Calloway gave an example of how when he was first an assistant with Western, the Panthers ran up against a powerhouse Lafayette Jeff team that was beating teams by the 15-run rule, as the mercy rule worked then, as the defending state champion Bronchos racked up victories in 1974.
“I told the coach at the time, one of these days I wanted to compete at that level. I think getting to that level is the most satisfying thing in coaching that I did.”
Q: What’s the toughest loss, or hardest finish to a season?
A: “There’s no doubt the ‘93 loss to Huntington [in the semistate]. That tore the heart out of you. We were six outs away and we had a three-run lead. The rain came [delaying the finish from Saturday to Monday]. We had a couple dropped foul balls, and a slipped bunt coverage. They caught us. That’s the hardest loss that I’ve ever had. We ended up going 11 innings before we got beat. That was a tough one. That was the toughest one.”
Q: What’s different abut high school baseball, from your point of view, today, compared to 36 years ago?
A: “I think back when I started, we had more three-sport athletes playing baseball than we do now. I think it’s become more specialized. I’m not sure it’s for the better, but that’s the way I see it. Today, you’ve got a lot of kids that play one sport or no more than two.
“And I think the way the kids play in the offseason [has changed]. It started with AAU basketball. The money thing has gotten too out of hand in baseball. I don’t think kids should be paying through the nose in the offseason.