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It takes many people to make Lefty Grove League a success

By Scott Ford • Oct 30, 2018 at 7:00 PM

The 2018 Lefty Grove baseball season has come and gone. Beginning on April 1 and lasting until the third week of July this program serves nearly 500 area youths from ages 7 through 16. With the season now over all that remains is to recognize the individuals, clubs, organizations, and businesses that make the program possible.

What follows is well-deserved thanks to:

V.F.W. Post  No. 2743

This organization has continually sponsored the Lefty Grove program since its inception in the mid 1950s. The membership, under the current leadership of commander Howard Smith and quartermaster Brian Alger, have always been there for the league when it was needed. This season was no exception. The VFW continues to show its support of our youth in a very real way.

Sponsors and team managers

What follows are the names of the team sponsors along with the individuals who managed the teams. Many of these sponsors have been with the league for decades.

Stark’s Sanitary Service…..Ty Keefer; Eagles Club…..Aaron Fries; Elks Lodge 730…..Frank Van Dresser; I.O.O. F……Steve Reitzel; Knights of Columbus….Shaun Taylor; Norwalk Lions  Club…..Robert Smithson; American Legion Post No. 41…..Cory Schmidt; Lake Erie Construction…..Michael DeJesus; Oglesby Construction…..Tiff Graves; Norwalk Concrete…..Chris Snyder; Fraternal Order of Police…..Rick Wallace; Nobil’s Sports & Trophies…..Scott Cring; Don Tester Ford…..Ryan McDonnell; Norwalk Teachers’ Association…..Tom Ross; Monroeville Gold…..Will Grosswiler; Western Reserve No. 1…..Matt Drennen; Monroeville Gold…..Bob Fries; Monroeville Black…..Tyler Wasserman; Monroeville Black…..Don Clark; Battles Insurance…..Don Renninger; Civista Banking…..Scott Meyer; PNC Bank…..Scott Hipp; Miller’s Super Valu…..Jason Cross; Stein, Olsen, and Stang, CPAs…..Travis Fox; Monroeville Black…..Logan Brutcher; Western Reserve Prestige Pools…..Lawson Bethard; Schild’s IGA Marketplace…..Jeff Service; JDB Home Improvement…..Rocky Lindsey; V.F.W. Post #2743…..Mark Shope; Kenilee Lanes…..Chris Bly; Fisher-Titus Medical Center…..John Buchanan; Monroeville Black…..Angel Bastardo.

The Lefty Grove League had three travel teams called the Legends in the 2018 season. Those managers were Aaron Fries, Brad Malson; and Jayme Gamble. Craig Coe served as president of the travel team division.

In addition to all the managers named above there were on average two coaches helping each manager. This kind of volunteerism speaks volumes about the men and women who stepped forward to help.

Board of directors

The actual running and supervision of the league is in the hands of a 20-member Lefty Grove League board of directors. They do an admirable and thankless job. This board includes:

Harold Preston; Travis Fox; Joe Statzer; Thom Price; Scott Meyer; Adam Gerber; Craig Coe; Ken Smith; Debbie Seaman; Paula Smith; Rich Libbee; Chuck Gross; Ann Meyer; Jamie Starcher; Ron McConegly; Al Preston; Vicki Williams; Jim Williams; and Joe Lindenberger.

Miller Landscape & Gardens and Firelands Lawn & Landscape

These two companies provide field treatment to the VFW baseball fields as a service to the community and its youth. Between them and field manager Rich Libbee the entire complex looked beautiful this season.

Norwalk Reflector

Thanks to editor Joe Centers and sports editor Mark Hazelwood for the newspaper’s coverage of the 2018 season. Memories for the kids were made on the diamonds this season and these two gentlemen consistently reported them. Great hometown coverage.

Special Thanks

• Bob Colish for providing military trucks for our players to ride in for the Fourth of July parade.

• Mike Krupp for his much appreciated support of the league.

• Brad Rarick for maintaining the league’s website.

• Matt Raymond (Huron County Veterans’ Services Director) for parade flags.

• The VFW auxiliary for running a wonderful concession stand. It was a great deal of work for the volunteers who made a stop at the stand a warm, friendly event. Coordinating it all was Sandy Reitzel. Great job ladies.

• Andrew Mozina for his lining of the fields for each game.

• All the scorekeepers and umpires who did all the games this past season. It was never an easy job so we’re very grateful for your help.

• Moll Photography. Darrell Moll has done a tremendous job of meeting the photographic needs of the league and its players. He’s professional, understanding and willing to help whenever he’s asked.

• Nobil’s Sports & Trophies. I can’t say enough good things about Dwight Tkach and his crew (Tim, Kevin, Jane, and John). They are absolutely the reason that we encourage citizens to shop locally.

• Bungard-Mack Insurance. Bob Bungard and Jenny are incredibly helpful as they handle the health insurance needs of the league.

• Vicki Williams for her help getting information out about the league on the Internet.

• Dick’s Sporting Goods for its donation of prizes for our bat-a-thon fundraiser.

• Five local clergy members who helped to open our baseball season.

• The Norwalk Eagles Club for providing financial support for league special projects.

The league is very fortunate to have the fans that we do. The Norwalk, Western Reserve and Monroeville fans are incredibly supportive of the players. They recognize the efforts of all players in the contests by applauding good plays and cheering the hits for both sides. We’re proud of the way you present yourselves knowing that the kids are watching.

Thanks to all. See you in the Spring of 2019.

Scott Ford, of Norwalk, is commissioner of the Lefty Grove League.



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