He moved to New Canaan just before the start of the 2009 school year, helped lead the Rams to their fourth straight state title, and a few months later was gone.
The story of Turner Baty stirred a mixture of feelings during his brief stay: admiration and respect for his talent, the belief by some that he was some kind of hired gun brought in solely for football purposes — his parents were going through a divorce and that was the reason he said he moved away.
Fortunately, and rightfully, none of the negative vibes were ever pointed at Baty, who is one of the nicest, politest high school athletes I have encountered.
Case in point: Baty returned to New Canaan for the first time last week for a long weekend to visit his girlfriend. We had been in touch during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament — he had recently transferred to Kansas and the Jayhawks of course reached the national championship game. We had discussed a blog post to catch people up — Baty left New Canaan, went to the City College of San Francisco, which he led to a state title, and then realized his dream of playing on the Division I level by ending up at Kansas.
When I found out on Thursday he was back, we had arranged to meet at New Canaan High School the following day, prior to my covering the school’s baseball game at Mead Park. I got stuck in traffic and would have been late for my game. I called him up and he agreed after working out to come to Mead Park so we could do the video below.
Baty didn’t have to agree to do this in the first place, and certainly didn’t have to make the effort to come meet me. That’s just Turner Baty.
Below is the video interview we shot, as Baty recalls his time at New Canaan and fills in the holes from his departure until today. It was good to see him. He is an impossible person not to root for.
Here’s the interview.
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