Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
Oklahoma Christian University heads to the big leagues with the addition of former L.A. Dodgers pitcher David Walsh to the coaching staff.
Walsh spent the last 15 years as a high school English teacher and assistant baseball coach at Edmond Santa Fe High School and now joins Oklahoma Christian as the new assistant pitching coach.
Walsh, a native of Boston, moved around a lot before settling in the San Fernando Valley in California. He eventually ended up at the University of California at Santa Barbara where he was later drafted to play minor league baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1982.
Walsh played for the L.A. Dodgers for what some would refer to as a “cup of coffee.” This phrase refers to players who have been called up to the majors for only a short period of time. The L.A. Dodgers drafted Walsh in 1990 and he played 20 games as a relief pitcher. Injuries sustained in 1992 ended his professional career.
After his injuries, he and his wife moved to Okla. where they now live while he teaches English at Edmond Santa Fe.
Walsh’s addition to the Oklahoma Christian baseball coaching staff marks a huge step in the school’s baseball program and Associate Athletic Director of Media Relations Murray Evans believes it will be a positive addition.
“I don’t think [Oklahoma Christian] has ever had a coach that has played for a major league team,” Evans said.
Even though his time in the major leagues was short, Walsh still brings a new perspective to the field. Lonny Cobble is entering his second year as a member of the coaching staff and has worked with David Walsh on the baseball team at Santa Fe before Cobble joined the team at Oklahoma Christian.
Cobble has high hopes for Walsh and what he will bring to the team.
“[Walsh] will bring the experience of the majors as well as maturity to this program,” Cobble said.
Senior baseball player Tyler Sturges played for Walsh in high school and will play for him again at the collegiate level. Sturges said that he owes his athletic career to Walsh for all of the guidance he offered in high school.
“I was not what baseball players call a pitcher, more of just a thrower,” Sturges said. “Working with Walsh my junior and senior year of high school, I was able to take my game to the next level. If it wasn’t for him I’m not sure where I would be.”
Sturges looks forward to working with Walsh again, while the staff and athletic department anticipate working with him for the first time.
While Walsh has a wealth of experience in baseball, it is not the only thing that he brings to the table. According to those close to him, a love of baseball is seen as part of his soul, but Walsh also finds joy in the English language.
As an English teacher he is able to combine both his long-endured passion for English and his newfound passion for teaching. Walsh currently teaches four sections of AP English as well as one section of Advanced Creative Writing at Edmond Santa Fe.
“When you get to know me, you will find that I am not just one-dimensional,” Walsh said. “I do have a complex love for baseball but also a tremendous love for English, teaching and language.”
Walsh said he expects great things this year; both in baseball and in the new experiences God has put in his life.