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Wishing I was a part of Thomson’s journey to 500

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POSTED March 24, 2012 1:22 a.m.

It’s something about that Sierra coach that I’ve always liked.

When you play baseball and it means the world to you, at one point or another you run into a coach that will help shape your life. I’ve been lucky enough to play for a few, but boy would I have loved to play for that Sierra coach.

It is known all around this country that we play a “good brand of baseball” all around Northern California and the Central Valley. That brand of baseball has definitely been the formula for success during Sierra High head skip Jack Thomson’s tenure in the dugout.

Before he was that Sierra coach, word has it he was preaching the same gospel in dugouts at Manteca High. I’d bet it’s safe to say that there are players from that era that loved playing for him then.

You can’t get to 500 wins without kids wanting to play for you.

I surely can’t speak for the man, but I guarantee that when Caleb Young tried to run through that fence at Manteca High the Sierra skip was proud. No, not proud Young was bleeding everywhere and made the skip show off his soft-jog to left field, but because the kid was playing the game hard.

He was playing the right way.

That’s the only way you can get to 500 wins. It’s if the kids are playing the right way.

I personally know the impact that baseball coaches have on a man’s life. Of course, while we’re under their tutelage some aspects you’d expect a coach to have influence over. I’m not referring to those, the impact their shapings have later in life really begin molding that character.

And I’m sure that’s important to the Sierra coach too, because how could you get to 500 wins if character wasn’t important to you.

I know there’s a coach out there that has already won 500 games, and there will be several more coaches to come in that department. But there is only one 500-win coach that I’ve always wanted to play for.

I would have had no problem coming early and staying late. No problem at all chasing foul balls or running foul poles after practice. Pinch running, late in a game and having a good secondary-lead would have been a given. Sacrifice bunt, with no outs? With pleasure.

Because with what I’ve learned from baseball, it would have been an honor to say I helped that Sierra skip win even one of those 500.

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