A tradition


It’s a recent Saturday morning around 7 a.m. I find myself with a dozen other men, cutting grass, raking, leveling dirt, setting and lining base paths and hanging sponsor banners. All volunteers for the Columbiana Youth Baseball Association, we do this for our sons and boys of our community. As I toil, I smile and remember guys like Dan and Kevin McKinstry. For me and many of my friends, some of our fondest childhood memories were made playing Little League in East Palestine. I still remember the sizzling fastball of Cash Eagleton, Jerod Berger being the first kid to slide head first like Pete Rose, and hitting my first homerun off my best friend. Kevin and Dan provided that for us. As we finish, there is a sense of satisfaction that our boys will be playing on pristine fields. The connection of baseball between father and son will carry on. So I smile, because I see guys giving up time, sleep and responsibilities, and I remember. I remember the McKinstry boys, who had no boys of their own, meet a need and created memories that we cherish and still talk about today. For community members, I encourage you to get involved. To Dan and Kevin, thank you for showing the way.

Mike Strohecker