I played junior varsity baseball this spring and, at full team practices, I had the opportunity to work in the batting cage with newly hired varsity coach, Jonathan Kane. Between his emoji-littered team emails and aggressive use of non-existent hashtags to get the team riled up, Kane’s electric personality has made an impact on both the baseball team and GDS athletics communities. Since I did not have the opportunity to play on his varsity team, I wanted to interview him to learn more about his coaching philosophy.
Q: When and why did you start playing baseball when you were younger?
A: “I was just 6 and it was pitching machine or coach pitchers… And back then it was a parent that coached the teams. An’ so my father was my coach until he just couldn’t anymore. And I got a Yoo-hoo bottle if I played good and that’s going like 3-for-4 with all triples maybe one is a double.”
Q: If you could be one major leaguer (past or present) who would you be?
A: “Pete Rose a.k.a ‘Charlie Hustle’– head first slides and hitting…”
Q: If you can give a hitter one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: “Open them hips and step at wherever you’re planning to hit the ball and chop down the cherry tree!”
Q: What is your proudest achievement in baseball?
A: “Getting picked after my sophomore trip to Bucky Dent’s scouting camp my school sent me to… I received a call and paperwork that I was going on as a top 500 prospect in America. I was player number 184 out of top 500 college and pro prospects in America.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing about coaching baseball?
A: “Seeing a team start clicking on all cylinders.” (He was referring to the success he saw in the GDS varsity team late this season.)
Q: Do you have any superstitions or rituals before games?
A: “So let’s see… in high school [I] never ever played without my lucky shirt. [In] college [I] had to have cleats all blacked out and polished up before games.”
Q: Does GDS baseball have what it takes to win a MAC championship?
A: “I can honestly see GDS not only winning one but two within the next four to five years.”
Hopefully, Kane’s positive energy and confidence in GDS baseball will serve as the catalyst for growth within the baseball program that will lead the team to the MAC championship victories he mentions.
By Micah Hurewitz