To the good people of Mount Vernon:
A little over a week ago I was contacted by the News to cover the Mount Vernon 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars as they competed in the Ohio Valley Regional tournament here in Logansport, Ind. Normally I help with the Pharos Tribune, our local newspaper, in covering high school sports during the year. I’ve done this for a couple years now and have enjoyed every moment and every story I’ve written, however, this past week has been one of my more enjoyable while covering this fine group of young men.
I spent time in the team’s dugout during some games and also set amongst the parents and fans of Mount Vernon. Through the course of their successful run in the Ohio Valley not once did I witness a single display of poor sportsmanship from the players, parents or fans of this team. This is indeed rare these days and I’m not a stranger to the dugout as I’ve spent nearly 14 years coaching our areas youth in baseball and have seen many teams and many players over the years. I did witness the frustration in a few of the kids when they failed to reach base or struck out during an at bat but they quickly gathered themselves and took to the field determined to have their defensive play pick them up. I saw the nervous fathers that cannot sit to watch a game and the doting mothers all cheering their support for the boys.
One other thing I’d like to add. I don’t believe that in all the years of coaching I’ve ever come across a more positive coach than what you have with Phil Arck. When other teams were making a run at Mount Vernon and things weren’t going well, Phil was quick to pat a kid on the back or shoulder and offer kind words of encouragement in an attempt to lift his spirits. It made me wish my son could have played for a man like that.
With all that being said, the entire community of Mount Vernon should be proud that they were represented in such a positive manner. Though I am not a resident of your town it is my hopes that the entire community will get behind this group of youngsters and support them in their march to the Babe Ruth World Series later this month. They have worked hard and put in many hours to achieve what is likely a once in a lifetime experience.
In closing, Mount Vernon baseball gained a new fan last week and I will be watching closely via the Internet while your team is participating in the Babe Ruth World Series.
Best Wishes & Go MV