An extremely modest man, Daryl Hobson loves baseball - our point of mutual interest. Although I've known about Daryl for years as friends of my father and brother, it really wasn't until this year's CHS and Thunder baseball seasons that I came to not only know him, but more than that, I came to admire Daryl Hobson. Thus, I present this week's Around the County subject.

This summer when I asked my grandson, Dane Baldwin, what he thought of his Thunder coaches, he noted they were both good but that he really appreciated Mr. Hobson. "Because even when we do something wrong, he doesn't yell at us - he just turns the mistake into a learning experience by explaining a better tactic!" said Dane. I do believe Dane's vision of Daryl Hobson outweighs anything I can say, the ultimate compliment coming from a young influenced boy, but I'll try to add some more to flesh-out this awesome person.

For instance, another young man who Daryl has deeply touched is Alex Ehrlich. When playing paint ball in 7th grade, Alex was accidentally hit in the eye and lost use of it. It was feared he'd not play baseball or other sports again. The Ehrlich family gives a great deal of credit for Alex overcoming this to Daryl Hobson. Daryl taught Alex to bat with his other hand, thus watching with the other eye. In fact, Daryl and Alex did such a great job at this new adventure, that Alex earned the nickname, "The Wizard," because of how he could place a ball wherever he wanted.

As a young man in Parke County, Daryl Hobson attended Turkey Run. There, he was active in sports, especially baseball and basketball. Also during his high school days, he helped Orie Good who was an electrician. Daryl's dad was the partner of Jim Rahn and they built new houses. Jim told Daryl one day to go to school and become an electrician so he could install electricity in the homes. Sounded like a grand idea to Daryl and so after graduating from TR, he attended Ivy Tech to get his degree. The rest is history.

Certainly, Daryl's life has evolved around three things, serving the Lord, his family and sports. He is a deacon at Rock Point Church and feels that volunteering there, with CHS sports and other community involvement is part of not only witnessing for the Lord, but paying it forward to a place, Crawfordsville, that has been so good to his family. Another interesting work that Daryl does is jail ministry (CRI = Celebrate Recovery Inside). Since I taught a couple of years in the Rockville prison, I know that this ministry Daryl participates in is extremely special.

So, Daryl has coached youngsters since his boys began playing coaches pitch. Actually, coaching goes back even before that when Daryl's sweet wife Julie (math teacher at CHS) was the volleyball and basketball coach for the high school. Daryl volunteered and helped her until the three little Hobson boys began arriving. First, young Shane went to practice enjoying his play pen in the corner of the gym but then came Cameron. Thus, Julie retired from coaching but has always been one of the big followers of her own boys as well as Daryl's more current teams. In fact, Daryl went ahead and coached the CHS girls' teams through the last of the classes in the old high school.

Daryl's baseball coaching began with his two oldest boys (Shane and Cam) then continued with their younger Hobson brother, Joel. Daryl has been the top dog, assisted others, and even announces CHS games. He and Coach Froedge are good friends, dating back to their grade school days in Parke County. Froedge mentored Cameron who is now a AA pitcher for the Jackson Tennessee Generals. Shane is in his second year of law school at IU and Joel is also at IU in Infomatics.

For years now, vacations for the Hobsons have centered on baseball. Upcoming years will likely be the same as the group treks to watch Cam play. Daryl beamed slightly, only slightly, as he told me he has seen his boy five times this season. The slight beam proves my point that Daryl is an extremely modest man and I certainly am pleased to have presented him as this week's Around the County subject.