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The Legendary Ed Novick

December 16, 2012

With a headline like this, one might think I’m an egomaniac.

Actually, this article isn’t about me.

It’s only in part about my father – the legendary Ed Novick (more about him here)

It’s mostly about a special person named Mike Cline.

Today’s Southtown Star newspaper and internet site included a nice article featuring a Q&A of Mike Cline. You can read it at https://ednovick.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/mike-cline-article-from-southtown-star/.

Mike is a special guy who I’ve known for a long time and admire very much. He’s a good coach. And more importantly, he’s a special person.

The article above asks Mike about coaches he looks/looked up to.

I was so happy to see Mike remember my father among the many great coaches he named in his answer ” and, of course, my little league coach — the legendary Ed Novick”.

What the article doesn’t cover is that Mike was a great player himself.

He played on my dad’s Marauders team when he was about 9 years old. I was a coach on that team. Mike was a good and nice kid. He had a lot of natural baseball ability and he worked hard and followed instructions to improve his abilities. I would rank him among the best players I ever coached on the Marauders. As a lefty, he played a natural first base position and also pitched. His stats are still among the all-time Marauders records. His team was one of the best I coached, even though as I recall they didn’t win the championship, losing in the finals to an opponent team that was loaded with older kids. That didn’t stop Mike and his team mates from competing against them to the very end. Mike was still a champion in my mind.

Mike had a lot of respect for my dad.

My dad also had a lot of respect for Mike. Mike wasn’t only a good player, but he was a good kid and young man. My dad was so proud of him.

About 5 year ago I had the pleasure of playing baseball on a 28+ men’s team with Mike. Mike warmly accepted and encouraged me in my play even though I was one of the older guys at around 39 years old. Even though I wasn’t as big and strong as the other guys on that team, Mike knew that I knew and loved baseball, and was fundamentally sound.

My favorite moment from that year we were in a see-saw battle of a game which I recall that we eventually lost. At one point in the game our manager pinch-hit for me late in the game with men in scoring position and a chance to win it . I was a little hurt at the coach’s decision, but accepted it. It didn’t work out and we didn’t get the runs in. Mike came to me where I was sitting on the bench, threw his arm around the back of my neck and whispered in my ear ‘If he’d have let you bat this game would be over and we’d have won it’. I don’t know if that would have been true, but it made me feel good about my abilities at a moment when I doubted them and was a little down. Mostly it made me feel good about Mike as a person. Mike cares about baseball, but more importantly, like my dad, Mike cares about the people in the game.

Congratulations to Mike Cline on being featured in the article, on doing a great job as a coach, and making me, and my legendary dad before me, proud for the good man and coach he has become. He will one day be legendary too.

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