Steve Wiley Talks Baseball, Coaching his Kids, and Little League of Their Own
Look Out Tommy LaSorda, Here I Come
Minors (9 and 10-year-olds) came and went. My teams made it to the championship each year. Then came Little League majors (the 11 and 12 year-olds you see on TV).
Every year I'd ask my sons if they still wanted me to coach. Every year they'd respond with a resounding yes. Every year I'd ask the League if they wanted me back. Every year they said yes. In Ben's final year, we finally won our first championship, all three of us on the same team (Go Twins).
Last year, Ben aged out of Little League, and headed for the world of club baseball. Only one more year of Little League left for Jonah, and surely my coaching "career" would be over.
Luckily, the boy made it last for his old man. Because, you see, I had grown addicted. Coaching had allowed me to stay in the game. In the dugout. A real part of the action.
He made the all-star team in our newly merged Tempe South LL, and we won the district. We skipped the family vacation in order to make the trip to Tucson, where we finally lost in the quarterfinals. I remained on the coaching staff - working with a tremendous team of gifted young athletes - and enjoying every minute of what was sure to be my final baseball coaching moment.