Meyer Has Passion For Youth Baseball Service

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

RANDY MEYER of Plymouth proudly displays his award after being inducted into the Plymouth Youth Athletic Association Hall of Fame June 11. – Photo by Rick Meyer RANDY MEYER of Plymouth proudly displays his award after being inducted into the Plymouth Youth Athletic Association Hall of Fame June 11. – Photo by Rick Meyer PLYMOUTH – To say Randy Meyer has been a fixture in Plymouth youth baseball may be an understatement.

Baseball has played a huge role in Meyer’s life as evidenced by his many years of volunteer service to the community through coaching, umpiring and organizing. Meyer, 55, has been involved in local baseball for 50 years, going back to his days as a youth ballplayer.

Meyer was honored for his outstanding commitment to local youth sports when he was inducted into the Plymouth Youth Athletic Association Hall of Fame on June 11.

“Just the thought of being considered means as much as the award. It means that the volunteer hours I put into the program and community did not go unnoticed,” he said.

“Being told of the accomplishment by John Richards

PYAA president] just reminded me that I gave back to a wonderful community that gave me many opportunities over the years.”

Meyer, very appreciative of the honor, pointed out what he enjoyed the most about coaching youth athletics.

“Coaching, especially baseball, is something that I found was similar to what I do at work – manage and teach people. There is no better feeling than to have the opportunity to take a young person and mold them to be better than you are,” he said.

“I’m pretty organized, so I take pride when projects are set up well, and then finish with successful and positive results.”

Meyer coached two Cadet baseball teams in 1979 after graduating from Plymouth High School. One of the teams included Randy’s younger brother, Rick. Randy coached his three sons’ (Logan, Collin and Dylan) youth baseball teams for a combined 14 years. Randy also umpired for 18 years.

He formed the grades 7-8 Mid-Shore Traveling Cadet Baseball League in 2008 and has managed it since then. The league is for kids who may not otherwise have an opportunity to play on another traveling team. Meyer, who said this venture has given him the most satisfaction, is all about giving youths opportunities to participate in sports.

He was a PYAA board member for eight years, including two as the president. Meyer said he enjoyed coordinating the Annual Panther Classic youth baseball tournament the past five years.

Meyer was also involved in the Plymouth Youth Soccer Association for five years and coached during that span.

Meyer offered his fondest memories of being involved in youth baseball.

“Winning shouldn’t be the main focus for a coach. If you can take a child or group of kids, teach them and make sure they are having fun, in the end you should see how they have grown not only as players but as young adults,” he said.

“Having had teams who won league titles was just one of the positive results. But seeing how those same kids handled success with grace and good sportsmanship is the key reminder that you did the right things.”

When asked what it means to him to have given so much time and effort to youth sports, Meyer responded:

“As a parent and a member of the community of Plymouth my entire life, I feel it should be your goal to have programs in place that continue to grow and improve. The only way this can be achieved is if many parents contribute, not just the individuals who are on a board.”

Meyer explained who inspired him to have an interest in getting involved in youth sports.

“I was fortunate to have parents [Gene and Carol] and a family who were willing to go to the diamond any time I asked. It may have been just baseball but that is what we did together. At the end of the day there is no magical list of what a family should be doing with their free time. The key is that you do it together,” he said.

Randy and Rick played together for the Plymouth Flames in the Land O’ Lakes Baseball League. Rick is currently the Flames’ manager. Gene is also in the PYAA Hall of Fame.

Randy emphasized the importance of parents and guardians helping their children find a passion for something.

“As a player, coach, [PYAA] board member and president, league founder and tournament coordinator, I am very satisfied, knowing I found something in life I was passionate with. Passion is what fuels the fires of a youngster and if they can find it they will do their part in making Plymouth and the world as a whole a much better place,” he said.

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