My Dad loved to coach to kids. His passion was baseball but he also coached basketball and soccer. He also coached me on how to play golf and coached me on how to be a honorable man. He coached all three of his kids in various sports, but he even coached when his kids were out of sports. My Dad was instrumental in starting Colerain Athletic Association or C.A.A. for short.
Here is an article about C.A.A. and my Dad:
Nobody strikes out, nobody walks and nobody keeps score. This doesn’t sound like much of a ball game, but the six and seven-year-old children playing T-ball in the Northwest area receive several benefits that competitive knothole baseball does not provide. “They get a good sense of working together as a team. They really stress good sportsmanship and fairness to the kids,” said Cindy Boes, whose six-year-old son John plays in the Colerain Athletic Association Instructional T-ball league. Boes added that support for the youngsters in the league is another positive aspect. “The parents all come out and support the teams, and if one of the kids strikes out or makes a bad play, the coaches are still very positive,” she said. During the games, the batting order is not restricted to just nine or ten batters. Everyone on the team is listed in the order, and everyone gets to bat during each game. In addition, each player must play at least two innings of defense during the games, which only last four innings. Bob Hughes is in charge of the league, and he has been involved with T-ball for the last nine years. “I love this level of ball. I coached Babe Ruth baseball for two years, but I quit because, with T-ball, I didn’t have to deal with the parents always getting upset if their kid didn’t play,” he said. Hughes especially likes the de-emphasis on competition in the T-ball league.
“Non-competition is the key, because we don’t have the pressures of league standings and statistics. This way the kids are having a great time, and this is the key to it all,” he said. Hughes also said that T-ball is effective in preparing the boys and girls for their next level of competition. “Nobody strikes out or walks, so they learn to play defense for when they move up to knothole,” Hughes said. The boys teams use a regulation baseball, while the girls use an 11-inch softball. The girls’ softball is one inch smaller then the regulation competition softball. There are seven teams in the boys division and each team plays ten instructional games during the summer and an all-star participation game at the end of the summer. There are nine girls teams including three Colerain teams, three White Oak teams, two from Monfort Heights and one from Mt. Airy. Hughes said the league uses a nine batters per inning maximum for the boys and a ten batter maximum for the girls. This is done so no team is a bat for an excessive amount of time. On the field the children are assisted by a host of coaches and an umpire. There are first and third base coaches, two other adult coaches stationed in the infield and one to instruct the batters at home plate. The infield coaches are instructed to knock down any potentially dangerous line drives off the tee and all the coaches are constantly providing positive reinforcement to the players on the field. In addition, the league hires 10-13 year-old kids to umpire the games. The umpires receive 3.50 per game. At the end of the season the players who are old enough to move on to competitive leagues receive graduation certificates from the T-ball division.
The possibility of a major league baseball strike can’t detract what the game means to many youngsters across the country as well as in the Greater Cincinnati area. Here, Alex Mienhartt of the Noble Roman’s Pizza team gets some valuable T-ball hitting instructions from his coach – Bob Hughes
C.A.A. picnic back in the day at Colerain Park.
My Dad teaching me to ride a bike.
My Dad coaching me in soccer.
My Dad would always help at the field and track at day at Ann Weigel Elementary School. This is me doing the long jump.
I cannot possibly fill my Dad’s shoes, but I can take what he taught me and apply it to my life. I learned my work ethic from my Dad. My Dad worked third shift most of his life as a printer, which is a physically demanding job. He never missed a day, even when it snowed. He would drive to Dayton in the worse, snowy conditions you could think of. I remember one time he did this and he was the only one that showed up, he ended up coming back home.
My Dad no matter what would show up. No matter how tired he was, he would show up. No matter how inconvenient, my Dad would show up. It was a selfless act. I am sure there were times when my Dad struggled with this. Times where he did not feel like going to work. Times where he did not want to go to that sporting event to see his kids play. But he always did and I love my Dad for his ability to show up. If there is one thing I want to learn from my Dad, it is the ability to show up.
This idea of showing up got me thinking about Jesus. Jesus showed up to face death. I am sure he did not want to show up that day to be spit on, ridiculed, beaten, have a crown of thorns stuck on his head and whipped with a cat of nine tails. Then to be crucified on a cross for all to see. He showed up knowing all this would happen in advance. He did all this for me, for us, for the world so that we could live a life worth living.
He showed up for this: