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Sam Beale Day! Saturday, April 27th at Farina Field, 2:30 PM

 

A Team in Transition: Sam Beale Retires From the MSA Baseball Program and Billy Wagner Steps In by Marta Regn

UVa’s  appearances in multiple college world series and NCAA tournaments has turned Charlottesville into a baseball town. The stands at Davenport field are accustomed to young, awestruck boys and girls aspiring to be the next Ryan Zimmerman or Sean Doolittle. These local student athletes who go on to pursue their love of the game in rec leagues or on school teams, all know the place to perfect their skills and fulfill their potential; Sam Beale or “Dr.Baseball” is a familiar name among the Charlottesville baseball community. The coach and mentor has worked with players from all skill levels, giving the check ups to “cure their baseballs ails”.

After working with UVa’s baseball team as a pitching coach, and then founding the training and skills clinic, Dr.Baseball, Beale began coaching baseball at the Miller School of Albemarle. For the past 13 years, Beale has lead Miller through both building seasons and appearances in conference finals. He has coached Miller boys and one girl, who have played since they could walk, and those who had never picked up a baseball before. Sam Beale exemplifies Miller’s all-inclusive spirit with a focus and a dedication that could inspire any young athlete. In fact, Coach Beale’s time at Miller has impacted so many students, this year’s graduating class has made the decision to dedicate the yearbook to him upon hearing the news of his retirement in mid-February. “Coach Beale has not only motivated me but was a part of miller, it’s sad to see him go but this year is for him” says Miller senior Kody Rose. Rose’s thoughts are much like the rest of the players’; Beale made a difference to the community as a whole and to individuals. As Sam Beale’s retirement announcement came to a close, he looked toward the future Miller School baseball coach Billy Wagner. With a few reflections of the kindness and support he had received from the Miller community, Beale ended with “Billy, you’ve got the help.”

Since Beale’s retirement, the next legacy has come to Farina Field and the MSA baseball program. The Virginia-bread Major League relief pitcher, Billy Wagner (known in many baseball circles as “Billy the Kid”), has taken over the Miller JV and Varsity teams with the help of three assistant coaches; Miller teachers Rob Wyllie and Tom Pallante, as well as Wagner’s friend and colleague coach John Lewellen. Wagner has made improvements to Farina Field and the dug outs, as well introducing new uniforms and gear. “The whole program is different” Kody remarks. “Sammy Beale had an old school feel which was really good to start off with because you need those basics, and now that Coach Wagner is here I feel like I’ve gotten the best of both worlds. Billy can show us what the pros are doing as he keeps us working hard. It’s all about progress.” The professional atmosphere Coach Wagner has brought to the Miller School baseball program continues to instill the importance of hustle, sportsmanship, and a love of baseball in each player on the team.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 will be SAM BEALE DAY at Farina Field beginning at 2:30 P.M. Please come and help us celebrate Coach Beale!

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