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September 12, 2013

Clary completes 50th year as a baseball/softball player


He said he’s glad that many of his former co-workers at TM Morris have remained employed at Kauffman.

“They’re fortunate to have least kept their doors open. A lot of places have not had that fortune — Logan Machine, Metal Culvert, White-Rodgers which used to be in the RBM building, we had the battery factory, there’s a lot of places.”

One issue facing manufacuring throughout the nation is there are reportedly a lot of jobs available that are not getting filled because of a lack of qualified workers. Clary said he hopes the Century Career Center at LHS can help fill the void locally.

“I hope the state finally figures this thing out. They’re starting to talk about it again,” he said. “We have a great facility at the Century Career Center. The problem is the state still keeps the academic standards so high, so great, you don’t have enough opportunity, I think, to say I’m going to be vocational, I want a trade, I want a skill and just go that direction and not have to take all the science they are requiring, all the math. You’re still going to get some in the vocational side of it.

“They can train them right here [at the Century Career Center.] Then they could get a two-year jump on working somewhere. That’s my opinion on it.”

Clary played one year of fast-pitch softball in its final year in Logansport. He’s played slow-pitch for 42 years. He estimates he’s played in over 2,500 contests overall over the last 50 years.

He started coaching Babe Ruth at the age of 19. He’s coached at the youth league level for 18 years which includes over 300 games. He was the president of the local Babe Ruth in 2004 when he unofficially retired from coaching after leading the team to the league title. He coached the 14-year-old state finalist team that year as well. He’s been a Cal Ripken player agent and vice president over the last six years.

He met his wife of 37 years, Kit, at Steinman Field. Two players on the first Babe Ruth team he managed in 1972 eventually became his brother-in-laws.

His two sons, Chris, 31, and Shawn, 26, both played Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth and JV baseball. His 2-year-old grandson, Nolan, is already a veteran of attending Berry games.

There’s even a chance Grandpa will still be playing when Nolan starts his baseball career.

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