When Bob retired from his professional career more than four years ago, it prompted many important life changes for us. One of the more important decisions we faced concerned the trophies amassed by the Indians throughout Bob’s coaching career. Since there currently is no public/community place for the display of these team trophies, Bob’s retirement necessitated a change of address for them – from his office to our home. Suddenly these trophies took on much greater personal meaning for me!
I am no fan of in-home trophy displays, especially ones of such proportions. But the thought of all this bling being bubble-wrapped and packed away in labeled boxes truly saddened me. These trophies had value far exceeding their faux marble, simulated wood, and metallic-looking plastic components. They represented years of memories and achievements – great and small – of the hundreds of kids Bob has had the privilege of coaching; kids (and their families) who over the years had made visits to his office to gaze at these trophies, reminiscing plays, calls and stories that Mountville Indians legends are made of. These trophies needed to be accessible – somewhere Indians players and their families could still enjoy them.
So Bob and I made a pact. We would convert a bedroom into an office. I would arrange the trophies in a way that would not offend my home-decorating sensibilities, and Bob would dust them. Hand shake. Done deal.
Each year since then at the annual team picnic we host at our home – somewhere between the burgers and dogs, and the players-v-coaches water balloon battle – players, siblings, parents, and grandparents traipse upstairs to our home office now adorned with Mountville Indians trophies. It’s a chance for them to get a deeper sense of the legacy of which they are now a part. They ask questions about past teams, about Joe Zangari’s hat, about the baseballs from each year bearing the names of every kid who has donned an Indians jersey under Bob’s watch, about the bats signed by past Indians teams. They gaze at the well-arranged and (mostly) well-dusted trophies. They reminisce plays, calls and stories that Mountville Indians legends are made of – and, for which they have had a hand in creating.