NYO baseball lost one of its finest last Thursday. John McIntyre passed away at the age of 56 after an extended battle with brain cancer.
John was a long time equipment director and coach in the baseball program as well as a critical baseball committee member during a period of much change in the program. As the size of the baseball program was mushrooming, fields were being added left and right and new volunteers being incorporated every day, Johnny Mac was a rock. His typical reaction to a late night call for an all hands meeting early on a Saturday morning was "I'll be there 15 minutes early".
John was also a founding member of the unofficial and somewhat mysterious "kitchen cabinet". The cabinet was made up of a number of younger volunteers who helped steer the program and provide me with phenomenal ideas that were vetted at the kitchen table of one of its members. John was the conscience of the committee. His incredibly dry wit, compassion and absolute grasp of understanding that NYO was so much about the community than just the baseball was invaluable. So many of our finest volunteers came out of that age group and have kids who are now juniors and seniors in college. There are far too many of you to name, but you know how you are and thank you all.
While it is comforting to know that John is now at peace, it is also a bit ironic. John was always peaceful, kind and a gentleman in the old-school sense of the word. Like so many of us, John showed an enormous amount of pride in the exploits of his kids Jack and Kate on the baseball and softball fields. However, it never affected his judgment, his dedication to the program or his ability to pitch in at a moment's notice. Thanks to the Linda and the kids for allowing John to spend so much time with us over the years.
NYO is incredibly fortunate to have so many John McIntyres volunteering on a daily basis. Many, like John, made it their mission to stay involved in the program for a long time and well past their kids' involvement in the program. It is unfortunate that we don't recognize some of these folks until an event like this, especially dedicated volunteers like Chris Deisley, Sid Fortson and Stan Arnold who all passed within the last year. So let me take a second to recognize all of you who have given so much and thank you for all of your time over the years.
The McIntyre family ran in many circles in the Atlanta community. We are so fortunate they gave us as much of their time and energy as they did to our NYO family. Personally, I consider myself lucky to have had John as a friend and a guide. The outpouring of emails about John and his family this week has been touching. As I look through the emails, the emotion and well regard in which John was held is evident. The names on the threads in the email read like a few chapters in the NYO history book. I look forward to seeing so many of you later this week.
Our hearts go out to Linda, Jack and Kate. Please know if there's anything NYO or the baseball committee can ever do for you your family, just say the word. We'll be there 15 minutes early. Godspeed, John.
Submitted by Cliff Barshay, NYO Baseball Commissioner