MARION — Leo Durocher once said “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.”
Even a conversation lasting less than two hours with Linn-Mar High School’s Coy Sarsfield is enough to tell he is undoubtedly one of those few.
This is his 11th year of playing the game, including seasons on travel teams through Tri-State Arsenal and indoor teams through Perfect Game USA. This summer, he was a freshman on his father’s high school team, sharing the same number (5) his father wore in his years as a Lion.
From the get-go, Sarsfield has known baseball was his sport.
“Some of my best memories are with my dad, coaching and playing catch in the backyard,” Sarsfield said. “I played other sports and eventually got bored with them, but at the end of the day, I was never done with baseball.”
Having been involved with baseball for a vast majority of his life — and with no end date in sight — Sarsfield has learned a lot from the sport. He’s a bright kid, and could probably find a lesson from a couple hours of reading cereal labels, much less a decade of baseball. He said no matter how much he’s figured out about hits and runs, catching and pitching, it’s what he’s learned about life that has made the biggest difference.
“If you really want something, you’ve got to go get it,” he said. “You’ve got to be a hard worker. You’ve got to be coachable. You’ve got to come in every day and say, ‘OK, I’m here. Now how do I get better?’”
That right there is quite telling of who Sarsfield is. He’s the kind of kid who works his “butt off,” the first to arrive at practice, the last to leave. You don’t get his stats without his drive. He batted .382 with 11 RBIs last season and stole 30 of 34 bases.
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Although Sarsfield just finished his freshman year at Linn-Mar, he recently committed to spend four years at the University of Iowa, playing baseball for the Hawkeyes.
Baseball is his life, and has been his life since he was 5-years-old. His biggest hero, his father, also has been his biggest supporter. He was the one who followed him to all of his travel games, whether they were in Davenport or Florida. His father still holds a record on the Lions’ varsity team, one Coy is determined to break someday.
His dad means everything to him, and their relationship is undoubtedly the most important one in his life.
Despite his young age, Sarsfield has big plans for his future.
“Just to play pro ball, even if it wasn’t major leagues, that’d be awesome,” he said when asked about his plans in baseball.
Though it may seem like baseball is all he is, that could not be further from the truth. Sarsfield is a math whiz, a fan of fantasy novels and plans on running track at the end of his sophomore year. He’s an older and a younger brother, a son, a grandson and a representative of his school every time he sets foot onto the diamond. He’s got a strong moral compass and a good head on his shoulders.
This kid is 16-years-old and already on track for an incredibly bright future.
Sarsfield is quite a few things, things that could make Marion very proud someday.