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Baseball dominates Murphy household

COAL GROVE – Little league baseball is a family affair in the Murphy household.

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

COAL GROVE – Little league baseball is a family affair in the Murphy household.

Jamie and Marty Murphy spent their summer at the Coal Grove Little League. So did sons Zach and Jake. See, Jamie was the head coach for Jake’s minor league team while Marty was the coach of Zach’s little league team.

And not only did the husband and wife tandem coach this summer, they both won league championships.

"It was hectic and exciting," said Jamie Murphy.

Hectic is definitely one way to describe the summer. With two sons in two different leagues, Marty said it was hard for mom and dad to see their sons play at all times. In fact, it was hard for mom and dad to see each other.

"We had dinner at 10 and 11 o’clock at night. It was a juggling act," Marty said. "The only time we got to see each other was at the ball field. We usually got together after nine o’clock. The toughest thing was for me to see the youngest play and for her to see the oldest one play.

"When Jake came up, everyone would tell me and I’d try to get over to his game, and when Zach was up Jamie would try to look over on our field."

Jamie said tying to watch both boys play was the most difficult part, but she was just glad they were on winning teams.

"It’s much easier when both of them are winning. We would go back-and-forth to see if the other had won," Jamie said.

This marked the fourth year Jamie has coached. Her brother, Coal Grove assistant football coach Joe Rowe, talked her into helping coach the T-ball team.

"Joey’s the one who talked me into coaching minor league. I helped coach T-ball and he said I should coach the minor league team. I said okay as long as he helped me," Jamie said.

Marty has been coaching in the Coal Grove league off and on for 18 years. He said the late John "Bounce" Jones recruited him to coach back in the early 1980s.

"When I got started, Coal Grove Little League always had four teams. I was in college and I came home one summer and they had so many kids they had to expand to five teams," Marty said. "Bounce Jones called me and asked if I would take the expansion team."

Marty’s teams have won four straight little league titles and seven overall.

"We were picked to finish last. We had a bunch of young kids and kids playing for the first time. We didn’t have much experience," he said. "But all we talked about around (the house) was baseball."

Another hard part to coaching now is the fact Marty must coach his own son.

"Everybody’s dad is a little tougher on his own. Maybe you expect more out of them. I was less emotional when I didn’t have mine," Marty said.

While Marty plans to continue coaching next summer, he’s not so sure about his wife.

"They asked Jamie if she was coming up to help next year. I think she’s retiring. I said if we coached together that there would be blood all over the dugout and it would probably be mine," Marty said with a laugh.