Chuck Snider Pitcher
mm " ' , v - -.5, -.5, x; ? - . V , ' A decade of winning, 10 years of applause for knothole ball team Boys who grew up on the field play final season BY KRIS KINKADE The Cincinnati Enquirer s: The Cincinnati EnquirerJohn Curley Jim Serger has been applauding Ulmer's Sohio knothole team since he became coach in 1978. And for good reason the team wins. Over the decade, the club has posted a 106-31 106-31 106-31 record. iince ttie iy8 iT-ball iT-ball iT-ball season, 'Ulmer's Sohio, a Knothole baseball team in Anderson Township, has fielded a squad made up of the same coaches and players. But this is likely to be the last year together together for the 15-year-olds 15-year-olds 15-year-olds 15-year-olds 15-year-olds who have won more than 75 games in 10 years and lost only four in regular regular season play against teams of the same age. "Most will leave at the end of the season and go into select leagues or play reserve ball for their high school teams," said Jim Serger, head coach. "I'll miss it," the coach said. The team is playing in the oldest Knothole Knothole division, Class A, and after this season probably will disband to pursue separate interests. But not before they make one more try at post-season post-season post-season tournament play and a possible third appearance in Cincinnati's final-four final-four final-four final-four tournament. Serger formed the team in 1978 with assistant coaches Gary McKey and Pat Williams. Williams. Against older teams in the same division, division, which they play on alternate years, Ulmers has maintained a .700 record and won the Eastern regional tournament twice. Overall, the team's record is 106-31, 106-31, 106-31, including including post-season post-season post-season play. In the first three seasons, it lost only one game, and over the - . we : .-r.W .-r.W .-r.W The Cincinnati EnquirerJohn Curley Among those playing his last knothole season is pitcher Chuck Snider. years has averaged 9.8 runs a game, winning winning the district title six times. "I think playing together together all the years helped," Serger said. "They know each other, other, they think of themselves themselves as a team and they perform that way. "We play well even when the other teams had a little more talent, talent, because we've always always played like a team." "They think of the team before they i think of themselves," he said of his players. "That's something you find more often in older, more experienced teams." Serger said he doesn't think his team has the best local players, though they are all good. So far this season, the team is 7-2 7-2 7-2 and leading its division, a feat enhanced only by the fact that Division 5 is one of the tougher divisions in the city. The players attend Anderson, McNicho-las, McNicho-las, McNicho-las, Turpin and St. Xavier, and participate in a variety of sports, which has forced some of the original players to leave the team. But, of the 12 players on this year's team, six have played all 10 years. "The kids that left did so only to pursue an equally demanding sport," Serger said, "not because what we did was too demanding." demanding."