Right for Rob Semple
Welcome back to FORTitude folks. JW Wilson along with my co host Brinton Payne and the cake on the table is significant because this is the beginning. Getting day of season two of fortitude to happy happy second birthday Brinton. I’m only look great.
I’m only on my third inhale through my nose I read that if you breathe seven times through your nose and out your mouth in a minute, you’re gonna calm down and I often have to do this with my illustrious partner here. Who has actually done I hate to say it a pretty nice job doing the studio if you don’t you think looks excellent either.
Look on cap Tex studio by the way. You weren’t a nice hat if you noticed my nice new mug. Yeah, I use our from our good friends at CAP Tex bank, who is our wonderful new sponsor Brinton. And I have a couple things to tell you about these nice folks. One of them but goes by the name of Mike Thomas. Yep, you probably know him. Yep. Mike Thomas kind of guy let you call him day and night with a problem or a concern. Maybe Texas Tech is won or lost Avi to TCU and he will spawn you know many bank presidents that I know will respond to a text or call day or night. Agreed?
Yes, agreed. And you know, no matter where Mike is 19th Hola. Colonial or in his big bed that he told us about that he bought with that adjusts up and down for all Yes. Now I’m kidding Mike’s a great guy and really thank him very much for sponsor do so this
thing about CAP takes we need to tell people is that there’s only two local banks and Fort Worth truly local banks out of 60 of them have their cap Tex is one of those two, they are a local bank run by local guys and so they have lots of local experience over 100 years actually. So there they say you know, their main street not Wall Street Bank, which is kind of a cool spiel. So yeah, if you’re looking for a bank, and you want to stay local, you already shop local we know Yeah, Moscow bank local. Right. And they got the great logo with CT. Exactly.
Oh, you know, I thought that CT was the guy from Magnum that the helicopters but that was actually TC, I think Correct. Thank you, Rob. So you’re gonna get for the Magnum? Magnum PI, a show that nobody’s familiar with, but I guess of the era though, right?
Barely, barely. Well,
the person you’re talking to is is a good dude. He’s a friend. He’s a great human beings got a great family. It’s the greatness of Rob simple. Welcome to the show. Rob. Thank you. Thank you.
Great to be down. Yeah,
I wanted you been playing lacrosse professionally. Rob.
You’re on the wrong sheet.
The Super Bowl win the second time with the Dallas Cowboys was better than the first store.
Rob, thank you for being here. My friend. known you a long time. We’re the same age are much younger than this fellow over here. So try to
keep them three people from your office called me old today coming in here. Did you tell them to say
that? No, I did not. You probably should listen. Anyway. Rod as we sit as the currently the commissioner of the west side, literally Correct. Yeah,
I’m the president.
President. Excuse me. We edit that out. Yeah,
please do. It’s a very distinguished title president now we’re proud of it.
I’m not a blessing for you. That’s for JW faux pas on the show. Good momently we’ll have a few of these
remembered your name I forgot a few names. As President of the West I literally what are your What are your what’s your function?
So Westlife, literally is a 501 C three. We have been around gas since 1954. We’re about to begin our 68 season. As President I we are 100% volunteer led organization. So I oversee a board of really, really good volunteers and I guess a group of really really good coaches underneath that and it’s it’s everything from managing a concession stand to making sure the fields are mowed to this afternoon. I’m going up to hang sponsorship shines on the outfield fences. I had Honor Society kids out there this weekend painting the fences. So it’s a you’re kind of a I guess a coordinator if you will of again, very generous volunteer hour
what age kids what’s the gap?
It’s boys and girls. It’s boys and girls, mostly boys. We start really about age four and go through 1212 would be the year that you would theoretically go to the Little League World Series which I’m sure many people have seen on television surely,
surely. Yeah. I’m this concession stand you spoke of just previously. This is a money making machine by the way Correct. I remember going back in the day for a buck you get a hot prices are all really real. good prices, we’re not gonna complain with prices, but those kids are just pouring cash into that sucker. It is.
Yeah, it helped Believe it or not, it helps kind of sustain a lot of our a lot of our operation. We only the the the actual enrollment cost is only about 50% of our budget. So the rest of the budget has to be covered by donations and things like proceeds from the from the concessions. And when your pocket. No, no, I’m trying to avoid that. I’ve seen a few literally presidents in in other regions who have done that, and I think they’re currently serving time and yes, I’m just not that into going to jail. So yeah, I’m gonna I’m gonna keep that above.
Nacho Cheese is one or two molecules away from pure plastic. Still,
it’s still in the big like VAT. Yet the can opener open every night and we pour into the warming drawer. And yep, that’s the first thing you do when you open a concession stand for all those aspiring concessionaires out there as you start by warming that up. Well, you get everything else. Yeah.
You mentioned a second ago how the Westside League was, can you talk about its founding? And what was what was going on at that time? As far as coming in those years? Yep,
we’re still in our original location. We’re along the Trinity River. We actually do not own our own land. We’re part of the TR WD system. They started in 1954. We’re about to start our 68 season. So a gentleman named Mr. Kelly was one of the I don’t know if you would call him the founder, frankly, a lot of a lot of people in Fort Worth, that are very well known a lot of their parents or grandparents were kind of the founding group. Yeah. But Mr. Kelly was was kind of the, you know, the the main impetus, and probably the, you know, the first quote, Commissioner president for 20 years, so influential that they ultimately named the park for him. And we’re very blessed. We have, we have a great plot of land. We are a community ballparks. So all of our all of our kids that play there are in the kind of the general vicinity. And again, 68 years of baseball, we’ve expanded a little bit on that land, but it’s pretty much the original footprint going going
was like say that the west side lines because it was it partially like how did that
was part of Westside lions, and frankly, I think if you still google it, it’s still shows up as West sidelines. And, and you my understanding this predates me, but at some point, the kind of the, the affiliation really stopped and we continued to be called West sidelines which made we had we actually had to pay local insurance money for that. And I think ultimately they decided to break I don’t think there was anything specific that drove it, but we did. We did ultimately separate
so and do you think that the the fact that you are owned by you know, like a large governmental entity has has possibly kept up? Is the reason that you’re out fields aren’t falling into the river like another unnamed literally. We can name them I think, possibly. I pushed the button, but
we’ll get into that in a second. Is there if you don’t mind is the West Side Little League? Are they friendly? Is there a competitive environment between them? How does that how does that scenario unfold? Very competitive,
you know the way Little League works, you you play your regular seasons and really see basically play from from March through through May you know what you would call interleague within your own league and then the all star season starts in June and that is when we run into all the little leagues you ll Western hills, etc. And yeah, we’re very competitive. We have a really good working relationship with each other. I don’t think that’s always been the case between the two leagues but they have a really strong group that runs that that runs that that league as well. And again, it’s a it’s a really good relationship at the called the executive level but once you once you get into the games and yeah, in June I there’s there’s not a lot of friendliness and in
those games in June in, does Weatherford still put the West Side Little League against each other for the first games and try to actually have the interleague knock itself out or if it’s not from any kind of experience in there. It’s purely hypothetical. I’m
not gonna say it was Weatherford that does that. But there is a league that does that and happen it happened to us last year. So, yes, these things still happen. The little our district is very competitive. And in these tournaments that are not sanctioned by the actual little league organization, there are some shenanigans that just kind of magically, shenanigans, literally, yes. Who would have guessed? Yes. Who would have guessed?
Rob, what is the what’s the annual budget of the west side? Little League if you can share?
Sure. I guess what the probably the easiest way to talk about it is it’s we’re probably a 250 to $300,000 annual budget. As I mentioned earlier, about 50% of it is paid for with registration fees, and then the other 50% is paid for, you know, via some concessions, pros proceeds, but primarily we sell outfield signs, we feel seal naming rights and things of that nature. So it’s a it’s a big it’s a big undertaking. We’re in the middle of a capital campaign. We are really proud of our facilities. They’re, they’re amongst the best in the state of Texas, but we always want to make them better. So, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re hitting our constituents up for that and and hopefully hoping to continue the, you know, set set this up for the next generation I, I only have two more years there with with my youngest son so I want to certainly leave it better than I found it.
How does the NFL and Portal play into that? Is that going to help with that fundraising effort? Or I think it
will, I think it will, we can really get a lot of these kids that are not in our district. And we if we get enough in IO money, we can get them to move into the disk. Excellent. And, and really make it a creative and in profitable for the parents as well, because we want them to be adequately. Children. Yeah. How much of
that $300,000 But your budget is funds your salary, by the way? Yeah, just kidding. Um, let’s see some so one of the always fun things about Westside Little League, aside from the actual games, which are incredible to watch. Yeah. Are the parents yes, parents stories, there’s books written about parents. There’s all kinds of fun stuff about parents. Yeah.
Many Styrofoam cup.
Before you tell us anything pertinent. There is a sign that hangs on the fence at West that Little League, which is in probably almost every little league park that says five things. These are kids. This is just a game. The coaches volunteer empires are human and your kids don’t play for the Texas Rangers more or less that’s what they say. I’ve always thought that was so funny. But then I think about the stories about kids that hopefully you can share a few is it appropriate to say there are some crazy parent stories you can enlighten us with there there
are there are actually there’s a mother who was taken aback by that sign. She thought that the fact that we called out that her kids didn’t play for the Texas Rangers was essentially going to disincentivize these kids from playing baseball in the future because they it was telling them they had no chance at being there so cancel that last line yes yeah. There are there are crazy stories top to bottom we have been able to get them under control a little bit more recently we kind of have a no tolerance policy there but yeah, I mean there’s a there’s a who’s
enforcing that by the way
so yeah, we do have a few we have you know, there’s the kind of minor stuff that’s that’s definitely breaking rules that is kind of a little bit funny there’s you know, there’s the there’s the coaches who tell the you know the last batter in the order that they need to use the restroom when when they’re about to be up and just kind of magically get you know shifted back to the back of the order that’s not allowed but I it has been been reported to me on more than one occasion
I’d like to share a little trick of our Rob go go go keep going we have
a we have a we have a parent who was was in the in the peewee division you still pitched your kids yes is you you may or may not know we’re on the river and so we had we had a parent one time who was about to get out there and pitch and realize that the game was about to start and he had not necessarily taken the time to go to the restroom yet and as opposed to running back to the to the restroom which is only about 100 yards yeah a hand well kept facility Yeah. And kind of snuck around to the to the side gate and relieved himself and and I just poor guy happenstance the the umpire happens to be looking at me, Hey, what are you doing and now long story short, he was rejected and he’s great guy and I he probably is gonna listen to this and be like, Oh, but now he’s a good dude. And a little bit of a mistake here. I really encourage people to you know, to urinate at least the parents in the restrooms that the kids we always look the other way you really got to go. But yeah, that’s half the fun a little bathroom. Yeah.
I remember specifically when I was pitching coach or coach pitch and I was pitching which I should never have been doing. I remember the waft of a good gin meeting my nose. Like that’s weird. Gin out here. Yeah, these kids yeah. After the game I go to the dugout or I go with the crowd and I started smelling that guy. Gin smell it’s one of the parents talking to me. I’m like you’re the gin I smelled on the Mount. I always love that part of the low side. Unless people come there that don’t have kids. I know this. And they they might actually bring a drink maybe it’s just iced tea. So watch the little kids play baseball. I think that’s
kind of cool. So funny story you may or may not know this. We are in a we have a lot of supply chain shortages right now but one of the things that is absolutely the hardest for us to procure is Topo Chico in plastic bottles became have glass out there Yeah, it’s the number one thing that parents asked for and while I while I want to believe it’s all on the up and up and it’s you know just a glass of typical Chico no mixer there there’s Yeah, we don’t we do that but I I just there’s always a strong suspicion and yeah, and literally last weekend. I was at Sam’s and they happen to have a pallet of it there. Yeah. And I texted our concessions manager. I was like, what do I get? She literally said give it all like, we literally cannot sell enough Topo Chico but I’m, I’m gonna choose to believe that’s just could I offer you
a Schweppes club soda as an alternative.
We all have our standards, Brent,
you know that Jacob and I actually coached a championship team there. I don’t know if that has been in a way that we got back to
2002 to Oh, who’s counting though? Who remembers this?
I’m going to tell you the strategy though. Behind that was when you talk about the batting and stuff. Those kids are all different sizes. I mean, Jacobs kid was super tall. Mine was super short. We did this thing where we’re like, let’s not go with the strength of batter on the lineup. Let’s just stagger them because it was the first year kid pitch and that it’s no way a kid could pitch to a kid rider size and then as short as my kid. And so it was just it was kind of the magic moment like that.
I remember and I must have been an eight or nine year old. Totally mind screwing me he was he was a glove like this. Yeah, mountain Yes. Doing this. Yeah. And I was like, I knew his name. Stop doing that.
I can’t. Yeah. And there were a lot of conversations. I mean, it was it’s a great time. And it was like Jaden, can you keep that one kid from throwing the other kid in the trash can in the dugout, please. I mean, you remember the dugout duty, nobody wanted that either. So maybe we could talk about like, you know, just what you’re trying to accomplish. But I mean, I think that everybody’s got a great little league memory. You don’t have a lot of people who are going Oh, little league was the worst form. I mean, no matter what, it’s just because the kids were of all skill levels. And it’s yes can get really competitive. But talk about that maybe a little Sure.
Yeah, no, it’s it’s been a it’s we’re obviously big believers that literally builds character. Teamwork. You know, being on being a member of a team is a is an important lesson. It is a it is a challenge and a dog fight to get kids to play Little League. There’s so many options out there. There’s select baseball, there’s lacrosse, which is obviously growing in popularity. So you know, we really focus at least at West side on the community aspect of what we have is I mentioned earlier, we we pull from, obviously, quote The west side of Fort Worth released when you know, when we felt formed this league, many moons ago, that was the west side, it’s expanded. But you know, we’re hitting kids and underserved communities, we we make little league available for free to anyone that requests it, no questions asked. In a given season five to 10% of our league is on financial aid or full on financial assistance. We established actually just back in the fall and equipment exchange program baseball is yeah, a very expensive sport to play not, I mean, the Westside price points I think are good, but you still have to buy a bat and a glove and a helmet. And so we’ve even had a kid for his bar mitzvah raise a ton of money for essentially scholarship programs. And we are we we literally have a hoard of Academy gift cards and we can hand them out on the families that come to the equipment exchange, because we don’t have everything there. And, you know, give them that for, you know, a specific glove or a bat or things like that. But our goal is to is to grow the attendance. We we are you know, we’re thankfully being successful that thus far, we’re trying to, you know, provide a place for people to just have a community experience and it’s really, really gone. Well, I mean, I think you’re probably seeing this around just the world in general. But people are very desperate to get back out, you know, restaurants are crowded now again, and this has become a really fun place to be. Yes, there are shenanigans along the way but the overwhelming majority of the people are just there to you know, to watch their kids play baseball, have a great time. And yeah, so far we’ve been able to provide that. Can you talk about
that growth rob a little bit from maybe Inception till now you’re mentioned it I think a couple times, but how much have we grown and hammer? How big is Westside these days? Yeah. So
it you know, I don’t have our historical numbers. But you know, we and literally us internationally, literally is growing like a weed in the in the United States. I believe I lived on a little website about a year ago, we’re at kind of a 3% annual decline. And I think Westside was probably on that same kind of general path. In kind of 2019 we had a little bit of a turnover and that’s when a lot of the current group that are that are managing and have kind of come in and we bought them that year at probably around 425 Kids in the spring season. This upcoming spring season 2022 will have about 650 So we’ve we’ve really been able to, to kind of turn it in and you know, part of it is just you know, communicating being more visible being more transparent, you know, adopting technology candidly you know, you know web based scheduling and you know every one of you guys stream the game so we do grandparent Yeah, actually Yep, we are. We stream and then in the in the coming, you know, coming days we’re actually moving from or megapixel to 12 megapixel cameras so hi def we can actually see your grandchild you know what and that’s why we put that in and it we don’t probably have the technology to truly track our viewers but I think about neither do we Okay good. Yeah, about five though Yeah, well
that Rob we have
a lot actually which is crazy but here’s the funny thing I think about half of them are grandparents that live in other cities and states and now the other half of them are coaches who love to do screenshots of their bad pitches and then send them to me or someone else and tell them how bad or I’m serious in any to use it for scouting. I mean it’s it’s pretty fun. They everybody takes it pretty seriously but really for the most part there they know there’s a line and they don’t cross it right I think that’s what makes it so great. Yeah, these coaches care they put a lot of time and effort into it they’re the lifeblood of our league I think we have an incredible group and and that goes you know deputy assistant level and even the moms and dads that just help out so yeah, it’s a it’s a great group we kid but but in general they’re doing a wonderful job.
You think the kind of you know some good scout
is pretty serious like the like when we were doing it with our kids. There was this looming threat of select right yeah, and then almost I don’t know what kind of COVID did with that or if that was it or I almost feel like everything’s coming back to not so select you know that people are kind of seeing that hey, the old school Little League is maybe the way to go you know that maybe this super hyper focus for one sport one kit type of thing Yeah, will you talk a little of that
Sure. Is Select Select is a it’s like my kids are literally kids my kids have also played select on the side to get supplemental games and so I you know, I select is my most definitions a competitor of ours, but I would I would say we also peacefully coexist. We, you ll you mentioned them earlier we tried to make our leagues compatible with select select, thankfully mostly plays on weekends and so you can you know, you can you we don’t do this necessarily, but you know, in the fall we certainly do more, you know, we will not schedule games on certain weeks or certain days if we know some teams need to play tournaments and we tried we tried to be able to give our families the option of doing both or picking one if they want to it’s a you know, I think select is it’s it’s a it’s a formidable competitor but again, I there’s there is a place for it. I think there’s a lot of good that actually comes out of it.
Well, what I did was I got all the free gear down at West side and then I paid for my son to play slip now.
You guys have his cat texts, one of your sponsors just kind of crossed my mind. I will not we’re about to ask him because they’re one of ours. Robin mentioned that but actually, yeah, we love these guys.
I’m gonna go I know Mike, big fan of Mike. I’m gonna go out on a limb and I think they are I literally will know in 30 minutes when I’m hanging those signs and I see the cap Tex, what
are you gonna be calling Mike Tara
gonna be calling hitting him up. So
hit him up at like 2am because he likes the late night calls. He will we’ll get back to you. That’s for damn sure.
That’s actually the beautiful thing about the guys. Yeah. Now he’s a he’s a great guy. And he’s a great asset for Fort Worth. Yeah, we
talked about umpires real quick. Yes. Who are these angels in striped clothing that do this job they get beaten to Holy hell yeah. Why do they do it? Speaking
of beaten if I can bring up one example is oh, goodness, there was an umpire. And there there was a kid with my older son, who the kid was pitching he, I mean, this kid. He went to heights. He was a fantastic pitcher. I mean, he was a strong pitcher. He broken umpires cup one game one game. The ball. You know, in Little League, the catcher completely missed it. It was a straight shot. The umpires cup broken, so we were told him. Yes. Just bring that out. Okay, go ahead. What
happened next, though? Here’s more to the story. Did he go home?
I didn’t really follow him to the car. He had a spare cup. I know that he was on the court. He actually went to the river instead of going to the facilities and he was arrested on the river that day. Okay. Rob, back to the question.
You are correct. They are angels. They are. It’s a great group of guys and gals. We have both. We have a we have a wonderful head umpire who’s been in our field since 2003. His name is ag and and we just had a wonderful relationship with him.
He’s the one with the Mohawk like the thick Mohawk. Yeah. Yeah. Kind of like a thick Mo Yeah.
Yep. You know, ex ex service member just a wonderful, wonderful guy. Yeah. He is our he is our you know, he’s the one that gets all the umpires they are your right nobody likes the calls. As I tell our coaches you know, if the beginning of each year, what I want is umpires that show up on time that are appropriately dressed you know that behave that behave well and know the rules and we’re just going to understand that we all miss calls and we’re going to miss several calls in the game. And you just need to probably hope that over the course of the season, yeah, it kind of evens out for each team and
it’s okay to smoke in the parking lot like Carl. Carl, we that’s an honor to you, Carl. We love I love snow that cigarette smoke in the parking lot by Fred. I thought it was just such a thing for the kids coming in to see an umpire out there. blasting the cigarette in the parking lot.
We are we don’t allow that anymore. So So no, we try to keep the the parking lot clean. Now he was he’s a great umpire. Yeah, he is.
Are they are they paid? Rob? Are they of volunteers as well?
They are they are paid. Now when you when you watch the Little League World Series and things like that. Those guys are all volunteers. There are some leagues locally, where they are volunteered. But But no, our stars are paid.
Nice. Um, have any of your kids made it to the big leagues
that you know of? I was I was I was trying to think of this on the way over. I am not aware of anyone that’s actually played West Side and made it to the to the majors. I bet there is someone Legion Legion. We’ve had Yeah, we’ve had several. We talked about it earlier Darren Wood played here. Kind of around my my time which would have been little league early or I guess 80s And he went on to the College World Series. The brockmeyer twins who are at Alabama football team on the line there. They’re alums. Talk about pitching he Yeah, yeah. A lot of the kids on the 2002 World Series team actually went on to play for the Arlington Heights state championship team when they were a little bit older. And so it’s a you know, the historian me needs to beef up on that. But I I you know, we’ve had a lot that have gone a long way. I’m not sure anyone’s ever played major league baseball. You
segue right into the 2002 was a sad little league team. This is a historic accomplishment. There’s a fact a momento Yep. Standing in the in the in the West. I really Park. Yep. Can we tell us a little bit about why we’re here is this exact team? Yep. There’s some stories coming out about that team. What all transpired? Absolutely walk us through that a little
bit. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So it’s the 20th anniversary of the West Side team then in the year 2000. We do the math real quick. Yeah, that’s it. I think you nailed it. Otherwise, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have to cancel a lot of plans. But But no, it’s it’s 20th anniversary in 2002. Our all star team made it all the way to Williamsport made it to the US either final or semi final and blank and off the top of my head right now. And it’s a big accomplishment. I was actually I lived in New York City at the time. And I remember it was back, as back when you had to have a TiVo to record something. I remember like recording all the games and coming home from work to watch it. And it was I live with my brother. We were yellow kids growing up, but it’s really neat to see Yeah, those kids make it they to this day, I found out I saw it last year, they’ve played the longest Little League World Series game ever in terms of think endings and ours. And, and that team is at the 20th anniversary, they are all coming back to our field on Friday, April 8 for kind of a reunion fundraiser. And we’re, you know, we’re putting together we’re gonna have an MC discussion and a video and we’re trying to get really anyone who has been associated with West Side ever, but certainly the last 20 years to kind of come back and you know, quote, get the band back together. Sure. If we raise some funds, that’s great. But really it’s just about getting this community tight and key there. I think they’re tight now but I think we can kind of expand it and it’s a big accomplishment. My now 13 year old son, you know, we just spent four years chasing that dream. We worked really hard and we had a great team and you know, we didn’t get there and we didn’t even get that close and you just realize what a true accomplishment it is to get that far along. I mean, there are a lot of little leagues out there. Yeah that you have to go through and
what Mr. Dent is. Can you tell me that name because I do remember seeing that you know yard of the field yet what’s the signal? He talked about the Kelly fan and I think that he was surcoat in all of that yet. The dent?
Yep, the Spencer didn’t foundation. built. We have a we have a kind of a almost like a clubhouse you’d call it I know you guys have seen it but we have a it was designed after the the old ballpark at Arlington. And the dent foundation built that I believe in the in the late 90s as a in honor of Spencer dent, who was a he was a little bit younger than me growing up but I knew him a little bit, you know, tragically lost his life at camp, but loved Westside Little League and just love baseball in general. And so, Dwayne in the in the Spencer dent Foundation, erected that facility and that is where our boardroom sits. That’s where That’s where our umpire locker room is. That’s where our bathrooms are. And it’s it’s a really neat facility a few years ago, we hosted a sectional tournament there. And I was putting up a sign beforehand and one of the teams showed up really early in a and a dad on that team grabbed me says this, this museum like I go see the museum. It really looks that nice. Yeah. He that foundation has been a wonderful contributor to West Side on a number of different levels throughout the year. Yeah. Very blessed to have them. Yeah,
I would say so. That’s a fantastic story. Man. I wish you guys luck.
And that’s where the draft that there’s never anything but legitimacy. Absolutely. And the mothers aren’t outside the door. And I say mothers more than fathers because I think the draft is a very mother hen thing too.
And I don’t know what you’re talking about. I this year, we’re just really off base.
Who are worse as parents,
moms or dads? Oh, man, a question you could ask. I could I could hide from it. But I guess what I’d say is I think it’s pretty equal opportunity. Now. I think you I really do want to emphasize the overwhelming majority are are just awesome. Sure. Definitely have a few that care a lot. And, and
the new bar, the new bar they installed in the field is
in the museum. The upstairs board room area. Hi, I’d like another Topo.
And yeah, it’s uh, you know what, you learn a lot running a little league?
I’ll bet you do. And I’ll bet you do it. It’s
a great great experience. Oh, that’s good.
I love it. It’s a wonderful job. Real quickly want to talk about your family because we all know everybody knows you or your dad Bob or your brothers. You had an awesome family How’s everybody doing in the family?
They’re doing great. They’re doing great by both my brothers kids play at Westside they both either coach or help coach which is a major coup we were all you ll kids growing up and and I’ve you know I came over first because I had the only appreciate the defects Yeah, no, I get I literally I’m pretty much the closest house to the to the park and when when my wife and I bought the house back in 2011 I remember Yeah, I literally looked at her and said I guess my kids are gonna have to play west side. And it thankfully it’s it’s been it’s been a blessing but yeah, our whole family’s there. My dad’s favorite sport has always been baseball he comes to most of the kids games mean he has he could be up there every night based on how we all you know play up there but but he comes a lot of them a mom does too and we’re just we’re really blessed Yeah, it’s fantastic Korea great supporters of the league and
you come from good stock my friend I don’t I don’t I’m literally tryouts when when does that take place? Typically,
that typically takes place in early February and then the season usually gets going right around the first week in March you take a week off for spring break, then you play really through mid mid May and that’s when the the championships are for the for the league and then if if you’re lucky enough to make an all star team after that. You can you can play if you go all the way to win sport you can play until the next school year. Yeah. But but typically you’re finished in early July or late June
somebody volunteers do you guys take care? Oh, boy.
I would imagine so we have there’s probably if I if I add up my assistant, you know, all the assistant coaches and the board members and it’s comfortably north of 100 I mean, it takes a village Yeah, it’s a it’s a large organization background checks. We have so yeah, absolutely do Dwayne didn’t actually does all of our background checks yet anyone who is a coach assistant concessions, they all have to go through a background check process
question about smoking cigarettes in the parking lot on that application. You
know what that did not make the list but that’s a self policing smoking sign.
That’s funny. That’s a funny word. Self police. Yeah. Just self policing tonight.
Rob we think the world of you we shared the West I literally thank you for what you wish you well in this 2002 endeavor. Yes. Coming forward. Thank you.
And we always end it with a question. Sorry, we just you um, you know, on the best day but like, you’re gonna have personal best say stuff. I think it’s great that you’ve done I mean, this is volunteer stuff and it’s not an easy volunteer gig when you have parents who are pretty caring about certain things. Well, let’s let’s do like this. What do we think the best day of doing this ballpark? It doesn’t have to be commissioners. It could be anything like your best day at that ballpark probably was so far.
My wife asked me this a lot when coming home plate from volunteering up there. My favorite days are typically a Saturday or Sunday. I mentioned a little block away from the park when I’m Yeah, coming home from something and probably on my way to the park and I see the parking lot is so full that they’re literally parked almost all the way up to my house just along Rockwood Park Drive. Yeah, and you go in there and it’s like a pretty day in the stands are packed. You have that like really good smell of we have really good burgers there. Yeah, that smell of burgers like coming out of the concession stand. And like there’s a good you know, typically cult, which is the seven to eight year old group. There’s a good cult game going on where the parents are just cheering not not fighting cheering and just the just the the happiness you feel there. Like that’s why we do it. Yeah. Because it’s a really cool experience for all the kids and the families. And there’s just not a lot of that these days. And so, you know, those are my happiest. That’s why I do yeah.
That’s a great answer. Well, thank you again for joining us. Thank you to cap Tech’s bank for being a sponsor.
Thank you my grateful. Thank you, Mike.
Yeah, thank you. Thanks, Rob.