DAYTON, Ohio – It’s all about consistency for Coach Steve Dintaman and his Tartan Pride Sinclair Community College baseball team. Every year he strives for another conference championship, another trip to the college world series, and another full-team effort during the annual visit to Community Blood Center.It’s a fall tradition for the team to visit the Dayton CBC. The fall baseball schedule is not as intense as the spring, but it still demands planning to bring the entire team.
The CBC waiting room was suddenly jammed Monday afternoon, Sept. 11 with the boys of summer, all wearing their bright red Sinclair baseball t-shirt, black shorts and trademark red and white ball caps.It was a full roster of about 35 players, with about 30 registering to donate.Steve led Sinclair to its seventh conference championship last spring and his team battled again in the NJCAA College World Series. He notched his 400th coaching victory along the way and was named OCCAC Coach of the Year for the eighth time.
Needless to say, he knows how to give a pep talk. He put together his own PowerPoint presentation to the team before the CBC visit on the value of blood donations. He then came early to CBC to make his 34th lifetime donation. The Tartan Pride followed his words and example in big numbers.
“There were about 20 that weren’t sure about donating,” he said, “but after my PowerPoint I think all but about five or six had flipped.”
But Steve was humbled while making the rounds of the Donor Room when he spotted CBC’s top all-time donor Wendell Clark making his 648th lifetime donation.
“I wanted to meet him,” said Steve. “I heard about him and I knew he’s kind of a celebrity and I thought I’ve got to meet this guy.”
Wendell gladly chatted with Steve and a handful of players. “I remember being here donating, I think last year, when they came to donate,” he said.
Baseball is known as a game of numbers, and Wendell can say the same about his blood donation record. “If you figure each donation is about a pint, and I do some double platelet donations, I think my total comes out to 81 gallons!” he said with a grin.
Inspiration was the name of the game for the young Sinclair players. “I was on the fence,” admitted first-time donor Tyler Reproegle from Massillon. “I wanted to do it for the first time, and I was of the mind I was going to do it.
“I helped with the blood drives in high school, but couldn’t donate because it was during the football and baseball season. Coach Dintaman talked about it. He knows the precautions to take and made me feel good about it.”
“I was all-in,” said Caleb Peterson, a freshman pitcher from Urbana who made his first lifetime donation. “He didn’t have to twist my arm. He put together a PowerPoint presentation. He asked, ‘If you’re mom needed blood, would you donate then?’ Of course I would, why not?”
“I said I would do it,” said Casey Demco from Bellbrook. “I can do it, I just said absolutely!”