A former star pitcher, his daughter and the reality that homelessness can happen to anyone

  • Allie Eckersley talks with Concord police officers Carl Notarangeli (left) and Matthew Lankhorst as they were sweeping the local homeless encampments on Sunday, April 28, 2019 to issue warnings and issue summonses if necessary. Eckersley stated she was just visiting. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Concord police officer Carl Notarangeli waits with Allie Eckersley as officer fellow Matthew Lankhorst checks a tent at a homeless encampment near the tracks off of Storrs Street on Sunday, April 28, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Concord police officer Carl Notarangeli checks on a tent to see if anyone is in there as Allie Eckersley waits nearby. Notarangeli and his partner Matthew Lankhorst were on duty to sweep the homeless camps that were on private property and give warnings of summonses on Sunday, April 29, 2019. Eckersley said she was just visiting and didn’t live there. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Allie Eckersley talks with Concord police officers Carl Notarangeli (left) and Matthew Lankhorst as they go through the local homeless encampments on April 28 to issue warnings and summonses if necessary. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Allie Eckersley (left) walks with her boyfriend along the railroad tracks behind the former state liquor store on Storrs Street, on their way to the Friendly Kitchen in late April. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Allie Eckersley sits in a chair at a homeless encampment along the railroad tracks off Storrs Street on April 28. Police officers came to talk to her and her boyfriend about moving the camp because it was on private property. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Allie Eckersley at the Friendly Kitchen with her boyfriend on Thursday, May 1, 2019. RAY DUCKLER—Monitor staff

Monitor columnist
Published: 5/10/2019 9:56:29 PM
Modified: 5/10/2019 9:56:16 PM

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the Concord Monitor on May 5.

CONCORD, N.H.

The young woman with the familiar last name was seated in the Friendly Kitchen, her eyes focused on her cellphone, hidden under shoulder-length blonde hair.

She’s homeless, short on money, her life stuffed into a knapsack, just like so many others who come to this place for a free meal. The kitchen is one of Concord’s humanitarian jewels, a place to not only eat but to avoid being judged by a public that doesn’t get it, that homelessness can happen to anyone.

The woman, named Allie Eckersley, moved her eyes off her cell, to me. We had met two days earlier, at a homeless camp hidden in the woods, when a pair of Concord cops were visiting encampments in the city. That day, they told her and her boyfriend they were trespassing on private property. They’d have to move on.

Unlike other homeless people I met that day in the woods, Allie gave me her full name and talked about homelessness in the city and what led to this point in her young life. She didn’t say much about her family, but her surname and its spelling had a familiar ring.

It’s the same last name as a Hall of Fame pitcher. And it says online that this pitcher – universally known as Eck – and his second wife, Nancy, have an adopted daughter together. Her name is Allie. She suffers from mental illness. She’s 22. The Allie I met looked about that age.

I had to go back, find out, so I approached Allie, finding her among the lunchtime crowd at the Friendly Kitchen, and asked. Yes, her father is indeed famous, she said. In fact, he’s really famous.

“Dennis,” Allie said, after I asked for her dad’s name.

Dennis Eckersley?

Yep.

Visit concordmonitor.com for the rest of this story.


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