Meet Coach Dave’s Players: First Base Coach Kevin Forsythe[bluebox]If there is a player in Coach Dave: Season One with whom I can identify, it’s Kevin Forsythe. Although I was a three-year starter at my high school, I found myself–like Kevin–not often on base. Our program was in its infancy then, and we had one coach. I became the go-to first base coach for our team. Though I don’t recall making a veteran coaching move like Kevin does in this scene, it was my first step toward coaching baseball for about the next two decades.
There is much more to Kevin than what we see in this scene. His character will continue to develop throughout the Coach Dave Series, including a surprise role in Season Two.
Get to know Scarlet Knights first base coach, Kevin Forsythe:[/bluebox]
Kevin Forsythe led off the top of the fifth, getting his usual one at bat per game. When the first two pitches sailed high, one of the Yankees’ fans yelled, “Come on, Hunter, he’s just a benchwarmer! Just throw strikes and sit him down!”
A very agitated Rooster Hamilton rose to shout something in return, prompting Dean Ford and Big Carlos to each grab one of his elbows. “For us, Rooster,” Dean said between gritted teeth. “For us and not against them, remember?”
“I can’t stand hearing them say stuff like that about our kids, Dean. That’s just not right.”
“They’re just reflecting their leadership, Rooster. We’d do well to reflect ours.”
Kevin took a strike right down the middle and then swung at a ball in the dirt. After letting another high pitch go by, he struck out swinging on a curve ball out of the zone and walked dejectedly back to the dugout.
“Hey, Coach,” Coach Dave shouted toward the dugout. “I need my first base coach out there!”
With his head down, Kevin jogged toward first base to assume his usual duties. Hudson joined him moments later after he lined the first pitch he saw into center field for a base hit. Wyatt was next up for the Scarlet Knights, and he sent a sinking line drive down the right field line. As the fielder dove for the ball, Kevin eagerly yelled, “Tag! Tag!”
The Yankee right fielder made the catch in foul ground, rolling over as he caught the ball. Having raced back to first, Hudson tagged and moved up easily to second base. A few moments later, he slid safely into home on an RBI single by Little Carlos. Popping up, Hudson pointed with both index fingers at the first base coaching box.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that kid becomes a good coach one of these days,” Big Carlos said. “Way to move him up, Kevin!”
“Are you kidding?” Dean smiled. “He’s already a good one.”
I once asked a long-time high school athletic director what the biggest change he had seen in his 30+ years of high school coaching. He didn’t hesitate.
That’s easy. People no longer see the value of simply being part of the team.
Every team needs some Kevin Forsythes. It’s the real Coach Daves of this world who show them their value as a part of the team. I’m grateful for a high school coach who found value in me as his first base coach even when I wasn’t lighting up the stat sheet.
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This is a very good book about how youth baseball should be used to teach our youngsters lessons that will help insure a more successful and happier life as they make their way in the adult world that awaits them. As an older father of two sons who played youth baseball, I wish there had been a Coach Dave for them during those summers long ago.
–R. James (Amazon customer)