Al was coaching in the North Orlando Kiwanis Little League at Audubon Park when he met Coach Bob King in 1974 and the two quickly became a coaching duo. When Coach King move from Glenridge to Winter Park High School in 1983, he asked Al to join him as assistant coach, and the rest, as they say, is baseball history.
Al was nearly 70 years old at the time, but he was still full of energy and wisdom, and was a hit right away with ALL of the players. If Coach King produced some tension in the dugout, it didn’t take Al long to diffuse it with one of his many jokes. Al’s main work was with the hitters, and he had the most amazing way of simplifying difficult skills.
As he approached his mid-70s and then into his 80s, he would spend as much time as players needed endlessly shooting flyball after flyball from the machine while constantly bantering and laughing with the players and helping them hone their skills. Al stayed on with Coach King until he was almost 90 years old, working full-time up to the 2003-2004 season. Even after arthritis and cold weather forced him to retire, he could be seen on the left-field line, watching practices and games.
The 21 years Al served Winter Park baseball were great ones for the teams. The record over those years was 418 wins, 207 losses, and four ties, with seven District titles, two Regional titles, two trips to the State Final Four, and one State Runner-up.
The statistics, though, cannot begin to tell what Al has meant to the boys he coached. He could be harsh when he had to be, but he was always a grandfather figure to each and every player. His ability to break down the complex into the simple was his gift. He truly cared about the players and talked with them about everything, giving invaluable advice. He truly loved baseball, but more than that, he loved “his boys”.