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USA Baseball Tabs Little League Manager Jim Michalek as Volunteer Coach of the Year

Jim Michalek, manager of the Lamar National Little League team, confers with his pitcher and catcher during the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Dec. 10, 2004) – After dedicating countless hours to the children of his local Little League, and later managing teams to consecutive Little League Baseball World Series, Jim Michalek has been recognized for his contributions as USA Baseball this week named him its 2004 Volunteer Coach of the Year.

USA Baseball, the governing body for amateur baseball in the United States, acknowledged Mr. Michalek for his service and outstanding leadership.

“This is quite an honor,” said Mr. Michalek. “Winning makes me think about all the unsung heroes around the country that work their tails off, and who don’t get recognized. My hat is off to all those people.”

Mr. Michalek resides in the Houston suburb of Richmond. A volunteer for eight years with Lamar National Little League, Mr. Michalek has managed Lamar National’s Major Division tournament team for seven years.

In 2003, Lamar National represented East Texas at the Little League Baseball Southwest Regional Tournament in Waco, Texas. That team won the championship, and advanced to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport.

With a 2-1 record in pool play, the team advanced to the U.S. semifinal before losing to Saugus American Little League of Saugus, Mass., 14-13.

On year later, Mr. Michalek achieved a rare return trip to the Little League World Series as again he managed the Lamar National all-stars to the Southwest Regional championship. This time around, Lamar National posted a 3-0 pool play record in the World Series, and advanced to the U.S. championship game, losing 4-0 to Conejo Valley Little League of Thousand Oaks, Calif. Lamar National finished the 2004 tournament in third place.

“This is a wonderful award and we are pleased for Jim, his family, and Lamar National Little League,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball. “Under Jim’s guidance, his teams have been successful on the field. More importantly, this honor is representative of his belief in the in the merits of Little League, and reaffirms how dedicated Little League volunteers do make an impact in the lives of the children of their community.”

Mr. Michalek and his wife, Norma, are parents of six children. Jim has coached two of his sons in the World Series. In 2003, Jimmy played shortstop; and in 2004, Stephen saw time in left field. Professionally, he works as a financial advisor.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.