Just as the sun sets on Kory's time on the mound, so it also sets on the career of one loved and notorious coach in our fair town. From T-Ball, to Prep, to Little League, and finally to Babe Ruth Coach Krum has been there in some capacity. He rose to the coveted position of "coach" (well, technically he's the manager) a few years ago when our boys both played Little League. How did he acquire this illustrious position? By being the only dad from the team to show up at the first parent's meeting ~ Congratulations Coach! Here is your cap and clip board, your bucket of balls and bag 'o bats!
And why the notoriety?
Because he was the coach of the last place team every season of his career. Now, that's not an easy thing to accomplish. Wednesday night was the final coaches' meeting ~ to look at standings and discuss the playoffs, and he dreaded going.
"I really hate to lose," he lamented in the afternoon before the meeting. "REALLY. I just HATE losing. And we were SO close SO many times!"
and then the kicker...
"And just how exactly does it bring glory to God when the pastor/coach is last in the league???? I mean, if the Pastor's team won the championship many would turn to Christ! People would flock to church! It would convince them that Jesus' team is the one to be on!"
Now, obviously he was kidding, but you have to remember that:
1. He loves Jesus.
2. He's a firstborn
3. He's a guy.
4. He's from Texas.
5. His dad was a/his high school football coach.
6. In Texas.
So, he obviously comes by this competitive spirit naturally. No one likes to lose, of course, but Coach Krum REALLY, REALLY, REALLY does not like it.
Coop up to bat.
This losing streak was especially disappointing, because he put a lot of effort into being a good coach. Somewhat unfamiliar with the rules and strategies of baseball, he read up on the game, met with a seasoned, long-time coach for consultation, and heartily encouraged the boys (and one girl) on his team during each drill and practice.
Coach Krum is the handsome one in the dark sunglasses!
And even though he had first pick in the draft, the team was only able to pull off one win. Several close scoring games, but only the one win. It was quite disappointing for all involved, but especially the coach.
He had to miss most Sunday games because of the whole pastor gig, and even several Saturday games because of the whole 8-wedding gig. Often times at a wedding reception, I would see him check his email via his Blackberry and then hear a terrible gasp.
"Honey, what is it? Are the kids ok? Did someone die?" I would anxiously ask.
"We lost the game 10-7," he would say. "Arghhh! SO close!"
No real emergencies; just a game report....and a panic attack for me.
The main reason for Coach Krum's retirement is not his losing streak, but rather the fact that Kory will be over the age limit to play in the town leagues next year, and Cooper just could not care less about baseball. Coop would be eligible for another year of the Babe Ruth League, but he has begun to despise baseball ("You call that a SPORT???" he says.) and absolutely fall in love with basketball. He's fairly obsessed, actually, and never not shooting some object into some receptacle when he's not at the courts playing one-on-one or two-on-two. So, since neither boy will be playing town league baseball, Robert will not need to coach.
Don't worry, he's not too broken up about it.
Kory played on the local high school team this season just like he did last season ~ even moving up a level from the JV B team to the JV A team. (They allow homeschoolers to participate in all sports!) Playing on both teams meant that he was playing his favorite sport almost every single day of the week. He could not have been happier, but now that both seasons are just about over (one last Babe Ruth game tomorrow), he has been exhibiting some passive-aggressive behavior. When I ask him what's wrong, he just mumbles, "I just want to play baseball."
Kory tags the returning runner.
Kory's team had a decent record, and he enjoyed being able to contribute with some good hits and plays. After one beautiful double, his high school coach said, "Good job, Krums! Didn't know if you had it in you." Well, he does, and he loved being able to improve this season. It really was fun to watch all of these boys who have been playing together since they were 5 or 6 years old grow up and gain skill. I was constantly amazed at their abilities, and loved being at the games.
Great Job Kory and Coop!
And thanks, Coach Krum, for being a great coach (despite your record) and a great dad!