Hutson's number is retired

Clear Spring baseball coach won 323 games over 27 years

Clear Spring baseball coach won 323 games over 27 years

June 05, 2003|by MARK KELLER

CLEAR SPRING - A one-of-a-kind honor was given to a one-of-a-kind coach Wednesday.

Jim Hutson, the longtime baseball coach at Clear Spring High School who stepped down at the end of the 2003 season, had his number retired at the school's 30th Annual Varsity Sports Banquet at the Clear Spring Fire Company.

"This is totally unexpected," Huston said. "This is too big an honor, probably bigger than I deserve."

Apparently, Hutson was the only one in the room who agreed on that count. Athletic director Lisa Shives presented the coach with a No. 4 Clear Spring baseball jersey to keep, while showing another that will be framed and kept on display at the school.

"It's an honor that's never been bestowed before at Clear Spring, and it's an honor that's well deserved," Shives said.

Hutson's assistant coaches unveiled a sign bearing Hutson's name, number and coaching record that will be hung from the fence at the school's baseball field.


Hutson said he decided at the end of the 2002 season that his next year would be his last. He said he didn't tell anyone but his wife of the decision at the time.

"I just felt like the time was right," Hutson said.

"No matter how the season ended, no matter how far we went, I decided this was going to be it."

Hutson coached the Blazers for 27 years, compiling a 323-179 record. The Blazers won the Maryland Class C (now 1A) title in 1980 and were the state runner-up in 1981.

The Blazers finished the 2003 season 16-2 and were the top seed in the Class 1A West tournament. Their season - and Hutson's coaching career - ended with a 2-0 loss at South Hagerstown in the region quarterfinals.

Neil Becker, an assistant softball coach at Clear Spring, said Hutson was a great ambassador for Clear Spring - both the school and the community.

"He was a great model to see. He made you proud to be a Blazer, proud to be from Clear Spring," Becker said. "You could always leave the field with your head held high. That was always the case with Coach Hutson."

Hutson said he is looking forward to being a spectator for Clear Spring baseball games and possibly mentoring his successor.

"I know the kids next year will put on a great show, and I'll be right there to give them my support," Hutson said.

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