This week Logansport Youth Baseball lost a treasured veteran, a man that spent countless months and years as a local volunteer to enrich the baseball experience of Logansport youth, the namesake of one of the two fields kids play on each season. This week Jim Metz quietly passed away in his home.
Metz first came into the league during the 1973 season and though not always coaching or holding a board position could be seen every summer at the ballpark. He came into the league as an assistant coach to Frank Schlick with the former RBM Shamrocks when his son Jim was just 10 years old.
From that point on Fairview Park and youth league baseball was a part of him. When Schlick stepped down after many years of service himself, Metz stepped in and became manager of the team. Throughout the years Metz coached, held various board positions and spent countless hours improving the facilities that were available.
Nothing lasts forever, but Metz made the attempt. After a little more than 20 years in the league he decided it was time to hang it up and step down.
“Jim was a special guy,” said Sam Tocco, a longtime friend and fellow youth league veteran. “He loved the game and he loved being at the ballpark. Even when he stepped down and got out of the league, he was still around and willing to help out. Just in the past few years when Logansport was hosting the Ohio Valley Tournaments, Jim was there offering his assistance in whatever capacity was needed.”
During the 1997 season, the field known simply as the practice field was voted on by the league and would further be known as Metz Field in honor of his many years of service. His hiatus was short-lived as the next season he came back into the league and served two years as league president before bowing out for the final time.