The late Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks became famous many years ago for his violent statement to “Let’s play two!”
Compared to Bob Mallwitz, however, Banks was a grumpy pessimist.
From 1997 until he suffered a stroke in August 2018, Mallwitz looked forward to the role of baseball coach Racine Lutheran High School. He counted the days until the start of each season. He treated each of his players as if they were his sons. And he laughed and cried with each of them through the ups and downs of each season.
Mallwitz was a great man with an even bigger heart, and he poured his heart and soul into every game he trained. And the era ended on November 1, when Mallwitz died at the age of 68 – less than 15 months after he suffered a stroke and was not found at his home for three days.
Of the top 10 local sports stories of the year, selected by The Journal Times’ sports staff, Mallwitz’s death was No. 8. The stories were chosen based on news value and impact on society.
Mallwitz could bark at judges over the years until everyone earned their respect. But he was about doing things the right way. He won and lost with the class.
“We changed caps once, and he thought that was the biggest thing,” said Tom O’Connell, who won five state championships as a coach for Catholic Central. “I always drew after him. It had nothing to do with the position. His teams always played with class and with good sportsmanship, and I like to think that my teams did too. ”