David Fischer enjoyed his first season coaching college level players. Photo contributed by David Fischer.
Dave Fischer didn’t think he was going to be coaching this summer.
The Newport Collegiate Baseball League was initially started due to other summer collegiate baseball leagues’ seasons being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
At first, Fischer wasn’t completely sold on the job.
“One of the other head coaches told me about it, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to work or what the precautions were,” Fischer said. “Honestly, I took it at first because I needed the money, but now I’m glad I did. It was such a great experience.”
Fischer is the director of baseball operations at the University of Rhode Island, along with serving as the volunteer assistant coach under Raphael Cerrato. Fischer was the head coach of Kettlebottom, the 2020 Newport Collegiate League champions. His squad started with a 9-0 record and finished at a 10-5-1 clip enroute to capturing the league’s first-ever championship.
Despite having prior experience as a collegiate coach, this was his first experience as a head coach at the collegiate level.
“I think the previous highest ages I coached was 11-year-olds,” Fischer said.
Having played summer ball on Cape Cod, Fischer knew how he wanted to be as a head coach.
“I told the guys, ‘I’m not going to give you signs, you’re adults, you’re smart, you know what to do,’” said Fischer. “I didn’t want to be in it for myself, I wanted players to get better. Summer ball isn’t about the coaches, it’s about players getting better, and when I was in summer ball it became about the coaches, and I didn’t want that for my players.”
With a mix of Divisions I, II and III athletes, Fischer wanted to give everyone the same amount of playing time no matter their profile.
“We had guys like Caleb [Wurster] and Dante [Baldelli] who, if the [MLB] draft wasn’t five rounds, probably would’ve been picked,” Fischer said. “I also had to balance the fact that some players were trying to transfer up to Division I or Division II and guys who were trying to perform for scouts, and guys who were just trying to get work in.”
The coronavirus was not only a concern for Fischer, but also the league.
“They did a good job of making sure everyone was safe,” he said. “We had our temps taken before entering the field and anytime you were within six feet of someone, so I thought that they did a really good job,” Fischer said.
Ultimately, Fischer and his players just simply wanted to play baseball.
“Sometimes we get away from the fact that baseball is a game and we’re here to have fun,” he said.