NORTH CREEK Friends and family honored retiring Johnsburg Central School coach Tim Leach Monday, May 21 during a home baseball game against the Minerva-Newcomb Mountaineers.
Tim’s wife, Mary, a music teacher at Johnsburg Central, organized a get-together after the baseball game, inviting Tim’s friends and former players to eat cake and share memories of his coaching days.
“The students have been his life,” Mary Leach said. “This is really far more important than any retirement dinner or anything that we could do for him to recognize his years. It’s the faces of all those kids through all those years. That was his life. Hopefully we’ll see a few of those faces today.”
An Old Forge native, Tim Leach began his 35-year teaching career in Indian Lake and ended it at Johnsburg. He still lives in the town of Indian Lake, where his first baseball team captain from 1976 — town Supervisor Brian Wells — had a baseball card made up in the coach’s honor.
The card features a picture of Tim Leach with his catcher’s mitt during college, in his University of Wyoming Cowboys uniform.
“Tim always told his boys that photograph he kept in his office was going to be the baseball card when he made the big leagues,” Mary Leach said. “So I went to his 89-year-old mom, who had to go digging through the basement, and found the photograph.”
On the back are career statistics for 35 years, some real and some imaginary:
•three section baseball titles
•358 baseball wins
•six league soccer teams
•250 soccer wins
•two individual ski titles
•six league ski teams in second place
“Tim logged over 20,000 miles on a school bus, engaged in 567 arguments with umpires in which he won 1 and didn’t miss a single meal during all of his games.”