Todd Heimer, HS athletics supervisor, 56
It would usually be in the late innings of a Seton Hall University baseball game when Todd Heimer and Dan Morogiello would do their little switch. Morogiello would sprint in from the bullpen and Heimer, the lefthanded starter, would hand over the ball. The glove, too.
"Todd never had a pitching glove and he didn't have enough money to buy one," Morogiello said. "No one caught on. For two years, no one ever saw the shuffle."
Handing over a glove is no small sacrifice for two elite pitchers, but theirs would turn out to be a friendship wrought in leather and sweat and two College BaseballWorld Series appearances. And if there was one thing that marked Todd Heimer's life, it was that ability to weave his love of family and friends with an unwavering passion for sports.
Heimer, a Sea Cliff native who would one day parlay that passion to an 18-year tenure as supervisor of Nassau County high school athletics, died at home Tuesday night of a heart attack. He was 56. A member of both the Seton Hall and North Shore High School halls of fame, he was a fixture in the community for his work promoting high school athletics and his 22 years as a volunteer firefighter.
Heimer leaves two children, Kerry, 22, and Steven, 24, and Eileen, his wife of 34 years. The two met in their North Shore High School home room at 15, forging a relationship that would last through college and five travel-heavy seasons in theCleveland Indians' farm system.
"They're a really good example of how to love unconditionally," Kerry Heimer said of her parents. "My brother and him would be in the backyard playing catch and I'd just sit there and chat with them. . . . He always made things fun and he really let us know how much he supported us."
That support extended to college, when Heimer would travel everywhere, "no matter how far away," to watch his daughter play rugby for the University of Hartford, Kerry said. He did the same for Steven, who played baseball forConnecticut's Mitchell College before transferring to John Jay.
In his tenure as supervisor, Heimer oversaw more than 60,000 student-athletes each year while working as a liaison to the state board of athletics. Last year, his efforts earned him the state athletic association's highest award, the NIAAA State award of merit.
"He was one of those guys," said Don Lang, athletic director at North Shore. "No matter what the problem was, you could always go to him and he'd find a solution."
Visitation for Heimer will be held at the Whitting Funeral Home in Glen HeadSaturday and Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held Monday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Boniface Martyr Parish in Sea Cliff. Burial will be at Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Sea Cliff Fire Department.