Baseball coach is eager to get season started CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

NEIGHBORS

April 05, 1993|By CINDY PARR

When Carroll County's baseball leagues begin their seasons over the next few weeks, one man will be out there playing ball with the kids in the Westminster Little League.

Amid the sounds of cracking bats and the joyful squeals of youths at play, you'll see John Frech.

Since 1985, the 38-year-old Westminster resident has not missed a season of volunteering to help boys and girls learn more about America's favorite pastime. And he will be the first to tell anyone who asks that he looks forward to the beginning of the Little League season as much as -- maybe more than -- the 125 children he has coached over the last eight years.

"I can't wait for the season to start," said Mr. Frech. "I started thinking about baseball during those warm weather days we had in February. I just really enjoy working with the kids."

Mr. Frech's became involved in Westminster Little League soon after he and his family moved to Carroll in 1984.

In the spring of 1985, the Baltimore County police detective's 7-year-old son, John Jr., joined the league and dad followed suit.

"I started coaching when my oldest son started to play baseball," recalled Mr. Frech. "He is 15 now and plays in a different league. But my youngest son, Gregory, who is 11 years old, is still in the major league (ages 10, 11 and 12 years) playing for the Orioles. This is the team I am coaching now."

Mr. Frech has dedicated his springs and summers making a difference for many Westminster youths as a coach, manager or minor league commissioner.

"We have about 460 children ages 7 to 12 that participate in the Westminster Little League," he said. "Practices have already started and Opening Day will be April 17. The season typically runs until mid-June, and then there are the playoffs, the all-star game and district play. If your team keeps winning, you can go into the beginning of August."

Coaching is time-consuming, but Mr. Frech is quick to point out that it has rewards for him and his players.

"Other guys have hobbies like fishing or bowling, but mine is coaching," he said. "The enjoyment I get is watching the kids mature and learn to work together as a team."

Gregory Frech will spend only two more seasons playing baseball in the Westminster Little League, but Mr. Frech intends to continue his volunteer coaching.

"I feel that I will still be coaching Little League baseball in Westminster for the next five years, even though I won't have any children in the league," he said. "I guess I could spend more time around the house painting and doing things, but it's not as much fun as coaching. I feel I make more of a difference out on the field."

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Wanted: volunteers

The Carroll County Farm Museum needs you for half a day a week through mid-June.

Volunteers would be trained to work in the Curiosity Shop exhibit room, interpreting chores relating to farm life in the 19th century.

Information: Lynn, 848-7775 or 876-2667.

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