Category Archives: eOral History

eOral History: Dave Bone

Former Fort Wayne resident, Dave Bone found this site and sent me an e-mail to kindly provide a couple local ties that I missed (Thanks BTW Dave). Of course, I had to ask “his story” and he just as kindly provided that. With his permission, I am delighted to provide you with the following eOral History.

Dave BoneDave is a product of the Wildcat League, where he played at Portage Junior High from age 7 to 10. Then, he played at Times Corner LL at the old Aldersgate church while age 11 and 12. From age 13 to 15, Dave played Senior League Baseball at the Homestead High School Field as a member of the John’s Paintings team where he played for Don Grimm and John Shoppel.

At age 15, he played for Hamricks and went to Marshall University in West Virginia and Miami University of Ohio as a pick up player for Andy Lebenoff. Then, he played for Colin Lister at age 16 to 18 while also playing in the Connie Mack and Stan Musial Leagues.

I played 4 years at Elmhurst where we were taken out by Northrop my junior and senior years in the regional tournament. They went on to win state one year and were runner up the other. (Current Cleveland Indian’s Manager) Eric Wedge was a sophomore at Northrop at the time.

Then, he began his collegiate career. Aside from his school teams, Dave played with the Atlanta Yankees and Georgia Stars. Following College, he played with McComb Construction (Joe and Dick) for 5 years off and on before moving to Georgia and played with Atlanta Crackers Baseball until age 33.

Here’s the Rest of Dave’s Story

I have many conversations with the Reds and Dodgers during my high school days, but was not selected in the draft. Visited LA Tech on a NCAA paid visit as a HS Senior and also traveled to Indiana University on a paid visit. With my grades being average, I chose to do the junior college route, where I received a full ride to Vincennes University. I pitched my freshman season and finished 8-2. I came back for year two and hurt my rotator while throwing off indoor mounds in October. Had surgery in February. I was prepared to sign with SW Missouri State in the spring of 1986, but based upon the surgery results, I receive a phone call to inform me they had retracted the offer.

I sent in my book fee and tuition to South Florida in Tampa. The very next week, coach called me into his office at Vincennes and told me that Joe Roberts would like to talk about attending Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah GA. We sat in a conference room at Vincennes and Joe asked if I would like to play at AASU (formally Armstrong State College). Joe offered me $500.00 dollars to play because he knew I could hit in while in high school. I signed my letter of intent and left for Savannah in August of ‘86. Coach played me mostly in LF and 1B in the spring of ‘87. I did some spot pitching but lost most of my fastball. “No. 7 guy,” he called me. :).

We had an awesome year with a final record (I believe) at 54-12. Very much enjoyed playing at GA Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, Citidel, GA Southern and also met in a neutral site with Clemson. Played at Jacksonville U and UCF. Too make a long story short, I ended up hitting over .400 most of my first season and ended around .389 – still hold a DII walk record in a game. Held the OBP record for about 15 years at .518. Not glamorous but fun. 🙂

Dave Bone - back row, far leftWe ended up getting beat in our conference tournament in ’87. The score ended at 13-12 after we led 12-4 going into the 8th inning. The next season, the university chose to leave DI and enter DII, where we played in a very strong conference in the Peach Belt. During the ‘88 and ’89 seasons, we only lost 12-15 games on a 65 Game schedule. We beat Northern Kentucky in Regionals in ‘88 to attend the DII College World Series in Mont. Alabama. Battled with FSU and was beaten 11-9. They went on to win the tournament – as they have 15-16 other times. We returned in the ‘89 World Series, with a ranking of No. 1 but went 0-2. Overall, we had about 6-8 guys drafted and had kids from 17-20 different states each year. During my summer months in GA, I was recruited to play with the Atlanta Yankees/ Georgia Stars. The late Durwood Davis (Team Manager) put 7 of us up in his basement where we traveled through the South playing baseball in the summer of ‘88. A great brand of ball being played.

I left for GA for a sporting goods job in Atlanta. I spent 8 years doing the Team Business before my wife took a job in Pittsburgh where we wanted our twins, Alec and Brenden, to be closer to family. I interviewed with Dicks Sporting Goods in Pittsburgh at their home office and took the job of Sales Manager for one of their locations. 13 years later, I find myself in Phoenix Arizona while Dicks continues to grow west.

Alec Bone - back row, far leftI opened our first location in AZ at Deer Valley and will open our two level prototype in Glendale in August. I left Pittsburgh to take a General Manager job and open a new location in Fort Wayne. Spent nearly 4 years in Fort Wayne, where I hooked up with my old nemeses, the Northrop guys. Coached some travel baseball with Bob Mchenry and Tim Claxton. We had a wonderful time teaching the boys to play. I had an opportunity to take a position in KC and Chicago last year, but wanted to get back to warm weather, so I took the Phoenix offer.

Brenden Bone - back row, far leftCurrently, I am in my 6th year of coaching travel baseball with my boys; Alec and Brenden (both 13). They are avid baseball, soccer, basketball players and golfers. We play with the AZ Braves out of Scottsdale Arizona. Year round ball – you have to love it! Brenden is a shortstop/pitcher. Alec is a catcher/pitcher and middle infielder. My focus is to make sure they are having fun playing any sport while developing as individuals. They are both straight-A kids and I very much enjoy watching them play.

As we all know life has curves and who knows what’s around the bend?

Notes:

  • Photos top to bottom provided by Dave Bone; 1.) Dave Bone, 2.) AZ Braves tournament winners team photo, 3.) Alec (son) pitching, 4.) Brenden (son) at shortstop.
  • The walks in a game record referenced is 7 while with Armstrong Atlantic versus Sacred Heart on March 17, 1989. [source: NCAA].