CLEVES, Ohio (FOX19) - Nick Clayton has been leading young men on a baseball field for 39 years. It’s something that happened 15 years ago that brought everyone back together in Cleves over the weekend.
“You lose your only son and they make up for it in a way. It can be emotional, but it’s the greatest day of the year. This is my Christmas times ten,” he said.
His Christmas in July is the Kevin Clayton Memorial Game. A game dedicated to a former friend, teammate and son.
“He was a live wire – like his dad a real spark plug. A pleasure to play with and always kept things light,” Assistant Coach Dan Warnock said.
The one reason players come back isn’t just to remember Nick’s son. It’s for a coach who made every player feel like they were his son.
“He’s always giving his own time money and effort. It’s not an effort that stops when you’re done playing for him, it’s till death, he’s always going to be there. He’s like a second father to most of us,” Jared Lee said.
“It’s my life. It’s all my friends. These people are my life,” Clayton said. “There’s a bond between these kids and it’s not about making major leaguers, it’s about making good men. To help them get there I’ll do anything I can.”