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Another Winning Season: The Legend of Don Schaly

Published by on August 31, 2009

“That’s him.” 

The lone figure stood unrecognizably about twenty yards up ahead, on the steps leading to the diamond.  The shadow of stadium lights gave the appearance of a halo outlining his hunched form, and a single line of wispy cigarette smoke rose above him. 

I asked my father how he could be so sure. 

“See that trail of smoke?” Dad said. “It’s him.  No question.”

Don Schaly lived at Pioneer Park.  No, check that.  He was Pioneer Park.  The winningest college coach in baseball history spent his lifetime molding major league prospects and accounting majors alike into Division III kings at Marietta College. 

I met him for the first time on that hot night in June 1994.  We were on our way east for a vacation when Dad saw the beckoning park lights from I-77.  He turned onto the gravel road leading towards the field, decided a summer Legion game must be on, and ushered me out of the car.

Thoroughly confused, I asked “What are we doing here?”

Dad didn’t skip a beat: “We...

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