Shrewsbury Little League coach’s motivation comes from passion
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury building contractor Dave Parmenter recently completed his 25th season coaching Shrewsbury Little League. After 25-plus years of coaching, Lou Holtz got a statue, and Tony La Russa had his number retired; Parmenter certainly deserves accolades for this significant achievement.
Baseball has always been a part of Dave Parmenter’s life. His father, Lefty Parmenter, had played and coached for many years, and was even invited to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals. It was Lefty who taught Dave the game. Dave played for Shrewsbury Little League, Shrewsbury Babe Ruth, Shrewsbury High School, and eventually WPI (Class of 1973).
About a decade after graduating with a master’s degree, Dave helped out as one of the coaches on his son David’s Little League team. Right behind David in age was middle child Tim currently a Shrewsbury firefighter. Dave continued to coach his boys from Little League into Babe Ruth. Right around that same time, Dave’s youngest son, Kyle, was just starting to play in instructional league. As Dave hopped around to different Shrewsbury fields to make all the games, he ended up meeting several other young players, all of whom he felt had the desire to teach the game.
When young Kyle was done with town league baseball, Dave still had several younger players on the team whom he wanted to continue coaching.
“You take a kid on your team that’s 10 years old, and you want to stick with him,” Dave said. “All of a sudden he’s 12, and about to go on to the next level, but there’s new 10-year-olds you want to be there for. I always tell myself ‘This is the last year,’ but new players make me want to stay.”
Part of Dave’s enjoyment of coaching is spending time around the park that his grandfather helped build. Dave’s mother was a “Dean,” founder of Dean Park in Shrewsbury. Being around the park gives Dave the opportunity to relax and appreciate his grandfather’s craftsmanship.
Another reason Dave continues to coach is the youth rejuvenation he gets to feel.
“I still pitch batting practice, I still rake the field before games, and I love doing it.”
Some guys enjoy sailing, some build model airplanes, while Dave pounds the inside part of the strike zone from behind an L-screen.
Though Dave considers “Little League retirement” at the end of each season nowadays, it still looks like there’s plenty of passion left in the tank. Dave plans to return to Dean Park yet again in spring 2013.
“I think I make a difference,” he said. “When I feel like I stop making a difference, I’ll stop.”
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