A big ‘thank you’ to Mr. Bay

Published 8:29 pm Sunday, January 7, 2018


He worked for the postal service by profession. But deep down inside, he wanted to be a coach. Lucky for the boys our age, Bartley Bay chased his dream with us!

Bay (as he was affectionately called) was born and raised in Missouri. After high school, he entered the Service. The Service brought him and his family to eastern North Carolina. After his stint, he moved to Washington along with his wife and young family. He had two children, Barbara and Jerry and lucky for us, Jerry was our age. This gave Mr. Bay a vested interest in our age group.

Mr. Bay introduced us to competitive basketball and later baseball. Bay spent many afternoons teaching fundamentals through drills at practice. He had, at that time, more than one team playing under Bay’s supervision and we even played at halftime of the varsity basketball games. This was a big deal to a 10- or 11-year-old kid!

After basketball, he would move straight into baseball in the spring and throughout the summer months. Ground ball after ground ball and batting practice each day were a staple of Bay’s type of practice. He was competitive by nature and only wanted the best for all of us. He taught this through drills and only accepted our best.

Once I remember traveling to Laurinburg where Lee Drake (Burger) and I roomed together. Despite Lee throwing out back-to-back runners from left field attempting to stretch a single into a double, we lost! (Now understand, we did not lose much) Bay was there for us and used that moment to teach us how to accept defeat and learn from it.

Mr. Bay has passed away. I am sure he is looking down from heaven with his big smile and saying, “They’re still my boys!” We all owe Bay a big “Thank you” for teaching us through athletics the many lessons of life. From one of yours, thanks, Bay!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.