) Youth Hockey team, which finished 64-2-1 and won the U.S. Amateur American Hockey Championship in Chicago on April 2, thereby proving itself to be the best Pee Wee team (12- and 13-year-olds) among some 2,000 such teams in the country. One hundred forty-six days later, Chris was whooping it up in Williamsport, Pa., having pitched and hit his Trumbull team to the Little League World Championship. If there were a Sports Kid of the Year award, Chris would win it hands down.

Besides being the most accomplished young athlete in Trumbull, a well-groomed town of 33,000 people 55 miles northeast of New York City, Chris is also an altar boy at St. Catherine's of Siena and a B student at St. Catherine's School. Healthy body, healthy mind. Not surprisingly, the busiest boy in Connecticut has been operating on a hectic schedule. During one short stretch earlier this fall, he had a Thursday night hockey practice from 9:30 to 10:30; he attended a banquet honoring the Little League team on Friday, which kept him out until nearly midnight; he went to the Cornell-Yale football game in New Haven on Saturday afternoon and scored the winning goal for his hockey team in a 3-2 triumph over Darien that night; he helped rake leaves at home on Sunday morning; and he played in another hockey game that night, this one a 3-3 tie in nearby Milford.

What do we have here, some kind of superboy? "I just think of me as myself," says Chris. "That's about it."

Such modesty derives in part from the fact that he's not the only successful athlete in the family. One brother, Ted, 18, is a Harvard freshman who was selected by the Calgary Flames in the second round of last spring's NHL draft. Another, Jimmy, 16, a 10th-grader at the Gunnery School in Washington, Conn., is also a first-rate hockey player. Says Chris's Little League batting instructor, Bob Zullo, "Chris comes from a family that accepts the fact that they are able to do things of quality—but that they are not the only ones who can do them."

Says Chris, "Time will tell what happens to me. As long as I do the best I can with what I am doing, that will be good enough. I've had two good big brothers and two good parents [he also has an 11-year-old sister, Katie], and we have all been blessed with what we have."

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