A Brief History of non-player coaches in the Pittsburgh NABA

2014 South Oakland Ducks

I’ve always wondered why someone would coach an adult league team and not play. It doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me.

It takes a lot of stress out of things when Limbach or Sorosky’s dad just keeps score for us. Having someone take care of coaching a base effectively or, better yet, doing all the bullshit admin stuff would make things so easy. Too easy! I might not have to get to games 2 hours early, and then worry Fetter will tell our 3-hitter to bunt in the first inning, or Shawn will send someone home when the ball is in the infield, or have to think about what to do with the bullpen while I’m trying to also play a game, position the outfield and look for the opposing pitchers tendencies. Be ready for some delegating in the playoffs.

Since the 2014 Ducks two biggest rivals have non-player coaches, I thought I’d take a look back at others who have bravely blazed the non-player coaching trail.

One common thread to teams that employ non-player coaches, is that they are typically good. Except for Cranberry. The worst of these types are found in the 28+ league.

Ok. Here is a list of coach onlys. It’s possible I’m leaving out someone. Feel free to mention omissions in the comments.

1. Randy. Black Sox third base coach (2004-2009)

1A. That other random Black Sox base coach. (2005-10)


The first non-player coach to leave a mark on Pittsburgh’s semi-semi-professional baseball league. He is a legend.

While the Black Sox have been run since there Stampeder days by owner operator, Kenny Powers, they have at times employed both Randy, and some weird guy who had either rad, white-guy dreads or a sick mullet and coached first. I think there were sunglasses worn at all times by the second guy. I don’t think he ever took the field for an official plate appearance.

The Black Sox were the Ducks oldest, fiercest rivals until this season when we dropped down, and gave the Sox the rights to half our players. Randy added to this rivalry by occasionally pulling signature moves such as, yelling “I got it” when our third basement would attempt to catch pop-ups, and umpiring terribly when the regular umps wouldn’t show up. To his credit, he never tried to pretend he was unbiased in the umpiring situations. I don’t think the Sox ever had signs, but Randy gave them. Perhaps decoys to throw off the opposition.

Randy was initially an irritant, but he’s mellowed in his old age. He’s grown on me. Especially since he stopped coaching third for them a while ago.

The other guy, with dreads/mullet I think is mentally ill and/or homeless, and Kenny gave him a jersey just to be nice. Or, perhaps, the anonymous occasional first base coach was the Sox dealer for a while in the mid 2000s when things were a little crazy for all of us.


2. Cranberry Coach 2009-2014

Cranberry is always pretty mediocre. I’m never sure if I’m talking to this guy, or his son on the phone or via text or whatever. They are both at the team meetings. Morgan is not a fan of the Cranberry coach. Coach has his team bunt a lot. I think that’s what coaches do, they feel compelled to put on plays, so they have their team bunt. Bunt bunt bunt. Keep giving up outs, and finishing in seventh place. Really this guy isn’t too bad, though. He seems like a decent human being.


3. Elliot Coach. 2011

He was pretty nice to me. I have nothing bad to say about this guy. Some teams really hated him. (Seriously, Trojan, update your blog.)

4. The Day Toyota/Jefferson Hills Coach. 2013-present

No idea what this guy’s name is, but he basically forces everyone in 18-AA to make a couple trips a year to West Virginia to play 6pm games in those sweat box, metal-roofed dugouts, and get dominated by a team of Ju-Co guys and high school all stars. The field is well maintained, to his credit.

J-Hills coach’s credentials include getting kicked out of the Daily News League after going 8-13 and not being allowed in the Fed League, and not bothering to pay his dues on time in two seasons in the Pittsburgh NABA. His team is also 18-2, and are the defending champs so good job there. Seriously, that field is fucking two hours from anything, i feel like I’m one wrong turn from Deliverance.

4. North American Lions, 2014

I’d put money on this team trying to weasel out of making up the West View game, and trying to avoid having to play all 24 games this season. This is the weirdest one because dude is like in his mid-20s and can’t play or won’t or whatever. I don’t get it. Get number #22 under control. There’s a few shit talking assholes on this team, and it’s the lack of leadership that lets that happen, in part, anyway. At least pretend to give a shit how your players conduct themselves.

Which brings us to…

WOLFPACK!!! (dates unknown)

Both of them. Unreal.

giphy_Pittsburgh NABA_DUCKS

Third base coach has been around a while. He was not involved in the bribery thing a while back. Some of the WOLFPACK!!! 3B coach’s signature moves include:

Telling our attorney and third baseman to go fuck himself, and spewing profanities at him throughout last game. And he didn’t even know Ciccone was a lawyer.

The best was when the kids in the stands were in ear-shot of this tirade. Where are the umps on this? How is the third base coach allowed to say anything to the third baseman aside from “nice play?”

There was the berating and brow beating of the umpires by both coaches during our last game, the repeated illegal runner substitutions which I won’t overlook in the playoffs, and the general dick-headedness that characterizes many of the players on his team.


In summation, I still don’t understand the appeal of coaching adult league baseball not playing, and it seems the biggest assholes never have to step in the box.

In other news, I passed Mike Brandt for the team lead in hit-by-pitch last game.




8 thoughts on “A Brief History of non-player coaches in the Pittsburgh NABA

  1. This is fucking great.

    Fetter – I assume you are giving someone / something the bunt sign at this very moment.


  2. hahahaha this is fantastic! everything you say about the wolf packs so true the coaches just don’t ever shut up and last game the bombers played them they tried to recruit me. but the best comment from the third base coach was when he told me that he has “four 19 year players on his team’ like that was some sort of bad thing and he was saying how ‘they can’t hold their own against the older guys in the league” and i just turned to him and said coach I’m 19 and im wrecking your team right now. haha what an asshole


    1. Right? Almost all our guys are in our 30s and are pretty much injured right now. Full disclosure, I’ve been trying to recruit Joe Graff from your team since January, but he won’t budge. He is also in his 30s and injured.


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