I was honored to receive various letters of endorsement over the years; here are two from colleagues with whom I worked closely in Ohio:
I have been a director of the North Canton Little League for 17 years. During that time, a lot of outstanding personalities have come and gone. Very few stand out as much as Tom Delamater.
Tom entered the league in 2001 when his oldest son turned 9 and was eligible for our minor league program. What a delight it was for us that someone with Tom's background in sports would be willing to work with us and pass some of his expertise on to the community. Shortly thereafter, Tom augmented his team manager role and joined us as a league director. This gave the NCLL a chance to really showcase the character that Tom defined. We may not have been successful in converting all the other managers up to that high of a standard, but everyone understood that the standard was there. You watched how Tom encouraged the players, interacted with the parents, mentored the young umpires, and you knew you were seeing the best of what LIttle League, and the North Canton community, had to offer.
We were honored that Tom would share his leadership with us for 6 years as a valued Board of Directors member. Every day he projected what the league wanted its representatives to personify -- the willingness to meet with people and talk about problems, an analytical approach to the business end, and the selflessness to be there as a volunteer when certainly there were other priorities to attend to. This last point is especially poignant -- when Tom had children enrolled at multiple age levels, he assisted with all of them. He was practically at our complex every night.
I could easily write about playing in championships, or developing players that would go on to be standout high school players, but those are secondary. Tom "got" the Little League principal that baseball at this level is about community and about the kids. About taking time to listen to his fifth outfielder who'd rather talk about a science project that how to field a grounder. About always demonstrating a work/volunteer ethic that his pre-teens could observe and take home with the. That's the legacy that Tom Delamater left the North Canton Little League.
Director, North Canton Little League
District Administrator, Ohio District 4 Little League
I have had the honor of knowing Tom for over ten years, while interacting with him on many different levels.
I have been an educator and high school basketball coach for ten successful years. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work with Tom on a professional level. As the youth basketball coordinator for the Hoover Boys' Basketball program (2003-2005), he and I worked very closely with one another. As a coach, Tom generously gave of his time to make sure the objectives of our youth program were carried out effectively. In our youth sports culture, where winning is often achieved at all costs, Tom had the innate ability to see the "big picture." Tom embraced his role as a coach and mentor. His philosophy was to use basketball as a platform to help inspire young people to develop a love for the game. While ego often can cloud a coach's judgment, Tom displayed an approach that separated him from the vast majority of other coaches. Tom saw his role as a coach to make the game fun and engaging for each of the players he took under his tutelage. Tom taught his players to play with a competitive spirit, while also embracing the virtues of good sportsmanship and teamwork. As a result, Tom was able to develop the whole person and not just the tangible basketball skills of his players. It was not uncommon for parents to approach me with kind words regarding the strong leadership skills of Tom Delamater. It soon became common for parents to request having their sons be placed on Tom's teams.
On a personal level Tom has mentored me from afar. I have watched him raise three wonderful kids with values and ethics that reach far beyond the status quo. As a young father, I hope I can have the relationship with my son and daughter that Tom has with his three kids. I can only hope my own kids can possess the strong leadership skills and initiative that Tom cultivated in his three children.
McKinley High School
(Former Head Coach, GlenOak Golden Eagles & Norwayne Bobcats)