Volunteer coaches deserve our thanks

Here’s a few tids and bits as we get those rakes ready as we move into mid-October:

The recent passing of former longtime Nashua Babe Ruth coach/official Jim Sanderson should rekindle the appreciation for volunteer coaches, shouldn’t it?

When you realize someone dedicated the bulk of 50 years of his life to the youths of the city, all without any meaningful compensation, it’s amazing.

“When I coached in high school (Milford back in the 1980s), I was paid for my time,” longtime local baseball guru Bill Twomey said.

“The only money I ever got for coaching is when I had a contract with the city. People like Sanderson have given up their time and it takes a lot of dedication.”

“It takes a long time,” said Sanderson’s friend, Nashua’s Willie Kierstead. “A long time. Jim did it for 50 (years), and for me it was about 45. But when you do it during the regular season and then All-Stars, it’s a long time.”

Sanderson also coached Nashua Biddy Basketball. Several of the youth baseball coaches, like Sanderson, Duane Erickson, and Kierstead, have been honored and recognized by the city of Nashua, which is a good thing.

There are countless youth coaches all around the area who give up their time, whether they have sons or daughters on their teams, and they should be commended.

Sanderson was the model, and it will be interesting to see if we ever see another like him. …

There have been some whispers and rumblings that the NHIAA enjoyed having the Division I baseball semifinals at Southern New Hampshire University after Holman Stadium was unavailable last June following a rainout.

The games were doused on a Wednesday, and the city had set aside a rain date on that Thursday. But one school couldn’t play that day and Friday was the Silver Knights opener, so everything was moved.

But really, there isn’t enough seating at Southern New Hampshire for that event, unless you count the hill down the right-field line.

Holman’s a great tournament venue. It’s a shame the finals aren’t there any longer, but let’s hope the baseball semis return. …

Hard to believe hockey is back already. Two simple takes:

One, the National Hockey League has started out with an up-tempo, high scoring product.

A perfect example was Toronto’s 8-5 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Thirteen goals in a game? Almost unheard of these days.

Second, is the University of New Hampshire men’s team back to its old form in Dick Umile’s last year as head coach?

The Wildcats pulled off a stunner, sweeping UMass-Lowell this past weekend.

The River Hawks had basically replaced the Wildcats as New England’s non-Boston team to watch, but this may show an abrput changing of the guard.

But, like we said, it’s so early. Whatever happened to hockey being a winter sport?

It’s interesting that Nashua Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett never succumbed to the idea that is so prevalent in these current MLB playoffs of using top starters in relief.

It’s worked in some cases (David Price, Chris Sale) and not so well in others (Justin Verlander, oops).

The Silver Knights let their relievers do the job two months ago, showing how well Neverett and pitching coach Kyle Jackson managed that staff in the seson’s final couple of weeks.