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Nelson Baseball Association coach leaves behind lasting legacy

Richard Metzner (center) pictured with players and parents he coached in Nelson Baseball for the past 30 years — from left, Cruze Stinson, father Sam Stinson, Dawson Martin and Ryan Martin. — Submitted photo

When Nelson Baseball Association players return to the diamond next season, there will be one person missing from the coaches’ box on the field.

Richard Metzner, a fixture on the Nelson Baseball Association scene for the past three decades, is retiring from active coaching.

Growing up in New York City, Metzner’s love of baseball started at a very young age when his dad took him to his first Yankee’s game.

He said the magical time of seeing the likes of Yankee greats Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle ignited his passion for the game.

Metzner coached all levels of baseball in Nelson, from the Rookie League to Senior Babe Ruth.

This season he coached Rookies, and stresses to the players the fundamentals of baseball – running the bases and which base to throw to after fielding the ball.

During his time in NBA, Metzner coached parents of players he coached this season.

“Richard always ran a tight ship and knows all about baseball,” said Ryan Martin, who played for Metzner and now sees his son Dawson receiving the same expert coaching.

Metzner said his rewards for coaching is watching younger players not only learn the basics but to turn this knowledge into competent ball players, who in turn also end up loving the game.

Metzner also stresses to the players respect for their teammates, parents, and the game of baseball.

“Nelson Baseball Association is thrilled to acknowledge Richard Metzner's 30-year commitment to youth baseball,” said NBA President Jay Stewart.

“Richard's leadership has helped develop baseball players and grow the game regionally.

“More importantly, he has instilled the values of fair play, teamwork, and accountability through decades of tireless service in positively impacting young athletes in our community." 

Nelson is known for its many heroes in the community from coaches, to players and volunteers.

Metzner joins an elite group of people from the Heritage City who have touched so many lives.