To the Editor:
Monday, April 4, long time Troy resident Jack Busse was laid to rest in his home town of Fort Loramie.
I think it is fitting, particularly as the 2016 baseball season gets under way that we honor what he has meant to baseball in Troy, Ohio. Jack was an outgoing baseball man who helped many young men. He came to Troy and started Busse’s Meat Market in the early 1960s. He along with John Shannessy, John Rutledge, Gene Wright founded Troy Post 43 American Legion Baseball in 1967.
All have now passed and I’m sure none imagined that their efforts would impact so many or last so long. Jack was the team’s first coach and with his enthusiastic approach quickly found success. Starting an American Legion team is no easy feat and yet Jack was able to forge a foundation that has lasted 49 years.
Over 600 young men in the Troy area, have competed for the program. Over 450 have gone on to play college baseball, 42 have signed professional contracts, 2 became major leaguers. Seven Troy Post 43 Baseball alumni are currently coaching in college and 16 are coaching high school or junior high teams.
Jack Busse was the man who made all that possible. Although, he resigned the Troy Legion team due too business obligations after 5 years, baseball was always on his mind. He coached the Troy Acme team for a few years and then became the “bench coach” for Fred McMullen’s Troy High School Trojans. Jack was right at home as the “bench coach.” He and Fred had a lot of success together, which culminated with the Trojans earning a berth at the OHSAA State Tourney in 1991.
Then in 1995, after a few years away from the game, Jack was asked to fill in as our “Legion representative” for the State Legion Tournament at Ohio University. It was supposed to be a brief fill in job but on the way home, Jack admitted he missed the game, and the kids. So he asked, if I minded if he stay on. He stayed on for four more summers. You see, Jack loved the players. He was their friend, their biggest fan and was loyal to a fault. With the Reds and Dragons just getting started, and the high school baseball season in full swing it is appropriate we remember Jack Busse, who gave his very best to baseball in our town. For those of us who knew him, we’ll miss, the enthusiasm, his baseball stories and his genuine desire to help kids.
— Coach Frosty Brown
Troy Post 43 American Legion Baseball