GOOD BYE "MR. A's"
When the late Dick Gochnauer was made head coach of the team in 1970, his first move was to hire a coach to assist him in turning around the fledgling team. That coach was the head coach of the Hyde Park team in the old PAL league, Donnie Yerger.
Their first year was rocky. Donned in Phillies red and white flannel uniforms, the team struggled (and sweated) to a 4 - 14 record. The following year they dumped the flannels for the now famous A's green and yellow and the team produced its first winning season going 10 - 8. The new A's were on their way.
From there on, the two were as inseparable as salt and pepper. With Gochnauer calling the shots and the firey Yerger in the coach's box the A's and the Boyertown Bears were the scourge of the 70's, culminating with the A's winning their only Berks league championship in 1980.
Donnie remained as a coach for around 20 years until his health forced him to the sidelines - but not away from the A's. He moved to the press box, announcing, operating the scoreboard and occasionally belting out a chorus of "Take me out to the ball game" over the loud speaker. He is also a member of the A's board of directors.
Aside from the A's, Don serves as a commissioner for the Schuylkill-Berks League and was a commissioner in the Berks League. He is also enshrined in the Pennsylvania American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.
His 45 year run with the A's will come to an end at the end of this year. Believe it or not, he feels he wants to spend more time getting to know his wife, Doris. (Isn't three kids enough?)
The A's, on behalf of the hundreds of boys who had the pleasure of being around Donnie, say "Thanks Donnie" and extend our best wishes to you and Doris for a long and happy retirement.