Father coaches baseball

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 22, 2002

When Bob Clark of Blooming Prairie sons, Israel, 11, and Isaac, 9, were just toddlers, he decided to be a stay-at-home dad and raise his boys. His wife Pam is a pharmacist at the Mayo Health Clinic in Albert Lea so she was instrumental in Clark making this decision.

"My wife made more money then me and we didn’t want our children in day care so this was a good choice for us. I love being with my boys. I have my own auto repair shop at home so that works out with this choice too," Clark said.

Because Clark is a hands-on parent with his boys, it was natural for him to become a baseball coach when his sons began tee ball through the Blooming Prairie Summer Park and Recreation program. He has been volunteering with this program for the past five years. "Right now I am the coach for Israel and he is on the fifth and sixth grade team. I like being an active parent with my children," Clark said.

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Clark says he has an advantage because he knows almost everyone in the town of Blooming Prairie because he grew up and went to school here. He played baseball in high school and loves the game. He has watched the kids he coaches grow up from being toddlers and he knows their parents well because many were his peers.

"The kids spend the night at our house and I like the fun of being with them. I like knowing all the kids. Coaching is an added plus as it is about being a team and having fun with the kids. I play ball at home with my kids anyway so might as well be their coach," Clark said.

Roger Toquam and Randy Zelmar are the other two volunteer coaches with the Blooming Prairie youth baseball program. Clark’s van is usually piled with kids and baseball equipment when the boys go to a tournament.

"I have a full car driving to the tournament and parents usually show up at the games when they get off work. Everyone is pretty involved with their kids when it comes to sports. It means a lot to the kids to have their parents watching them. We all try hard to be there for them," Clark


Sheila Donnelly can be reached at 434-2233 or by e-mail at newsroom@austindailyherald.com