A few days ago, I had the chance to interview Dekalb Baron baseball coach Chris Rhodes. I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with Chris over the Summer, so we thought it would be a good time to talk a little baseball. To add to the festivities, Chris was able to bring his son Easton along to listen in.
This past Spring, Coach Rhodes finished up his 15th season leading the Barons. Dekalb was eliminated in the sectional semi-finals by Columbia City. With that loss, the Barons lost a number of seniors. Three of those players are going on to play college baseball. Ty Rottger is playing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Bayley Coleman is playing at Indiana Tech, and Nick McDonald is playing at Bethel.
Coach Rhodes told me he does with his incoming squad as the new school has gotten underway. A number of years ago, he started “open fields” in the Fall. The Barons will go until the weather doesn’t cooperate any more. Then it’s on to weights, and indoor conditioning, and before you know it, it is time to get going in the Spring once again.
I then switched gears with him to talk some pro ball, and he told me he has been a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. His favorite player growing up was Pete Rose. He likes “Charley Hustle” because of the way he approached and played the game. His favorite players he likes to watch now are Joey Votto & Josh Hamilton.
We talked some about the division races and the possible wild card teams. Even though Oakland has been scorching hot, he still thinks the LA Angels are going to make a run.
I asked him his prediction on a world series match up. He said as much as he likes the Reds, he thinks that the San Francisco Giants pitching is going to make the difference in the National League. Then he said that the Texas Rangers lineup is pretty powerful up & down. And that their pitching was pretty good as well. So it was Rangers vs Giants in world series. We didn’t pick a winner, but I’m going with the Rangers as the third time will be the charm.
We discussed the current state of the Auburn area youth baseball situation. He said it is in the hands of some very good people, and that a number of future Barons are well on their way to becoming part of “Dekalb Baseball.”