We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We wanted to pass on a bit of sad news. One of the finest baseball and softball coaches to have ever come through the program, Scott Sizemore, passed away unexpectedly last week at the young age of 55. Scott coached his son Garrett on the baseball side from the age of 5 to 14 including coaching several of our summer teams. At the same time, he coached his daughter Grace on the softball side for years before moving on to coach the Holy Innocents middle school softball team and for the last few years being the de facto head coach of the North Atlanta HS varsity softball team.
Scott was a coach’s coach. His technical skills and desire to learn all he could learn about coaching were legendary. But even better, he knew how to get inside kids’ minds to inspire them, knowing that each player responded differently to his coaching style. The emails pouring in have mentioned Scott as the best coach they ever had – and many of those notes are coming direct from his former players.
Perhaps this is a good time to pause for a minute and recognize the great coaches so many of our kids have had in the past- drop them a note of thanks in Scott’s honor if you have a second.
Now here’s the good story. Way back in 2002 before the park underwent the massive renovation we see now, Blackwell Field was basically a football field with bases. A small group of dad coaches took it upon themselves when their kids were 8 years old playing in the A league that it was time to improve the playing experience. They convinced the powers that be to put in dirt infields for the first time. But there was no time or money left in the budget for dugouts. Scott, who owned his own residential construction company, was not the kind of person who took no for answer all that well. So he graciously took it upon himself to buy the materials, get out his tools and build brand new wood dugouts from scratch. He never asked for a penny from NYO and donated his time, the labor of his crew and the materials. They were an instant hit for the A league for several seasons. When the big park renovation occurred and the dugouts you see now on Blackwell were installed, Scott disassembled the dugouts and helped us reassemble them on the Sarah Smith field. Those dugouts have been in place at Sarah Smith since 2004 and enjoyed by 7, 8 and 9 year old players in the NYO spring and fall programs for the last 14 years.
We have lots of chiefs at NYO with lots of great ideas. But it’s folks like Scott who put those ideas into action that make NYO the special place that it is. Scott found his peace in coaching and giving so much of himself back to our community. We are in the process of sprucing up those Sarah Smith dugouts, putting together some plaques and will be naming them in perpetuity in Scott’s honor and memory, a tribute long overdue.
Cliff Barshay, NYO Baseball Commissioner