Don Coss | The Don Coss Memorial Scholarship Fund
The Don Coss Memorial Scholarship Fund
Don Coss was known for being passionate about two things: baseball and his community. Known as “Mr. Baseball” in Cambridge, Don helped start the American Legion Baseball program in Cambridge in the late 1950s, coached Little League baseball, and worked as a scout for the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to his devotion to baseball, Don was deeply committed to his community as well. He donated substantially to have a concession stand built at the baseball field. He served on city council, as city treasurer, and served on the school board.
Don spent his life looking out for his players and the community so it was no surprise when Don left a legacy honoring both his love of baseball and his community. The Don Coss Memorial Scholarship Fund, a part of the Guernsey County Foundation Family of Funds, was established with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to provide post-secondary support for players on the Post 84 Cambridge American Legion baseball team that Don established all those years ago.
Ron Antill, Don’s close friend and the current team manager of the American Legion team, shared a little bit about Don Coss, his love of the game and for his community, and establishing the Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
Here is what we learned:
Don’s passion for the game was what kept baseball alive in Guernsey County. Not only did he spend most of his adult life coaching, he cared for the field on which his teams played. The field, previously known as Municipal Stadium, was renamed in Don’s honor.
His passion extended to his community and to the children within that community. This, Mr. Antill says, is likely what inspired Don to leave behind a scholarship. “When you played for Don, he was a tough manager and coach, but he taught you how to do everything.” When boys couldn’t get to town for practice, he would go out and pick them up and buy them food.
With this scholarship, Mr. Antill believes Don “wanted to be sure these kids get a helping hand as long as possible. I don’t think it was something personal to keep his name going. He never cared much about that. It was done strictly for the kids of now and the future.”
Mr. Antill knew managing the scholarship fund was important to Mr. Coss and to the Post 84 players, but he and the other trustees also realized it would be a lot of work. More importantly, the trustees wanted to see the scholarship live on for generations of Guernsey County players and students. “I’m a retired postal worker, but the other trustees are working. And it’s important that if something would ever happen where we don’t have a Legion team that the scholarship would live on. This money should last forever, really.”
Make an online donation through Network for Good, designating the Don Coss Memorial Scholarship Fund or contact the Foundation for more information at 740.753.1111.