Last Thursday, July 24, my son, Jody, played his last baseball game for Cassville's Post 118 American Legion baseball team. He played the past three summers, and Jody's mother, Sue, and I were very emotional about his career in baseball being over.
I cannot say enough good things about the Post 118 American Legion baseball program. The manager, Jerry Marple, and the coaches, Roger Brock, Jeremy Marple and Chris Musick, do an outstanding job with the team. Jerry, Roger and Jeremy have done this many summers for no monetary compensation.
The boys are treated like adults and are coached the right way to win baseball games. The team's successful win-loss record speaks for itself. The fact that there were 35 to 40 boys from Cassville and several neighboring communities that tried out for the 18 spots on the team also speaks volumes of the type of program we have.
During the three years with the Legion team, Jody and his teammates traveled to several interesting cities around the country to play ball. The boys got the opportunity to play in some very nice and some very nostalgic stadiums. The boys learned baseball, but I think more importantly, they learned to depend on each other and to sacrifice for each other. They learned many valuable lessons about getting along with each other and doing what is best for the team.
Win or lose, the boys represented our community and Post 118 American Legion very well. Many of the boys got to experience things and go places that they would have never gotten to without American Legion baseball. Jerry Marple and his coaching staff took very good care of the boys and they also demanded the boys act responsibly and do the right things.
All the boys got the opportunity to make several new friends from other neighboring communities. During the school year they may have been rivals, but they came together as teammates for the same cause. Also, we, as parents, made many new friends from Cassville and neighboring communities. We worked closely helping the boys and raising money for the trips. Sue and I had a blast and looked forward to every game.
Sue, Jody and I were all sad to see this past season come to an end. Thank you Post 118 American Legion, Pete Landstad, Jerry Marple, Roger Brock and Jeremy Marple. The memories will last forever.