Coach Jimmy Will Be Missed

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Editor:

I'll never forget the smile on his face, so happy, so lively, so full of grace.

I'm glad I had the chance to play on his team. He's the best coach that's ever been.

I started out in center field and, the next three years, I was the second baseman. I went to the All-Stars in 2005, representing Payson.

Jimmy had a way with his jokes, nicknames and wisecracks, which made it even more fun playing on the Diamondbacks.

Jimmy came to my birthday parties when I turned 8, 9 and 10. He always gave me Gonzo cards. I'll cherish them.

His name for me was "peewee" because of my size -- but big or small, short or tall, I was still one of his guys.

If we were to drop a ball, he's yell out "butterfingers." There are so many words he used that will go on and linger. If we'd catch a ball by surprise, especially a line drive, he'd say "look what I got, coach" and the harder we would strive.

He taught me the game while on his bucket he'd sit, he taught me to field and he taught me to hit.

So many times I heard Jimmy say we're not here to goof off, we're here to play.

Win or lose, he kept our spirits high. You played your best and then he would sigh.

He took the game serious, no doubt in my mind. I'll miss you, Jimmy, you're one of a kind.

No matter at practice or even a game in his sweats and white T-shirt here he came, ready to play, ready to win, with his Jimmy goatee and his great big grin.

Although I'll have more coaches and the advice they will give me, there will never be to me another coach Jimmy.

I will never forget you, you meant so much to me, but for now, I'll say goodbye to my coach, my friend.

Preston Cook, Payson

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