JOE PARISI is so low-key, especially with regard to his own accomplishments, he's almost subterranean.
Some wins are much more noteworthy than others, however, and No. 400 for La Salle High's 26th-year baseball coach came Thursday in a 7-2 Catholic Red triumph over St. Joseph's Prep at South Philly's Ashburn Field.
"The kids didn't know anything ahead of time, and they wouldn't have known anything afterward, either, if 'Peff' [assistant Bob Peffle] hadn't spoken up," Parisi said. "How'd the kids react? They were somewhat excited."
Classic Parisi-ness! So was this: When asked whether he's even remotely thinking about retiring, Parisi, 55 and the winner of three championships, said: "I'm not ready. I'd have to leave this job feet first. They'd have to carry me out."
Parisi, who missed the 2004 season on sabbatical, remembered his first game, in 1986, yielded a 10-0 loss to Father Judge and righthander Mike Wieczorek. First win?
"I'll remember if I think about it . . . Bishop Egan," he said. "Details? Hmm. Nothing's coming to me . . . [Maybe 30 seconds later, after small talk] . . . Oh, Duke Wolpert was our pitcher, and, for some reason, I'm thinking the score was 4-0. At 2 o'clock in the morning, I'll probably awaken from a sound sleep and remember everything."
La Salle sealed this one with a six-run sixth, keyed by Tyler Kozeniewski's grand slam. Dom Cuoci got the win.
Parisi said his loss total "is somewhere in the 170s." Pitching coach Mike O'Connor, he added, recently went back through pitching charts to add up the wins since No. 300.
"Now I guess I'll have him do the losses," Parisi quipped.
- Ted Silary