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coach Rabb remains active, in baseball
By DAVID THOMPSON
Walter Rabb may have retired from active
baseball coaching duty in 1977 after 31
years at UNC, but to say he is now inactive
could not be further from the truth.
"I've never been one to stay on my butt,"
Rabb said "As long as my health is good, I
won't slow down."
Rabb's hobbies include hunting, fishing, -traveling
and carpentry. But baseball con
tinues to play an important part in his life, as
he now serves as Commissioner of the North
State College Baseball league.
Rabb said the job would not take up too
much of his time. His main functions are
establishing rules, helping to form a sched
ule committee, and planning for the league
tournament (to be held today through Satur
day at Campbell University).
Nevertheless, Rabb is high on the summer
"I think it has met its objectives," he said.
"It gives a chance to develop young players,
gives a coach the opportunity to move per
sonnel and ifs better to keep a club to
gether. Ifs also ridiculous for these facilities
to be lying idle all summer."
For the first time in the league's history,
only Division I schools are participating. At
though schools like N.C. Wesleyan and Pem
broke, who helped the league establish itself
in its early years, were dropped, the move al
lowed an important addition in N.C. State.
"State always declined to play with Divi
sion II teams," Rabb said. "There was a
question of NCAA teams participating under
NCAA rules. The other athletic directors felt
the league" might not survive without the
move to Division I."
Rabb said the league always operated
under local club rule, which allowed the
athletes to participate as long as they did
not stay overnight on road trips. The ball
players must either be in summer school or
working while playing in t:he summer league,
' Rabb said he would like to see an eight
team league. Wake Forest and UNC-Char-lotte
are now beginning to show some in
terest in joining the league, he said.
"There has been some demonstration of
interest by Wake Forest UNC-Charlotte has
sat in on some organizational meetings, but
thty have a young coach who feels they are
not ready to participate just yet," he said.
"Everyone except UNC js' "drawing well,"
he said. "We always had a pretty .good fol
lowing, but With the loss of pitchers and our
inexperience, ifs just been a tough break."
Rabb and UNC English professor Louis
Rubin, who serves as the league's vice
president also helped organize the Central
Carolina Babe Ruth League, a high-school
league, a few years back Although they no
longer run that league, Rabb and Rubin re
main on the board of directors. -
Throughout the years, baseball has chang
ed, like almost everything else. Rabb said he
had noticed some differences.
' "the biggest differences are in schedul
ing" he said. "We used to be limited by con
ference and University rules to 22-24 games.
Now they play 45-4& The availability of
transportation has been the same in all
Recruiting budgets is another change.
"We had very little scholarship money in
earlier days. The boys were happy to take a
part-time job. Now we are in a better posi
tion to recruit" he said.
The improvement in physical facilities has
directly affected Rabb, with the building of
Cary Boshamer Stadium, considered by
many to be one of the finest ballparks
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"We no longer have to play with a bench
and a bucket of water," he said. "This is
about as good a facility as any in the coun
try. We wouldn't be able to organize this
summer league without this facility."
Rabb said he felt the players also had
"They're more affluent and sophisticated
now," he said. "Ifs not as much fun for them
to go on road trips as it was for the earlier
players. They've already been everywhere,
Rabb called the major league baseball
strike an "exercise in greed by players and
"A lot of feeling for the game was lost
when single owners who were really in
terested in the game dropped out," he said.
"Now corporations and groups are using
ownership as a tax writeoff.
"I hate to see them go the whole season
on strike," he said. "I don't see how anybody
could gain from it. It won't lose the oldtime
fans, but it may lose a whole generation of
young fans. You have to keep the fans corrh
Baseball may be different in some ways
now, but Walter Rabb is not Fortunately,
some things just never change. ..;
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