July 13, 2007
Albany - If there is one lesson South Georgia Peanuts pitching coach Buddy York has for his staff, it is don't ever take anything for granted especially baseball."
Buddy York said"You are going to be 36 years old one day wishing you had an opportunity to get back on the mound."
Buddy York is back on the pitching mound only this time he is the teacher and not the student.
York's job with the Peanuts is a volunteer position.
His paying job is a landscaping and homebuilding business that he co-owns.
And this summer some of the Peanuts pitchers are helping him lay sod and install irrigation systems.
York said "I am trying to teach them that what they do here and what they do on the street is going to provide for their living one day."
What York is teaching at the ballpark is also working. The Peanuts pitching staff has the lowest earned run average in the league.
York says the success is the combination of the talent of his pitchers and their coach's application of basic physics.
York said "I am not trying to make any drastic changes with these guys. I am just trying to do some tweaking and realize there is more to being on that mound than just throwing the baseball."
And York's performance has not gone unnoticed by his boss.
Manager Wally Backman said "To be able to have him locally and to be able to have that asset come to the ballpark every day and work with the pitchers. It has been a big asset for us."
Peanuts pitcher Shannon Wirth "he takes your strengths and makes them better. He takes your weaknesses and just works with them."
And York's work here with the Peanuts may open the door to other coaching opportunities in professional baseball.
York said "Of course there is that thought in the back of your mind. You get here and you get somebody like Wally who knows everybody. You try to be a positive influence and hope for the best."
And if those opportunities don't happen, York says the wealth of information he has learned this summer will help him when returns to work college and local American Legion teams.