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Perry, longtime baseball coach, hangs up spikes
Dan Perry likens the inner workings of a baseball game to a chess match.
Over decades of seasons, however, it can feel more like a boxing match.
After more than three decades of hitting and pitching a base-running drills, tryouts and workouts, scrimmages and games and tournaments with various levels of baseball in Sequim, Perry is calling it a career.
For more than a dozen years Perry coached various levels of baseball at Sequim High School (and another dozen before that for local Babe Ruth clubs) and for a while continuously ran Sequim Baseball, a summer league club for high school-aged boys.
But Perry, who said he’ll stay on Sequim Baseball’s board, is hanging up the coaching cleats.
“I’ll still be down there at the games, watching the kids,” Perry said. “I’m not going to miss the wear and tear. Mentally, it takes a lot out of you. It’s a giant chess game. So much goes on, people don’t see it.”
Perry, who turns 67 this summer, said he wants to enjoy time with his eight grandchildren.
“I want to play with them (and have) time for myself,” he said.
Perry recalled one of his favorite teams, a 13-year-olds Babe Ruth club featuring future prep stars Chris Moore and Todd Thatcher that went 12-0 in league, 10-runned every team and wound up 30-3 for a season. “Good bunch of kids,” Perry said.
Another junior Babe Ruth squad Perry coached racked up a 69-1 mark.
He also fondly recalled a class of players that graduated from Sequim High in 2005 featuring Shawn Johnson Chris Keithley and Aaron Petroff.
“They were one of those teams, talent-wise, (that were) very good. They figured it out by senior year.”
Perry recalled their No. 9 hitter, John Coon, led team in RBIs and that the team had four players hitting better than .600.
That 2005 season was the last of Perry’s three years coaching SHS’s varsity squad, guiding the Wolves to a 16-7 mark and a win in three playoff games before stepping down.
Perry kept on with Sequim Baseball, the summer league program that started up in 2000 and saw players take on teams across the state and in California tourneys.
Sequim Baseball is being folded into the Wilder Baseball program in Port Angeles, Perry said, with John Qualls coaching.
Perry said he won’t miss the minutiae of the game — the scheduling of tournaments and day-to-day effort — but will miss helping players develop. One player, Perry recalled, was Jonathan Thom, who started as a .220 hitter in his early high school days, worked out enough in the batting cage to be part of the 10,000 club (10,000 swings), and by his senior year batted .420.
“That’s the part always made me feel good,” Perry said. “You start with little tools and by your senior year, become a good baseball player. It’s the kid who struggled (but improved that) always made you feel good.
“Or, when you call a play and they did it right.”