Cain’s love for baseball a big hit locally

¦ PHS head coach inducted into PYAA Hall of Fame
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

BUTCH CAIN (left), PHS head baseball coach, is awarded the 2013 Plymouth Youth Athletic Association Hall of Fame plaque from PYAA president Randy Meyer. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley BUTCH CAIN (left), PHS head baseball coach, is awarded the 2013 Plymouth Youth Athletic Association Hall of Fame plaque from PYAA president Randy Meyer. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Butch Cain’s passion for baseball has had a very positive impact on him and the Plymouth community over the past several years.

“It has been exciting to be part of youth and high school sports because it has allowed me to learn and share some of the many life skills that can be obtained through sports participation,” said Cain who was inducted into the Plymouth Youth Athletic Association this summer.

“Baseball in Plymouth has given me some of my fondest memories, so it was an easy choice to want to stay involved and see the happiness that it could bring to others as well.”

Cain, a 1982 Plymouth High School graduate, has played and coached baseball in Plymouth for a combined past 43 years. He’s been the PHS head coach since 2004 and was the Panthers’ junior varsity coach from 1997- 2003. Cain played on the Panthers’ 1982 state baseball championship team.

He has also coached local youth baseball and basketball teams for many years and directs local baseball clinics for youths and their coaches.

“I was very surprised and honored to have received this award. My sincere thanks go out to the Plymouth Youth Baseball Association [PYBA, which is connected to the PYAA], the PYAA and all the people who have shared the passion for the great sport of baseball here in the Plymouth community over the years,” said Cain.

“It has been the hard work of many fine people in the past as well as those who continue to carry the excitement and energy to promote baseball/softball to our youth who make our programs vibrant. It is very touching to share this award with so many wonderful people who have been mentors to me here in Plymouth over the years.

“I have gained a great love and appreciation for the game of baseball because of the guidance I was fortunate to have received from many of the men who have been honored prior to me.

“This honor is rewarding to me because it has given me time to reflect on how instrumental baseball has been to creating great memories for myself and so many other people over the years here in our community.”

Cain mentioned several past Plymouth youth baseball coaches who had a great influence on him.

“My coaches growing up through the ranks playing baseball in Plymouth have probably had the biggest impact on my continued passion and desire to become a coach myself,” he said.

The coaches included Gene Meyer, Don Miller, Paul Blackburn,

Jerry Koene, Dave Hein, Scott Richards, Dick Schuler, Dale Miller, Arnold “Ozzie” Pick, Dick Voss, Pat Brunet, Ron Veleke, Jim Beaver, Ed Brinkman, Jerry Brinkman, Gary Hovey, Mike Briggs, Bill Mikolyzk and Frank Schade.

“The relationships that have been created for me through baseball have also played a huge role in staying involved as you share a special fraternity with teammates and opponents alike that become life-long bonds. The many young men and their families that have allowed me the opportunity to work with them has and will forever be cherished,” Cain said.

“My mom, Delores Cain, has always been a constant at my games and I owe her a great deal of gratitude for all she has done for me during my playing and coaching career.

“Janeen [Cain’s wife], Joa and Zac [his daughter and son, respectively] have sacrificed countless hours of family time to allow me to continue my love of being involved in the great game of baseball. I need to thank them for their understanding and support through the years.”

Cain recalled how he got involved in contributing to local baseball at all levels.

“I tried to help out over the years and remember my first experience as a bat boy for my brother, Bill, who was a cadet coach here in Plymouth, and I just wanted to be on the diamond while being part of a team when I was 8 or 9,” he said.

“This added to my thirst for baseball, so I continued to be involved by playing, then volunteering to umpire while in high school and college. The city of Plymouth was looking for a youth baseball director in the middle 1990s and I believed this would be a great chance for me to help out.

“Shortly after, Ozzie Pick asked me to get involved with the newly formed PYAA baseball organization where a board was formed to make some critical decisions for the future of baseball in Plymouth,” Cain noted.

“We started putting on youth baseball camps to spike interest and involvement in baseball and have been doing them ever since. We now run the camps through our high school program during the months of March and April with our high school players helping prepare young players for the start of their seasons in May.

“We also continue to offer coaching clinics for our youth coaches in April to help them with coaching fundamentals, rules and intricacies associated with baseball at all levels.”

Cain expressed his thanks to PHS players and coaches who have assisted him at the camps and clinics over the years. He also started open-gym sessions at PHS from January to March for older and younger baseball players about six years ago.”

He also pointed out that the PHS baseball program offers the opportunity for youth teams to visit the Panther team’s practices and talk baseball, as well as his ballclub giving information to the kids about fundamental procedures and the implementation of needed skills.

Cain is very upbeat about the state of baseball in Plymouth.

“Plymouth currently has a wonderful group of young players who are seeing a good deal of success and enjoyment through baseball which we believe with continued involvement, energy and commitment could bring ongoing prosperity to all levels of baseball in the city of Plymouth,” he said.

“We have a nice mix of coaches who are taking great pride in what they do to develop our young baseball players as well. Our PYBA has a strong core unit who are trying to offer baseball as an affordable and enjoyable experience for all its participants.

“We continue to look for more volunteers to take on roles in coaching, concessions, groundskeeping and board membership to help baseball’s longstanding ability to thrive in our community. We look forward to seeing increased numbers at the wonderful baseball parks we have here in Plymouth that will only get better with more people lending their many skills and talents,” Cain said.

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