One more thing (or two) about Ben Jacobs

September 18, 2012 

Here is the problem when you are writing about a guy who accomplished so much in his career: so many numbers, so little time, something is going to get left out.

As I was talking with Richland baseball coach Ben Jacobs about his retirement — I won’t start calling him former baseball coach until there is a new coach — we started going through some of the incredible numbers he piled up in his 24 incredibly successful seasons.

Fortunately, Jacobs already had put together most of his career highlights, as he and most of his friends and family had an idea this was coming.

And as he was ticking off the biggies — four state titles, 10 semifinals, 14 state appearances — he mentioned another incredible stat: 35-11 in state games.

“That’s probably the most precious deal,” Jacobs said, noting that Art Dawald was 28-25 in the state basketball tournament.

And wouldn’t you know it, as I was rereading my story after deadline, I left out his state record.

But while we were talking, Jacobs mentioned the two state titles he won with his son Brett in 2007 and 2009, and how that ’09 team was extra special not just because of his son, but because of all the kids who were on that team that he knew for most of their lives.

“All those kids grew up around my house and in my driveway,” he said.

It reminded me of a story Ben and Brett told after that ’09 title at Safeco Field. Back in 2003, just after Jacobs had his 30 years of teaching in, he was thinking about retiring and even told a friend that was it.

As he and Brett hopped in the truck to head home, the son asked his father, “You’re not quitting, are you Dad? You’re not hanging around to coach me?”

Well, he did, and he guided the Bombers to titles in ’05, ’07 and ’09.

I imagine most everyone — except maybe opposing teams — is pretty glad Jacobs hung on for another decade.

By the way, Art Dawald has a gym named after him, and Fran Rish a football stadium. Doesn’t Jacobs Field sound like a nice place to play ball?

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