EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSt. Albans Baseball Coach Retires After 34 Years
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Stefano DiPietrantonio
Reported: Jul. 16, 2014 11:33 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 17, 2014 9:28 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
It was a spectacular night for a baseball game at Little Creek Park in South Charleston, with mixed emotions for members of the St. Albans Little League All-Star Team as their beloved coach retired.
Roger Chambers has been coaching 34 years. His team was hoping for a win and to advance on in the series, but it sent him to his retirement with a crushing 4-2 loss in extra innings.
It was an emotional finish as Chambers high-fived his players for the last time before they took on Bridgeport's All-Star team.
"These kids just energize you in how they play and with heart," Chambers said.
Chambers has been in 13 state tournaments throughout his career as a player or as a coach. He is so proud of his St. Albans team after they finished an exhausting six games in six days.
"I was real proud of them,” Chambers said. “They really played with all their heart, seven inning ballgame, 4-2. We got down, we came back and tied it."
But it came down to the wire, and Bridgeport pulled out the win in the seventh.
Mike Price of St. Albans said the team had won 12 won straight games.
“He's provided great leadership, taught the boys a lot, coached the boys well," Price said.
For Chambers, it has always been about doing what he enjoys.
"I've always had a love for baseball from when I was 10 years old and had the opportunity to start playing myself," said Chambers, who went on to the state championships in 1967.
"Baseball was a dream,” Chambers said. “It was an activity, and it enabled me to get a college education, four years at Morris Harvey."
From there, he has coached teams for more than three decades. He can't count all the players he has taught over his career.
"There were so many individuals who touched my life through all those years. I decided I needed to give back," Chambers said.
Chambers said he is looking forward to turning 60 later this year, turning over the reins to some of the younger coaches and to sitting back and watching players he has mentored grow and some day become champions themselves.
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