As the Little League season comes to a close, Michael Woody and his sons Tom and Jack pack up the mounds of baseball equipment that have been used throughout each season for the past 17 years that Michael has been coaching Triple-A Little League baseball.
“We have a whole bunch of baseball equipment filling up a huge portion of our garage,” explains Tom Woody, Michael’s 23-year-old son and former player. “All of the equipment comes from when my brother, Jack, and I used to play for my dad, as well as all the things that the kids still use today.”
The Woody garage is overflowing with buckets of baseballs, extra gloves, metal bats, a pitching machine and everything in between. Now that Tom and Jack have grown out of Little League baseball, they have made coaching the league at Raccoon Valley a family affair.
“I coach with him when my work schedule allows,” comments Tom. “It usually amounts to about a quarter to almost half of the season, which begins in April and finishes up in mid-June. My brother helps out when he can as well. My dad is the head coach of the team and besides myself and my brother, we’ve got about seven to 10 assistant coaches that include parents and former players. It makes for quite a large coaching staff for a team of 9-, 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds,” Tom laughs.
Raccoon Valley Little League provides the uniform shirts for the young players, while Woody and the rest of his coaching staff provide just about everything else necessary to play the game, except for the gloves, which each kid comes to Saturday games equipped with.
“My dad brings the bats, balls, hit stick, rosters and all of the extra necessary equipment to play,” Tom explains. “We haul all of it out there, and the kids rush out to the car to grab the stuff and help us carry it all to the dugout for my dad.”
Now that the season has ended for the summer, the Woodys have time to relax, and will now find a place to store their baseball goods. That is, until next spring when they will dust it all off and continue the coaching tradition for the 18th year.