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TOPIC: Steve Delabar
OUR VIEW: A long and winding career
It must seem like a lifetime ago when Steve Delabar was helping lead the Elizabethtown Area Baseball Commission 14-year-old All-Stars into the Ohio Valley Regional Baseball Tournament in Vincennes, Ind.
That year was 1997.
Or when he was starring for the Expos in Babe Ruth League play when his team won the EABC 15-year-old regular season and tournament titles just a year later.
Or when he pitched for Central Hardin High School or went off to college and realized, because of a severe injury to his right elbow, that ever pitching a game was a long shot.
Delabar’s baseball experience has taken him on many different adventures, offered him and his family some highs and lows over the years in youth, high school, college and professional baseball.
But few moments were as compelling in the sport as Tuesday night in New York City for the Major League Baseball All-Star game.
Out of the bullpen, where moments earlier he could be seen on television fist bumping legendary New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Delabar jogged onto the field and to the pitcher’s mound in the seventh inning. He now was just not a player voted onto the All-Star team; he was getting to play in the game.
His appearance was brief, facing only one hitter. But it took only five pitches for the big right-hander to strikeout San Francisco catcher Buster Posey. Delabar’s work was done on the eve of his 30th birthday.
Steve Delabar’s climb to the Major Leagues is a compelling story of success and dedication. From high school teacher and coach to an All-Star is an amazing story to tell.
We can call Delabar our native son, someone who still has an “aw shucks’’ approach to his newfound celebrity status, someone who is not much different today then he was when he was teaching and coaching in Hardin County.
He has not forgotten where he came from and gives back to his community. He has spoken at clinics and banquets and donated baseballs signed by the Blue Jays to be auctioned at a Central Hardin baseball dinner, for instance.
We are fortunate in Hardin County that we can call Steve Delabar one of our own.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise’s editorial board.