If you build it, they will come. The most famous line from one of the most famous sports movies ever made.
In field of dreams, the voice is talking about ball players with unfinished business. Restless souls that yearn to get back out onto the freshly mown grass and manicured dirt of the diamond. These ball players find their salvation thanks to a farmer, who knows the field he built, though he might not recognize it right away, serves a higher purpose....
Glen Taylor has been living and breathing softball since his daughter, now 35, was 9 years old. Driving the lonely dirt road on the way to his home in Iowa Park, it's hard not to draw comparisons to that magical field in Iowa.
Glen Taylor knows softball. He has a daughter that played division one ball for Nebraska, and is now a head coach herself, but even with his daughter now gone and with kids of her own, taylor is still giving back to the game. He hosts a cast of some of the best hitters in the state, right in his back yard, "it's quite a bit of fun here just watching them come and go. What's really bad is when you see the girls that have been coming since they were nine years old, and now they're driving. And that makes you think you've been here too long."
If you ask the girls he works with, they tell you Taylor is less like a coach and more like an adviser. Someone willing to do whatever he can to help you become a better hitter. One of Taylor's star pupils is Paige Daino, a senior at Burk headed to Cameron on a full scholarship in the fall. She's been working with Taylor for the past six years, "it has brought me a long way. I went from not being able to hit at all to hitting home runs and helping my teammates out in any way that i can, whether its putting the ball in play or something else. He's helped me get the job done on the field."
Marcela Lopez is another one of Taylors best hitters. And as only a freshman, has the potential to become one of the best lead off hitters in the state. She comes in along with her Wichita Falls High School teammates Grace Lamb, a hard hitting sophomore, and Haley Lynn, a sophomore outfielder. According to Lynn,"Glen is just a really nice person. He's encouraging, he never makes you feel down. He always makes you feel like you can do better, and be better. He makes you feel good about yourself." Grace Lam agrees, "his biggest strength is probably just knowing how to coach. He knows what to say to each individual player."
Taylor says he has a simple philosophy for anyone that comes in to his building, "every kid that comes through the door, it doesn't mean that they're going to become a great hitter. But we try to make them a better than they were when they walked through the door."
Every year the coaches from Texas tech and Oklahoma pay visits to Taylor's cage. He says the goal is to give the girls all the information to succeed at the next level, in the classroom or on the softball diamond.
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