From: Tony Costanzo
In regard to a letter that appeared in your Readers Write sectionfrom Bill Beal in Glen Burnie about the article, "Tut's a nut for baseball," written on Tut O'Hara (Anne Arundel County Sun, July 14):
I am a 14-year-old baseball player who played on Mr. O'Hara's summerbaseball team for two years and his JV baseball team at Arundel thisspring. When I read the letter, I was shocked.
First of all, I have never seen Mr. O'Hara try to delay a game because a field has no lights and our team was ahead. Mr. O'Hara may go out on the field to talk to an umpire about a bad call, but he is not trying to delay the game. He is simply trying to make the game fair for us. He doesn't want us to be gypped, since we go to the field at 4:30, sometimes earlier, take batting practice, then play our game, and usually practice after the game. On weekdays we probably put in five hours a day on baseball, and on weekends probably about eight or nine hours of baseball. Mr. O'Hara also wants the game to be played correctly so no one gets hurt.
Also, Mr. O'Hara doesn't try to sneak in pitchers who havepitched their maximum innings for the week. Maybe one time he might have mistaken the number of innings allowed for the Anne Arundel County league with the other league we played (Prince George's County 15-and-under Babe Ruth league). To tell you the truth, I don't ever remember him doing that.
I remember the doubleheader Mr. Beal is talking about in which an assistant coach from his team (Linthicum-Ferndale) was removed from the game for yelling at the umpires, but in the letter Mr. Beal wrote, he failed to mention this lack of sportsmanship. Mr. Beal also forgot to mention the recent game at Cannon Stadium between Mr. O'Hara's team and his team, in which my team had to forfeit because we only had eight players. When the umpires asked if his team would play our team with eight players, they refused. If you were so concerned about learning and having fun, how come you didn't play us, Mr. Beal?
Or how about in last year's Anne Arundel County League after Linthicum-Ferndale had won the league championship? They refused to play us because it didn't matter. Real concerned about learning and having fun. Yeah, right.
Before I played for Mr. O'Hara's team, all I did was play county baseball and that was it. I never traveled anywhere or got picked up for an all-star team. Mr. O'Hara gave me my first chance. I was only 13, and he picked me up to play in a Beltway Basketball league and then picked me up to play on his summer 16-and-under team, which was going to St. Louis, Mo., for a tournament.
All my life I have been an outfielder, and this summer (Mr. O'Hara) took me under his arm and taught me to be a shortstop and a goodhitter.
His teachings helped. I got picked for the 15-and-under Prince George's County All-Stars as a shortstop. Mr. O'Hara is also taking our team to an AAU tournament in Florida this summer.
In all my life I have never met a man more dedicated to one thing as Mr. O'Hara is dedicated to baseball. He has taught me practically everythingI know about baseball and for that I'd like to take time to thank him.
There are times when he gets on you so bad you just want to quit, but I know better, because he has so much to teach you. When ever I do something wrong I try to argue my point, but I know and he knowsthat he's right.
I don't know anybody else that would give up alltheir time for one sport like Mr. O'Hara. He lives, eats and sleeps baseball. To other teams he might seem over-competitive, but he just wants a reward for all the time the team and he put in.
So before somebody else writes a letter like Mr. Beal's, read mine over again and take it from me. You don't know him until you have been coached byhim. I just want to thank him one more time for all the work and time he has put in with me an our team, and I hope that he'll coach me next year. Thanks, Mr. O'Hara (the baseball nut).
ADVICE ON COUNSELORS
From: Kathy J. McGuire
As president of the Maryland Association for Counseling and Development, I am deeply concerned about your contemplation to reduce counselors in your school district from 12 months to 10 months. Anne Arundel County has consistently been exemplary in its efforts to provide continuous services to the school community.