In the Pirate’s tradition |

In the Pirate’s tradition

by Dave Price

There was a special scene behind the scene last Saturday when the Pirates celebrated their Carson Valley Little League championship at Lampe Park. The players and coaches all came together for their traditional post game “1-2-3, Pirates.”

And then there was Mike Sagers, who was known as “Eck” when he played for the Pirates in the early 1990s.

“Mike came out on the field and stuck his hand in there,” coach Bob Rudnick said. “He’s about 19 now and going to Weber State … The kids all looked up and saw this big, old guy out there. Like we always do when a former Pirate comes out, we introduced him and told the kids how good he was when he played for us, Then when we went to do our cheer, Mike was the one who counted out 1-2-3.”

Once a Pirate, always a Pirate.

It’s a tradition that has become well known by Carson Valley Little League over the past decade under the guidance of Rudnick and co-coach Tim Jacobsen. A successful tradition, when you consider the Pirates won championships in 1991, ’92, ’93, ’98 and now ’99.

In fact, Saturday’s 6-4 victory against the Dodgers in the league tournament championship game was the 50th straight, a streak that dates back to the end of the 1997 season. They were 23-0 this season, 19-0 in 1998 and won their last eight games of 1997.

“It (win streak) puts pressure on you,” Rudnick admitted. “But you’ve got to remind yourself while you’re at it that you’re not going to make the house payment on the money you make out here at these games.

“The money isn’t that great. Every once in a while, I get an Arby-Q out of Tim,” he added with a laugh.

The streak is a result of more than talent and making good plays on the field. There’s a certain tradition and philosophy taught by coaches who have long been associated with Carson Valley athletics – Jacobsen grew up in the Valley and now manages Arby’s restaurant in Gardnerville, Rudnick has worked for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for nearly 24 years.

“Our philosophy is that we’re going to teach them the fundamentals of baseball and we expect them to be committed, to work hard and give 100 percent. We tell them, ‘If you plan on doing what we teach you, we’ll have a very successful year and you’ll have a lot of fun,” Rudnick said.