The game ended up being a dud, but the pre-game presentation of all the past Diamond Classic baseball champion coaches was a trip, for me at least, down memory lane. There are 19 different coaches who have won the 50 titles. Grand Ledge's Pat O'Keefe has a slight lead with 20 himself. Seeing guys like Len Lapka, Dave Leisman and Phil Odlum from Waverly was great along with Phil Booth from Lansing Catholic, Jake Boss from Everett and Lansing Catholic, and others. They're older now but then so am I. I pitched twice against Leisman in 1967. I beat him on a no hitter and he got me back in the Classic opener that June. He went on to coach Waverly to the 1982 Classic title.
O'Keefe's record is amazing. Grand Ledge romped 12-2 over Holt but the game was close for five of the six innings. Holt wore down, like it did in the other three losses this spring. Holt went 20-8 with half its losses to Grand Ledge. There's no other team in the area near Grand Ledge in quality and yet the Comets play in a brutal Regional Saturday at Brown Stadium in Battle Creek. It was great for old time's sake saying 'hi' to them all Wednesday night before a terrific crowd. I'd estimate the crowd at just over 2,000 fans.
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