Ever wonder why our Tball Tournament here in Dundas is called the Charlene Myke TBall Tournament? Well keep reading...
Charlene Myke was a long-time coach and DLL board/executive member. She started coaching Tball in 1986 and was the only female coach in the league at the time. For some, this may have been intimidating and may have stopped them cold in their tracks. But this was not the case for Charlene. This was the start of a long run of coaching as she ended up coaching for over 20 years, long after her own kids aged out of Little League. Not many people would do that but Charlene loved coaching! These were some of her best days. She would hold practices with her team in the summer months, Monday to Thursday, from 9am to 1:30pm at Edwards Memorial Park. Baseball camp with Charlene! She would even open up her house for players to stay over if their parents were away so that they didn't miss out on any baseball. One year in the mid 1980s, she billeted four players from Windsor who were in town for the Little League championships without knowing who they were before inviting them into her home.
One of her favourite sayings in base running was that if you could still see a player’s number, you kept running the bases. Seeing their number meant they had yet to get to the ball. This saying made her players such fast and efficient base runners. She would encourage her players to hit the ball on the ground so they would all go around. She recalls the fans in the stands being simply amazing at cheering on their team!
Charlene was a firm believer in the best baseball lessons being taught outside the white lines. She taught her players respect for the game, for the umpires, for their teammates, as well as for the other team. That being said, when she hit the field with her team, her Dundas Tigers were fierce. “Tigers on the warpath! Ooh Ahh!” the players and fans would chant.
Charlene did her best to create the very best of memories for her players. And there’s no denying that she did just that. Talk to anyone she’s ever coached (the list is long!) and they will have several wonderful anecdotes of their time being on Charlene’s Tball All-Star team. She even coached one group of 7-year-old tballers all the way up to the major division!
In addition to all her time spent on the field with her players, she also served on the Dundas Little League Board and Executive. Do you like having dirt in the infields at Edwards instead of grass? Charlene is one of the people to thank for that! She was also part of the group that built the diamond at Veterans Memorial Park and the practice diamond at Martino Memorial Park, fondly known to many as the Minor diamond. She was also involved in building Volunteer field, the big diamond at the back of Martino Park where our 13-year-old players move to once they are too old to play in Little League. Without Charlene’s time and dedication, many of the things we take for granted in Dundas Little League would not exist today.
To honour all her hard work, dedication, and volunteerism, our annual Tball tournament was renamed the Charlene Myke TBall Tournament. Charlene, from all of us here at Dundas Little League, including past, present, and future members, thank you for everything that you did for this organization and for being such an amazing role model and inspiration!