Coach - care to share some good times?

Coach’s Best Memories

Did you have a favorite moment in time that just sticks with you? Is there someone who just made your day - I mean really made your day? Is there a time that you relive in your mind, over and over again?

Can’t nail down just one? Ok, that’s just fine.

Care to share with us?

Coach B.

I was heading home, had driven for some time, the season over, and feeling a little - knowing that I wasn’t going to get a call back.

I was in a tavern all by myself having supper at the bar, watching TV on a small portable that hung from the ceiling, when in walks an older gentleman that looked down and rejected.

There weren’t many people in the place so I struck up a conversation with the old man. I asked him how come the sad look - which the old man replied that he just lost his wife.

Just then I felt really bad for the old guy - and here I was feeling sorry for myself. But I had a beautiful lady waiting for me, a good home, about nine more hours of driving and that was that.

So, I offered to buy the man a beer, which he accepted, then another, then another. Now I’ve seen my fair share of camels in my time, but this old guy took the cake. Finally I said I had to go and wished the old man the best and expressed my sympathies - all of which got me the strangest look. When I asked the old man … “what’s the looks for?” he asked me what the dickens was I talking about?

I said ,” didn’t you just say you just lost your wife?’

The old guy shook his head then pointed to the large shopping mall across the street. He then remarked that every time they go shopping in that place, it doesn’t take more than twenty minutes for him to lose her! So, he crosses the street, sits at this little hole in the wall bar, and waits for her to come over and get him.

From that point on - I go into a bar, I mind my own business! :eek:

Coach B.

I coordinated a clinic for our association in which a very experienced MLB player was present as well as the entire coaching staff of a local University…well were (The MLB player and I) were in the batting cage with some young ones (8-10 yr olds) and there was this particularly…shall we say…“Underskilled” kid just whacking and hacking…no particular plan…looked like he was swatting flies more than swinging a bat. Well the MLB player walks up and starts to position the kid and get him on track…the kid looks at him and asks; “Are you a coach”?, I immediately jumped in trying not to have the guy get embarressed and started to explain that this man had a decade in major league baseball under his belt…blah blah blah…the kid looks at him…and then me…well “I want a coach to show me, will YOU help me Coach Jim?”…the MLB player just looked at me and grinned ear to ear and said; “I just love kids”…

I have more good memories than I can count, but the one that sticks with me…I will never forget this one as long as I live. It was September 17, 1951, and I had just watched the Yankees beat the Indians 2-1, to solidify their hold on first place. All that year I had been thinking about one pitch—I knew I could use another one, and it occurred to me that it might well be the slider, which I had heard a lot about and seen thrown in games; I also wondered which Yankee pitcher I could ask about it (a hard choice to make, because the whole staff threw it). At the end of the game I suddenly realized that the one I would need to ask was the winning pitcher, Ed Lopat—don’t ask me just how I knew, because all these decades I’ve never been able to explain it myself.
I left the Stadium and joined a large crowd near the clubhouse entrance. At that time there were no security guards or police to chase the fans away; there was just one attendant inside to make sure no one tried to barge in, because Joe DiMaggio was always the last one out of the park and needed a clear field to his car. As I waited, I suddenly got very nervous—I didn’t know what to expect or how to phrase my question, and I had heard stories about players who were consummate jerks and who wouldn’t give you the right time if your watch stopped. But I waited, and some forty minutes later Ed Lopat emerged, flipping the game ball which someone on the field had recovered and presented to him in honor of this twentieth win of the season. He stopped to sign some autographs and talk to a few of the fans, and I couldn’t help thinking how gracious he was. Then I realized it was now or never, and as he walked past me I fell into step beside him. The only thing I could think of to say to him was "Excuse me, Mr. Lopat—could I ask you something?"
He stopped in his tracks, looked at me, and then with four quiet words he had me in the palm of his hand. He said, in a calm, pleasant voice with (it seemed) a hypnotic undertone in it, “Go ahead, I’m listening.” It relaxed me immediately. I took a deep breath and told him I just wanted to ask him something about the slider. Without a word he motioned to me to follow him away from the crowd. He drew me to a clear space in front of the Stadium, and he took some ten minutes to show me how to throw a good one. How did he know exactly what I wanted to know about that pitch? And when he handed me the ball and said, “go ahead, try it,” I had no choice but to follow his instructions and familiarize myself with the grip and the wrist action. Some minutes later he took the ball from me and said, "That’s it. You’ve got the idea."
That encounter led to a warm, wonderful pitching relationship wherein he saw where I was coming from, took me in hand and worked with me and helped me become a better pitcher than I had been before. As long as I live I will never forget that moment; I find myself thinking back to it and reliving it again and again. :smiley: