While shooting The Boras Classic in Southern California in April, I had the pleasure to meet Coach Hatfield, an assistant coach for Chatsworth High School. At 94 years old, you would think that Coach Hatfield would be enjoying retirement instead of coaching. However, he loves the team, and it’s clear that the players and coaches love him back.
The first time I covered Chatsworth, Coach Hatfield introduced himself to me. When I asked if he would be put in the game, he said “I’ve been pitching a lot lately. Coach is giving me some rest.” He began to chuckle and walked away to high five the players coming in from their warmups. It was not hard to see why the players loved having him around.
Over the last ten years, I’ve been in more dugouts than I can count. I’ve seen players and coaches interact in the best and worst situations. Regardless of whether a Chatsworth player hit a home run or struck out, Coach Hatfield was always ready with a pat on the back and an encouraging word. He joined team huddles and was always there to throw his hand into the pregame chant.
Coach Hatfield proves that as long as you love the game and are young at heart, you are never too old to be involved. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the dugout again next season!