Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Baseball Legend


Yesterday morning I got the call from Dave the Athletic Director at Delphos Jefferson High School..."Pat, we are shutting it down, too much rain"...this came as no surprise, the rains have been brutal, with the exception of the 4 hot days we had at the end of last week....league games moved back, non-league games cancelled, tournaments getting switched dates. This is probably the worst spring baseball weather wise I have seen since my return to umpiring some 10 years ago. More rain this morning, and another large batch back in Illinois and Indiana are probably going to wash any chance of getting tonight's games(I'm at Hicksville) in. And 9 of the next 10 days in the forecast show at least a 30% to 70% of rain as well....baseball and farmers are getting the short end so far this spring...but at least it's not cold....70 is the scheduled high for today.

After Dave called, I went on my Internet schedule site and opened up yesterday's date as "available" to do a game...not much chance of that I thought, given the wet conditions and threats of more to come....but I was wrong. Harry the AD down south and east some 60 miles at Bellefontaine(pronounced Bell-Foul'-Tan), calls and says they were making up a league contest with Springfield Shawnee, and would I be willing to travel the hour plus to do the game....let's see, retired, getting bored with rainouts, $60 to do a little travel, what the Hell? Of course I would come down...especially since Bellefontaine is good baseball, and their head coach Mark Brunswick, was a all state player at Coldwater back when I was squawking ball games on the radio...it was a no brainer.

The Brunswick family are baseball in Mercer County....Lou, the dad, is one of the winningest coaches in Ohio High School history, sons Mark and Tom were drafted out of high school, Mark with the Mets, and before that Tom had a long minor league run with the Phillies organization. Youngest son Jeff was a all around ball player as well....and they have been steeped in coaching since their playing days were over.

I made the trip in about an hour, talked it over with my partner Jeff, he would do the plate this game, I will return the favor next month at Minster, when we work together again....I walked in the home Chieftain's dugout, and the first person I see is none other than Lou Brunswick...Lou, now 77 years young, was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1948, right out of St. Henry High School...he spent 3 years with the Cubs before suffering an arm injury and then he served in the military. When Lou got out, he went to college at the University of Dayton, after graduation he headed back to Mercer County and begin his teaching and coaching careers at Coldwater. 34 years later with his retirement in 1993, Lou stood at the peak of Ohio Coaches...an overall record of 750 wins compared to only 166 loses(82% winners) 5 State Championships, 6 other Final Fours and 21 league trophies...add this to his summer baseball run with ACME(summer High School ball in west Ohio) where won 9 State Titles and a hand full of runners up hardware...he also coached the Coldwater American Legion team for 5 years, going 132 and 32....the man is a Baseball legend indeed.

I talked with him for a short while before the game(a 4-3 Bellefontaine win over league rival Shawnee), and again after the game...last year Coldwater celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1983 State Champs, this weekend, on Saturday, they will do the Silver Anniversary for 1984's state title....3 more to go Lou! I told him I would do my best to make it over to McSober's for the post party celebration on Saturday Night.

In the meantime, I will continue to wait out the incessant rains, and hopefully get a chance to mow the yards, both mine and mom's before we have to bail them....speaking of which, her and brother Mike made it back to Celina, just in time for more ducky weather.

back later>>>>


Tomorrow--Gifts from Vietnam

photo-Ohio High School Hall of Fame coach Lou Brunswick 750 Wins 166 loses and 5 State Titles.

4 comments:

The Hermit said...

I'm going to have to start mowing our meadow again. That's the one thing about Spring and Summer I don't look forward to.

Larry said...

Yep, it's rained a LOT here in N IL yesterday and so far today. Hope the grass still looks this good in August!

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