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Baseball & Ketchikan's Volunteers
By Travis Sharp


June 15, 2006

Ken Lewis coached me from T-Ball to High School graduation. Life long neighbors on 2nd/3rd Ave. and Madison. Jeff Lewis and I grew up being taught the greatest game on this planet, baseball. Summers consisted of Ken sacrificing his mornings or afternoons to take us to the batting cage, get us on a workout routine, even demanding we throw down the oversized whiffle ball bat for a size 30 Easton (in the name of establishing good swing fundamentals). It's the only backyard whiffle ball game I've played where a homerun was an out, and a line drive up the middle was to be desired. You see, that's the way Ken coached us. There were no Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, or Ken Griffey, Jr. on his teams (that's not what he coached). All parts came together with Ken to "put the ball in play," and, "make things happen." Small ball, and smart ball wins games (not the long ball).

Ken instilled in me work ethic, motivation, drive, and competitiveness. Of course Juneau instilled fear (we beat them that year!), but we overcame. The highlight of Senior League, for me, was a brotherhood and bond Ken created among us "Rebels." We spent that entire summer together, hanging out, practicing, improving, laughing, and learning how to win (read "compete"). We stuck together (on the field and off). Winning comes in all forms of course, and as Ken has said, "We weren't afraid to wear our emotions on our sleeves."

Ken is among many good men, coaches, and parents in Ketchikan. Let me rephrase and say, great coaches. The likes of my Father, Doug Nausid, Tommy Craig, Dave Brown, Dave and Scott Smith, Fred Bass, Larry Kubley, Rick Ludwigsen, Pete Ecklund, Wayne Kinunen, Craig and Jeff Carson, Bucky Dawson, Wayne Seibel, I could get carried away here......Please Ketchikan, value these volunteers, these coaches and role models who put so much time aside to help mold and create both baseball players and young men and women. I m speaking from the point of view of someone who looks back and thanks his lucky stars for coaches such as Ken. I also urge the youth of Ketchikan to value these men and women; they have a lot to teach you.

Travis Sharp
Louisville, KY - USA

About: I grew up in Ketchikan, played baseball for Ken Lewis (in some shape or form) from age 8 to 18, and loved every minute of it. While having been removed from Ketchikan for some time now, I would like to reflect on the impact Ken and other local volunteers had on myself (and I know many others), while growing up.




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