They would have you believe that all that’s required is for them to roll out the balls and say, “Have at it,” and their players produce championship after championship.
Do not be fooled as great coach after great coach dips into the background, hoping not to be discovered.
There was nowhere for Cartersville baseball coach Stuart Chester, architect of five Purple Hurricanes state championships, to hide Monday after his team defeated Gilmer, 15-5, at Richard Bell Field for his 400th victory.
The secret was out, although he tried to keep the mystery alive just a tad longer.
“It could’ve been whoever [Cartersville] hired 13 years ago, 14 years ago,” Chester professed. “It’d been them doing this [winning 400 games].”
So Cartersville could hire any clueless sportswriter — pick me, pick me — off the street and continue churning out state titles from its baseball championship-producing factory?
I don’t think so.
Chester is right about one thing — the Canes have been fortunate to have had so many talented players, three of which are affiliated with Major League Baseball clubs as we speak — Donavan Tate (San Diego Padres), Russ Mitchell (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Will Startup (Baltimore Orioles).
“Great players make you a great coach, I promise you,” Chester said. “Basically, all I need to do is make sure the lineup’s got the right number beside it and we don’t illegally substitute or bat out of order, and [I] just sit back and turn ’em loose.”
Again, Chester has had plenty of star players to turn loose in his nearly 15 years coaching Cartersville, players such as Matt Hightower, Josh Morris, Lyle Allen and the aforementioned Startup, Tate and Mitchell, who were all recently named to the Georgia Dugout Club’s all-decade first team.
But, the Canes were the overall Team of the Decade in the Georgia Dugout Club’s eyes, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
“I’m just very, very fortunate,” Chester said.
Something tells me Cartersville fans feel just as fortunate to have Chester at the helm.