Head baseball coach Tom Crank‘s ties to the game of baseball run deep. He has been involved with the game of baseball for 41 years, and the players that have been around him have benefited from him in some way.
“The main thing I have learned from coach Crank is how important the little things are,” said senior pitcher Jared Messer. “You see this very much in baseball, as well as in life.
“An example he always says is in baseball you can see little things build up such as errors or mental mistakes, which turn into losses. In school little things such as missing classes and not doing small assignments can turn into poor grades.”
It’s very obvious his teaching methods are more than just learning the sport of baseball; it’s also about growing up and being responsible.
His relationships with his players are not just coach to player; instead, it goes a lot deeper.
“I have a pretty good relationship with coach Crank,” Messer said. “I know that as a player he is going to try to do what is best for me and put me in the best situation to be successful and help the team.
“I think as a player for Coach Crank you realize the longer that you’ve been here that he truly is here to help us succeed not only as athletes but as people.”
Coach Crank appears to be a well-rounded man who is here to help others and not just himself.
“Coach Crank has a very competitive personality,” Messer said. “Whether it is on the field arguing with calls, in his business, or with his family he knows what it takes to be successful.
“On a personal level he cares about his players. I know in the past he has made multiple hospital visits for injured players and is there for us to talk to with any type of problems we are having.”
“He is a very laid back person and very respectful,” said freshman Jonathon Crank. “He is very kind and is always trying to help people out.”
Crank has been involved with Malone since 1985. He played at Malone from 1985-1988 and broke a few records in his prime. All of his records have been broken by men he has coached, however.
“I think that he will be remembered as a great guy that doesn’t only help people out with baseball but also with his player’s lives. He will be remembered as one of the best coaches that Malone will have, in my opinion,” J. Crank said.
Crank’s love for the game hasn’t and probably won’t ever go away. Crank began his coaching career at Malone as an assistant coach for seven years and then became the head coach, and has been for here the past 10 years.
“Outside of baseball I don’t do much. My wife and I are pretty much homebodies,” T. Crank said.
As of now, he still plays baseball in a few summer leagues and his competitive drive is still there.
“I’ve played in this one summer league for 21 years,” T. Crank said. “Then I played with another team and we won 85 straight games, so I still like playing the game and I probably will continue this summer.”
T. Crank enjoys collecting sports cards, signing jerseys, going to Cavalier, Indians and Browns games for hobbies. Crank is a down-to-earth guy and a big part of Pioneer baseball history.
“I would love to be remembered as someone who does everything the right way and one who took care of every single player that has come through here as far as being fair and honest with them,” T. Crank said. “And giving them the opportunity to play the game of baseball that they love and I love.”