Baxter remembers coaching legend

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
11:50
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A teary-eyed Mike Baxter remembered his legendary high school school coach, Archbishop Molloy's Jack Curran, after receiving word of the 82-year-old's passing.

"He loved talking about baseball and was just a great guy," Baxter said Thursday morning. "I think in the outside world he was considered legendary and things like that, but I think the guys who knew him and played for him, he was more. He was just selfless and really put the lives of the kids that he had first. I think that's why he was around forever. It meant everything to him. It's definitely a sad day."

Baxter said former high school teammates began texting this morning as word spread.

Baxter's favorite memory?

"Just always being in touch with him," he said.

Baxter then added: "His philosophy on hitting was just: hit the straight ball. That's all he would ever say. Back then he used to coach third. He'd get in the box and you'd take a fastball and he'd go, 'Yo, what are you doing? Don't take the straight ball. You've got to swing at the straight ball.' I guess from high school he kind of taught me you try to hit the fastballs. He's a good one."

Read Curran's obituary here.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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