While their playing days might be over, the lessons Hancock County’s community leaders learned on the sports fields continue to guide them today. In this week-long series, we look back on the positive effect athletics had on their lives.
GREENFIELD – An office couch. Electrical tape-wrapped wiffle balls. New beginnings provided from a drain spout.
The images illustrate a clear picture of Kelly McClarnon’s childhood, a classic American youth defined by the intertwined nature of sports, children and the mentors that make that connection often a glowing one. McClarnon’s upbringing writes the sort of script Hollywood storytellers adore.
Take, for instance, McClarnon’s earliest sporting memory. The year is 1973, and McClarnon and his Greenfield Youth Baseball Association team have piled into coach Ed Elmore’s station wagon bound for Riverfront Stadium, the home of the Cincinnati Reds.
“It was very hot. We had packed cheese sandwiches in the spare tire compartment under the jump seats. By the time we got to Cincy, our sandwiches were melted, but in a good way. It was like having a fresh grilled cheese!” remembers McClarnon, now a member of the Greenfield Board of Works and Public Safety as well as a City Securities Account Executive. “Walking up that ramp and seeing the beautiful bright green artificial turf playing field – the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”