The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Parker Kulczyk
Juvenescent Jots 

Glasgow Reds Baseball: Not an Opportunity to Pass Up

 


Nay-sayers of the baseball program in Glasgow usually say things like: “It costs too much,” “It takes up the entire summer,” “My kids should focus on school sports or a summer job.” In my opinion, all of these drawbacks take a back burner. My experience as a player in the program has been the best experience of my life so far.

In a community the size of Glasgow, it is very unusual to have a baseball program of this caliber. With multiple teams in each age division, almost no town in the area can match it. It is all made possible by volunteers, whether it be parents, coaches, players, or even just community members.

As a member of the Glasgow Reds for four years, I saw Glasgow and the surrounding community come together and try to fix our “swamp” at Sullivan Park more than once. I know several people who have put hundreds, if not thousands of hours in at that field. Many practices actually turned into “field maintenance days” during my years on the team. This connected us to the field, and made us want to play even harder to protect our house.

Issues with the field created camaraderie, but that was a small fraction of the amazing experience. The first year I played, I had a chance to be a part of probably the best and most inspired team to ever wear the Reds uniforms. We shocked many people, starting our season with a 12-12 record, and ending as the state runner-up as well as placing at the regional tournament. The team consisted of players from Glasgow, Wolf Point, Lustre and Nashua. Many of us had not even met prior, but now we have a bond that lasts a lifetime. The aftermath was our baseball program developing into one of the best in the state, known and feared by many. Under our coach Jack Sprague in my four years, we racked up almost 200 wins, multiple sportsmanship awards, and a lot of hardware.

Coach Sprague has been around the block when it comes to baseball. He played Legion ball in Wolf Point, and then on to pitch for the Jimmies in Jamestown, N.D. After his playing days, he moved on to coach in the communities of Wolf Point, Belgrade, and now Glasgow. He commutes every day from his job in Poplar to Glasgow for practice, then to his home in Wolf Point. We are fortunate to have him leading our program, as he offers plenty of insight, not only on baseball, but on growing up. Jack told us many times that he wanted to develop the team into mature adults first and foremost, while learning the game of baseball as well.

After Legion, many with the drive and passion for the game want to move on to the collegiate level. Coach Sprague has connections with coaches at many colleges around the area (He has played or coached against a lot of them). For athletes looking for an opportunity, don’t overlook baseball because it isn’t a “school-affiliated” sport.

Playing the game of baseball is a blast. But, the best part of the experience for me was the road trips with teammates: driving around Montana to compete with teams all across the state, camping out in churches, school gyms or hockey rinks, bus break-downs a couple miles or hundreds of miles away from home. These are some of the many things I will remember for the rest of my life, memories with some of my closest friends that we will share forever.

Yes, the cost can be substantial. But compared to areas like Billings, where it can cost thousands of dollars to play, it is a small price. It does require commitment, but the lessons, memories and values you learn completely outweigh the time. I am proud to say I played for Coach Sprague and had an opportunity to wear a Glasgow Reds uniform. Go Reds!

For information about signing up, contact Deana Sinclair at 228-2443, or Tanja Fransen at 230-1151.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 12/17/2018 06:56