To the editor:
It's not often that we come across someone with the ability to change lives simply for being himself. Our community, this world, recently lost the most selfless person I've ever had the joy of knowing. For the past few years, Ben Taylor fought the battle of all battles with the spirit of an angel and still had time for any and all players who were able to keep in touch.
I know the impact he had on this community and beyond, and realize that so, too, does everyone else. However, I feel compelled at a time when we feel his loss so much, to challenge all coaches, parents and mentors of the Ohio Valley to take note of what he has done and how he carried himself throughout his 40-plus years of coaching baseball and softball. Coach Ben never gave up on any player ... it was not even an option. He had patience and perseverance that the rest of this world would be lucky to possess.
Quite simply, Coach Ben is my hero. He means as much to me as every player he ever coached meant to him. For those who don't know, please understand that this amount is immeasurable.
I am forever touched, blessed and grateful to have learned how to be a better player, coach, friend and person simply for knowing him. I live my life knowing the rest of the valley feels the same. As we move forward with our lives, please don't forget that it is possible to set a good example and that hard work does pay off. Never give up on someone and always give your best. This is what I've taken away from my time with Coach Ben, and it makes life that much sweeter.
(Editor's note: Taylor, a longtime area baseball and softball coach, died Jan. 15 at the age of 63.)