Players, coaches, opponents remember former coach - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Players, coaches, opponents remember former coach

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BERNARD (KWWL) -

If you're at all familiar with semi-pro baseball in Eastern Iowa, there's a good chance you know exactly who Shep is.

Shep is actually 61-year-old Daniel Melloy, who died earlier this week after he crashed near Cascade.

He was a longtime player turned coach of the Bernard Indians.

"Shep is Bernard baseball, no matter what, even though he's gone and it's horrible," said Chet Knake, who played and managed against him for 16 years.

He spent a lot of his younger  years roaming the outfield, and was a memorable ball player, former coach Lynn McDonald said.

"If you saw him when he was 60, you wouldn't have known that he was really fast when he was young, but he was, very fast. Good outfielder, very good ball player," he said.

The Bernard Indians have survived for a long time as a semi-pro baseball team, thanks in large part to Shep and his passion for the game.

"That's kinda why we all played. We played for Shep. He loved coaching, he loved being around the guys, it kept him young. And he kept us wanting to play baseball and wanting to win," said Eric DeSousa, who has played for Melloy for the past seven years.

He, along with one other player, will take over Shep's duties next season.

"Not having him there is gonna be tough, right away. Like everybody said, he was the glue that held us together, and he was the reason why we played," he said.

Even though he won't be there, DeSousa says his memory will loom large.

"I think every season from now on will be dedicated to Shep. And we dedicated every game to Shep cause he was such a good guy, but even more now."

DeSousa said they'll have a bottle of Shep's favorite drink, Jack Daniels, with them all season long, and then crack it after their last game in honor of their coach.

They'll also leave the third base coaching box empty their first game in honor of him.

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