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Pitching for success: Lessons from Joe Nuxhall
CINCINNATI (Cammy Dierking) -- This year marks the 70th anniversary of the debut of a 15-year-old pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
Joe Nuxhall was the youngest pitcher to ever throw in the majors. Now a special tribute for the ol' left hander from Hamilton, a book, has just been released. It highlights Joe's remarkable legacy.
Hard to believe Joe Nuxhall has been gone for almost 7 years. But he's left quite a legacy. He was, of course, known for his abilities as a great player and announcer. But he was also known for his kind heart and compassionate manner.
His great play is immortalized with a statue. His broadcasting is immortalized with his famous phrase, "Rounding third and heading for home," on a wall of Great American Ball Park.
Joe's great character traits are immortalized in a new book "Pitching for Success- Character Lessons, the Joe Nuxhall Way". Author Doug Coates, a baseball coach from Hamilton, tells the fictional story of 'Dominic', a little leaguer who's struggling with his pitching, and his temper. But, Dominic's coach, who is also his father, teaches him to be a kinder and more patient player, with the help of Reds' legend Joe Nuxhall.
"What was important to Joe was treating people the way you'd wanna be treated. And it wasn't about what he did on the field, but what he did off the field," Coates said.
Through his father's stories about Joe Nuxhall, Dominic learns about sportsmanship, courage, appreciation, and compassion. In the book, Dominic's sister is in a wheelchair and plays baseball in a Miracle League, something Joe Nuxhall was passionate about. The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League fields in Fairfield are the result of his vision of a place for athletes with or without disabilities to play ball.
"It's a rubberized field, completely flat. They don't have to worry about raised bases, rocks, mud, that kinda thing. And the sheer enjoyment they get just doing the game brings tears to you," Coates said.
This book for young readers is filled with Joe's pictures and his wisdom. It's not about the perfect game, it's about being a good teammate, brother, student and friend.
When Doug approached Joe's family about writing the book, they were totally on board. In fact, his son, Kim Nuxhall, said it's something he'd been wanting to do for years.
After he read it, Kim said, "Oh how dad would've loved this story!"
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