By Patti Rasmussen
Special for KHTS
Two special guests made an appearance at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center on Thursday to pay tribute to one of their biggest fans.
Former Dodger players Bill Russell and Al Downing (with Nick at right, more pictures below), dropped by for lunch and to extend their good wishes to Nick Corsinita who was celebrating his 102nd birthday.
Nick is known around the senior community as a huge Dodger fan – following the team from their days in Brooklyn to Los Angeles’ Chavez Ravine. Although Nick has celebrated many birthdays at the Center, this one, he said, was overwhelming and he thanked the crowd that had gathered for the event.
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“I’m sort of a shy guy,” he said. “Thank you. You’re all very sweet.”
Born on February 5, 1909 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nick was the youngest of five children. He worked for the United Steamship Company in 1929 and then for the U.S. Navy Department until his retirement in 1979.
He spoke lovingly of his first wife, Agnes, to whom he was married for 40 years. “She was a beautiful girl - natural blonde with dimples,” Nick said.
After the loss of Agnes in 1976, Nick married for a second time to Elena. Once again a widower, Nick is currently living the single life, charming the ladies at the Senior Center.
Lunchroom workers spent several minutes lighting the candles adorning the special birthday cake made for Nick. The room broke out into a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and with a little help from his family and friends, Nick blew out all 102 candles.
When asked how it made it to 102, Nick said it was quite easy. “All you have to do is get to 100, then 101 and 102 follows,” he said with a smile.
Downing was overwhelmed himself when he heard Nick was turning 102. “You can play second base tomorrow,” he said to Nick.