Sports Talk: Schaly family headed to the Lone Star State this weekend

Don Schaly used to get his hair cut at a barber shop on Acme Street in Marietta, probably less than a mile, as the crow flies, from what was then called Pioneer Park.

Since the longtime Marietta College head baseball coach’s passing in March of 2005, it’s been renamed in his honor Don Schaly Stadium.

The barber shop isn’t much larger than an outdoor shed, but still has two chairs and a small waiting area.

Schaly often arrived at the barber shop early in the morning, many times before the barbers were even there.

He was usually in and out of there in no time flat.

Schaly was after all a very busy man at Marietta College with the Pioneer baseball program.

Ah, the MC baseball program. To this day, it’s second to none in the nation, thanks to Schaly.

This weekend, the 2013 Class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Tx., will be featuring its first NCAA Division III coach: Don Schaly.

Schaly’s family, which includes wife Sue and sons’ John, Jim, Joe, and Jeff, will be on hand for the festivities.

In 40 years (1964-2003) at the helm, Schaly guided the Etta Express to more than 1,400 wins (1,442-329), including three national championships. Many of his players went on to play professionally, and one even managed in the major leagues.

A tough, no-nonsense skipper, he paid attention to detail, and his teams played by his rules and were always prepared to compete.

While he had a gruff voice and could be intimidating, he cared very much for his players and Marietta College baseball.

Schaly announced his retirement on Valentine’s Day 2003. On May 6 of that same year, he led MC in its regular-season home finale against Muskingum College (now Muskingum University).

In a pre-game ceremony, Schaly was honored along with former Fighting Muskies baseball coach Ron Mazeroski who lost his bout with cancer in Feb. 2003.

Schaly himself would succumb to cancer two years later.

In the aftermath, Marietta College, under the leadership of Brian Brewer, a protege of Schaly, has claimed three more national baseball championships.

Schaly would be so tickled, so proud.

Coach would also be saddened by the passings of former Marietta Times sports editor Bill Robinson, sports writer Joe Davis, and retired Pioneer head football coach Gene Epley.

If Schaly were still alive today, he no doubt would be following the progress of his grandson Adam, who pitched as a freshman for Stetson University, a Division I school in central Fla.

As for Marietta College itself, well…there’s been the construction of a new residence hall at the corner of Seventh and Putnam Streets, and Don Drumm Stadium has been renovated into a first-class football and track and field facility.

A few changes here and there but then some things have remained the same in Marietta.

Oh, yes, the barber shop on Acme is still open for business.

Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at