Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

FRANK KEAN, LONGTIME Eldred baseball coach, meets with his players in between innings of a game last spring.

Spring Stinks!

By Frank Rizzo
SULLIVAN COUNTY — April 17, 2001 – We asked the respective “deans” of baseball and softball coaches in the county about the travails of this spring season and they both agree — it is unprecedented.
“This is the worst I’ve seen in 28 years,” said Eldred baseball coach Frank Kean. “Our field is like a mud bowl. We haven’t been outside yet and won’t get out until Monday (April 16).”
“Our field is on a rock slab,” he explained, “the only way it can get dry is with the wind.”
Mary Feusner has been coaching softball at Tri-Valley for 24 years, 22 as head coach.
“I think this is the worst spring,” she agreed. “I don’t recall ever having to cancel three games before.”
Kean’s Yellow Jackets had games against Chapel Field and Roscoe wiped out on April 4 and 6. Their only scheduled game this week is Friday, when they host Livingston Manor.
“I’m glad vacation is here because we needed to get away from the gym,” Kean said last week.
Asked if his players’ morale had suffered from being stuck indoors, Kean replied, “After all these years, I know how to keep them motivated.”
Still, Kean might have to reach deeper into his bag of motivational tricks — according to the weather forecast, the recent spring-like days may give way to a more wintry clime, as rain, snow, and low temperatures will return..
From our “Weather Scene,” which can be found on page 2A of this issue:
Tuesday: Rain or snow possible. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Rain and/or snow possible.
Thursday: Partly cloudy.
Friday: Mostly cloudy. Rain and/or snow possible.
“We’re tired of being inside,” Feusner said last week, giving vent to a universal feeling. “You just don’t have the right dimensions indoors, and outfielders are hurt the most by it.
“Fortunately,” she added, “we have a veteran crew. If we had beginners it would have been different.”
The Lady Bears managed to get in a scrimmage at Monticello last Tuesday, and on Wednesday had their first practice on their own field — at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds.
Tri-Valley is slated to have six games this week, including a tournament it will host on Saturday.
“You certainly need more than one pitcher — and more than nine players,” Feusner said of such a schedule, which might become the norm as games get cancelled and rescheduled later in the season.

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