Freetime: Marc George, T&G Chemical & Supply Company, Teaches Kids America's Pastime
Baseball has been part of Marc George’s world for a long time. He started as a kid playing pee wee baseball, and today he is coaching in a competitive youth baseball program.
Marc, president of T&G Chemical & Supply Company in Waco, Texas, is one of the founders of the nonprofit Brazos River Wranglers Select Baseball Association. He is also the lead instructor for the catchers, and is the “business guy” in the organization, responsible for preparing the budget, hiring and assigning coaches, and maintaining the website.
Having played baseball at every stage of his life while growing up, Marc’s baseball playing ended when he graduated from Baylor University. Though he had opportunities to play professional baseball, he joined the family business instead. But that didn’t end his relationship with the game.
“I’ve now been coaching for over 30 years, starting with 6-year-olds in Little League,” says Marc. “I coached my son Mason all the way through the Little League organization until he was 12, which is when I got involved in Select Baseball.”
In Select Baseball, players try out for spots on the teams, which are very competitive.
“It means that we handpick the best of the best for our teams,” says Marc. “Select Baseball is designed to get kids into college and on to a college team.”
In fact, this fall, Mason will be a catcher for the University of Texas at San Antonio, an NCAA Division I team.
Even though Marc played shortstop, he coaches the catchers.
“Over the years of coaching Mason, I learned the catching position,” he says.
Marc and his coaching associates started the Brazos River Wranglers organization last year. Kids from 8 to 17 years old participate in the programs. This year there were about 75 kids, with a plan to add another 40 next year.
“For us, it’s not about growing the numbers,” says Marc. “We want to provide really good baseball education and instruction to as many kids as we can without diluting our high standards. If we expand too much, it would be difficult to give the kids the quality time they need.”
Although baseball is important for the organization, Marc and his fellow coaches also want kids to be kids.
“We intentionally don’t schedule our programs year-round, because it means that the kids never get a break from baseball, and we don’t want to see them get burned out and quit,” he says. “We want them to have time to do things like skateboarding and swimming. We don’t want baseball to steal their childhoods.”
Marc believes that kids need to be happy and excited about sports. His son played football in the fall and baseball in the spring.
“Toward the end of football season, Mason would say ‘I can’t wait for baseball.’ At the end of the baseball season, he’d say, ‘I can’t wait for football,’” says Marc. “We teach parents that if their kid doesn’t come home and say, ‘I can’t wait for baseball to start,’ it probably means that their desire for the sport is gone. If, on the other hand, they can keep their kid’s interest alive, he or she will happily play their sport for a nice, long time.”
Gretchen Roufs, a 25-year janitorial supply industry veteran, owns a marketing and public relations company in San Antonio. To suggest someone you think should be featured in “Freetime,” contact her at Gretchen@GretchenRoufs.com.