La Porte resident Mark Manering thinks about baseball. A lot. He believes that baseball is a strategic game layered with nuance and mental conditioning, and he wants to transfer that knowledge.
“I’ve played baseball all of my life,” Manering said. “That adds up to a few years, so I know much about the game and I want to teach kids about it.”
Manering grew up playing baseball and various other sports, recalling times he would play in his back yard with his older brother. He cultivated his talents and spirit when he began playing high school baseball and later college.
He has been volunteering as a varsity assistant coach for La Porte High School’s baseball team for five years. In this role, he helps the team hone their batting, catching, and throwing skills. However, he believes that the greatest tool a player has is their mindset.
“I love the game itself and its nuances,” Manering said. “Baseball is a game of adjustments. When you fail, you have to put the effort in to improve your mentality and technique. Against other players who are working to refine themselves as well, it becomes a complex game of cat-and-mouse. Conditioning your mind is just as important as your body and skills, if not more.”
When mentoring the team, he tries to give them solid advice in how to adapt to situations on the field and cultivate themselves as players.
“Teaching the fundamentals of the sport and training the players’ discipline is satisfying,” Manering said. “I love winning and hate losing, but developing their way of thinking and abilities is much more important in the big picture. It’s not just a great learning experience, but a great life experience as well.”
In January, Manering was inducted into the La Porte High School Norman J. Hubner Athletic Hall of Fame. He played at La Porte High School for three years and Miami of Ohio for four years. His made All-Conference and All-State several times.
Manering was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1986. Playing in the team’s farm system for two years, he and his team won the Florida State League Championship in 1987. He was inducted into the Miami (Ohio) Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
“Looking back, I’m satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. Life has been pretty good to me.”
When he’s not coaching, Manering is working as a senior consumer loan officer with 1st Source Bank in La Porte. He loves spending time with his wife Linda and five children. He also mentioned that his favorite team is the Chicago Cubs.