For the Love of the Game: The End of an Era

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

Thoughts on Dattoli’s resignation

SPENCER GLEASON

SPENCER GLEASON

By: SPENCER GLEASON
Editor-in-Chief

It hurts to watch Tony Dattoli walk. Just one week removed from knee surgery, with meniscus repair in his right knee, only the light-hearted jokes can hide the grimace. His knee has grown nearly two sizes.

Still, he continues to climb the steps in the Physical Education Building. Today he did it without leaning on the assistance of a railing.

Dattoli, who recently resigned from the baseball head coaching position on Nov. 11 — a position he has held since fall 2002, has made his mark on STLCC baseball history.

Aside from his career numbers of 338-287-2 and a career 0.539 winning percentage with STLCC, Dattoli was a presence on the STLCC coaching staff.

In the 51 years of athletics at Meramec, Dattoli was the first African-American head coach.

Although men’s basketball coach Randy Reed and women’s basketball assistant coach Melanie Marcy have followed, Dattoli was the first.

He was the coach who helped, St. Louis Cardinal postseason hero David Freese. This is the field where Dattoli moved Freese, a shortstop, to be a third baseman.

In 11 seasons as the head coach, Dattoli touched the lives of nearly 1,000 athletes.

His name had become synonymous with St. Louis college baseball.

Now Dattoli hobbles through the P.E. Building. Not only is he down a leg, but the baseball aspect of his time at Meramec and STLCC is a thing of the past.

The days of Dattoli on the baseball diamond, representing the navy blue and silver are gone. Those days have sailed and Dattoli now turns the page away from the field.

Although all the right things are being said and the pain that Dattoli shows is because of his knee, hopefully there is no heart break. Hopefully this decision is not an order from the STLCC athletic heads.

One can only hope that this decision was his and his alone.

That’s the way it should be.

 

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