Timko collects 300th OVBL win
CRESCENT — Those who know Billy Timko know he’s not a very patient man, but when it comes to baseball — especially the barton Braves — he is passionate.
So, after winning his 299th career Ohio Valley Baseball League game as manager of the Crescent-base squad on June 9, Timko had to endure a loss to Wheeling, four consecutive rainouts, and another loss to the Cardinals in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday on Henning Field when the Ohio Countians scored four times in the top of the seventh with two outs for a 5-4 nod.
However, thanks to one of his students of the game, Timko was finally able to realize the coveted milestone (300 wins) on the picture-perfect day in Belmont County.
“It took a while this year,” Timko said after being presented with a sign proclaiming his milestone. “You are only playing 25-26 games a summer. It takes a while to get there.”
Parker Dyson, a Bridgeport graduate who Timko helped tutor as an assistant coach, drilled a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center with one out in the bottom of the sixth to score Matt Fouty from first as the Braves (6-2) earned a split with a 3-2 triumph.
“I’m always looking for a fastball down the middle and that’s what I got,” he explained of his game-winner off Matt Brookes.
The outcome wasn’t a sure thing just yet.
With two outs in the seventh, Nick Baikitis reached on an error, prompting Timko to say, “here we go again,” but Dyson got a popup to short to end things.
“It’s never easy, is it?” Timko asked.
“The last two games I wasn’t able to be at and I thought they (the team) would have probably already gotten it for him,” Dyson said of helping his manager realize his dream. “I’m just happy I could come in and get the job done for him.”
Dyson, the lanky southpaw, struck out six in three innings of relief. Fouty earned the win with four innings of work.
“Three-hundred wins means I’ve had a lot of good assistant coaches and a lot of good players during my time,” he said. “it means a lot because I look up to guys like Steve Wojcik, who I coached for; and the late “Lefty” Hall, who was a good friend of mine; and all these coaches that had 300, 400 and 500 wins in their careers. Those guys are legends.”
Timko began his OVBL career in 1971-73 as an outfielder for Lafferty. In 1974 he roamed the outfield for Barton before becoming manager four years later. From 1979-1985 he was a catcher/outfield and assistant coach of Maynard, but returned to manage Barton from 1986- 2000.
“I retired from coaching the Braves … turning the program over to Vinnie Kirkpatrick. In 2011, Mike Kolvek was expecting a baby and asked me to come back and run the team,” Timko recalled.