Monthly Archives: November 2015
Maisa is learning a lot about basketball by playing with the older girls (second-graders). Yesterday’s game was a thriller, as her team came from behind late to win 18-16.
Maisa made two steals in the final minute to help preserve the lead for her team. 🙂
After the game it was dinner at Mad Meatball on SE 5th in Des Moines, just a few blocks from the site of the basketball game. They have good sandwiches (Jill and I each had one), and their pizza ain’t bad, either (Maisa).
Today I sent this letter to the Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee. Drop me a note if you’d like to get behind this cause — I can help you get in touch with the committee.
Nov. 21, 2015
To the members of the Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame board:
I would like to nominate Mike “Chops” Healy for induction into the Hall of Fame as a contributor.
Mr. Healy was my teacher, my coach, my mentor, my friend. He taught generations of students and athletes to be respectful and disciplined, and how to act with integrity. He was taken from this world prematurely, but not before leaving an enduring mark on Dubuque County baseball.
Mr. Healy never married and had no children. His “family” was the students he taught, the players he coached, and the Farley Hawks/Western Dubuque High School baseball community.
He was a wonderful junior-high social studies teacher. He made learning fun and interesting, and even the rowdy kids behaved in Mr. Healy’s class. His booming voice could bring a bully to silence in a heartbeat.
Mr. Healy also coached girls’ and boys’ basketball at the junior-high level. He treated everyone fairly and his players learned good sportsmanship and hustle.
Baseball was a huge part of Mr. Healy’s life, and his respect for the game is how I’ll best remember him.
Mr. Healy was a fine player in his day, but he is best known as a coach and contributor. He managed the Farley Hawks during the early stages of their remarkable run of success in the 1970s and 1980s. Farley won many tournament championships on his watch.
Later, Mr. Healy took over the Western Dubuque baseball program and led the Bobcats to many winning seasons. He commanded respect and taught fundamentals as well as how to win and lose with dignity.
It seemed Mr. Healy was always around the ballpark when I was growing up. You’d see him sitting in his lawn chair down the third-base line during Farley Hawks games — analyzing the game, sharing his wisdom with youngsters who enjoyed his company, and always acting respectful to opposing teams and umpires. Farley players confided in him and regularly sought him out for advice.
Mr. Healy never forgot his Farley roots, and he was always eager to help the youngsters around town become better baseball players. He would host clinics for the town’s Little Leaguers, and he was genuinely interested in young people. Kids knew that about him and wanted to be like him.
Mr. Healy was a fixture at the Farley semi-pro tournament, helping in any way he was asked. His powerful voice served as PA announcer for years, and when he wasn’t doing that, Mr. Healy would keep the official scorebook or he would run the scoreboard.
I’ve been a baseball junkie my entire life, and there are lots of reasons for that, and lots of people who have contributed to my love of the game. But I’d put Mr. Healy right at the top of the list. He made me want to be a better player, a better student of the game, a better fan. There are countless others who grew up in Dubuque County who would say the same thing about him.
Please consider Mr. Healy for Hall of Fame honors. He is deserving in every way. His induction would bring an enormous measure of class and character to the Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
— James Kramer, Ankeny (formerly of Farley)
Mike Healy was a large advocate of semi pro baseball in Eastern Iowa. Mike was a player, manager and avid fan. As a player he played for the love of the game. He managed with a competitive spirit that kept Farley on the right track. And, most importantly, he was a volunteer and huge fan of semi pro baseball. If Mike were still with us today you would see him attending games and helping the Farley Hawks.
Mike’s induction into the Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame would be well deserved and more importantly it would be adding a true semi pro baseball participant to the Hall.
— Paul Scherrman, longtime Farley Hawks player and manager, and Dubuque County HoF member
James’ nomination letter nailed it! The only thing on top of everything James said is how great a teammate Mike was. He was awesome to play with. During the game he was as competitive as they get.
— Scott Harris, longtime Farley Hawks player
Mike Healy was someone I always respected. He was a native of Farley and played baseball for the Farley Hawks. He was a staple observer of Farley Hawks semi-pro baseball games after his playing days concluded and seemed to serve as a consultant to the team at times – his opinion was something that was respected in the baseball community.
The Farley Hawks’ success in the late ’80s and ’90s kept him busy. When he was not traveling to local tournaments, he coached the Western Dubuque baseball team and always encouraged an aggressive style of play.
He was a respected teacher at Western Dubuque Junior High. He was a longtime coach of 8th grade boys basketball.
Mike had a presence about him. He was a great player, coach, teacher and leader. He should be recognized for his tremendous contributions in the history of Dubuque County Baseball.
— Matt Rauen, Urbandale (formerly of Farley)
The great Gordon Lightfoot turns 77 today. Here is one of his best, a song called “Sundown.”
The magazine (Life, from 1963) was a wedding gift and has been sitting in storage for 10 years.
Today I decided it was time to take it out and let people see it.
Consider it my shrine to the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time.
The words on the cover read: “THE DODGERS’ SANDY KOUFAX … The Mostest Pitcher: Most Wins, Most Shutouts, Most Strikeouts.”
I hadn’t seen these photos until sister Julie posted them on Facebook.
Dad must have been a model soldier, because he was certainly flawless as a father, brother, uncle, son, friend.
Dad was a man of the highest character and integrity, exactly the kind of person the U.S. Army tries to produce.
The Armed Forces can be proud to have Dad as an alum.
Thanks for sharing this, Julie.
Also, a belated tip of the cap to my other two favorite veterans, uncle Hub and father-in-law Clarence. Thank you for your service. (Hub, it was great to talk Dodgers and Hawkeyes with you on the phone today).
And thanks to all my other relatives and friends and neighbors who have served our country.