Thanks for bringing back American Legion baseball

To the editor:

I speak for parents who had sons on the American Legion Post 217 baseball team this summer. Winning nearly 40 games, a district title and finishing 3rd in the State Legion Tournament, truly was a special ride.

We are very proud of our sons, but need to say, “Thank you,” to the many people who made this a magical summer on the diamond. First and foremost, to American Legion Post 217 who spared no expense paying for our sons to travel the state representing Sidney and Shelby County. Post 217 made baseball a priority again in Sidney, and for that our sons are greatly appreciative. Putting American Legion Post 217 on his chest meant a lot to my son this summer. Not only did it represent where he is from, but he proudly represented the men and woman of Post 217 who served our country.

Thanks to all the businesses who helped bring American Legion baseball back to Sidney. It never would have happened without the commitment of many. As well, we want to thank the Sidney Daily News for their fantastic coverage of our boys this summer. The team was a focus of the sports section daily. It is easy to cover a winner, but the writers and photographers should be commended for their work.

Lastly, a special thank you to Jim “Pickle” Koewler, his coaching staff and his lovely wife Nancy. Jim was instrumental in returning baseball to Sidney’s American Legion Post. He tirelessly pursued a great roster of young men who gelled under his tutelage. Jacob Lochard and Tony McClain spent hours with Jim guiding our sons to play baseball the right way, and more importantly, to be quality young men. The way they represented Sidney, Ohio was a credit to this fine coaching staff. Nancy was truly the glue behind the scenes. Making reservations, selling t-shirts, keeping the boys fed and just about everything under the sun that most never saw! It is very cool to see the respect that the boys have for Mrs. Koewler. She loves them all like they are her own, because they are!

Youth baseball in America has declined over the past few years, but it will always be “America’s Game.” Rest assured, baseball is back and in good hands in Sidney, Ohio. Congratulations to the American Legion Post 217 baseball team on a fantastic summer and many great summers ahead.

Jeff Hobbs,