Roanoke Times Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: TUESDAY, August 24, 1993 TAG: 9308240056 SECTION: SPORTS PAGE: B1 EDITION: METRO SOURCE: Associated Press DATELINE: WILLIAMSPORT, PA. LENGTH: Medium
At the Little League World Series, however, she's a curiousity, the first woman to coach in the Little League World Series. She's here with the North Vancouver, British Columbia, baseball team.
"The running joke in my house is that I don't need a kitchen," Barnard said, surveying Lamade Stadium from the hill behind left field. "I'm coaching or playing every night of the week. I don't have any off time, or when I do, I sit and watch a ballgame on TV. It's kind of scary."
On her first night in Williamsport, Kathy Barnard took time away from her team, walked the 100 yards or so from the team dormitory to the stadium and looked to the sky.
"The lights were on, but there wasn't a soul here. There isn't a word to describe this place," she said.
"Maybe I see a different side of this. I don't know what the man's point of view is of this. For me, it's a dream come true. These kids have given me the memory of a lifetime. I didn't coach ball to become the first woman in the Little League World Series. I did it because I love it."
"And to be here is just . . . I can't even explain it. I'm excited. I'm nervous, and I don't like the limelight," she said. "You will notice that I will get in the midst of the kids and be hard to find, and be quite happy there."
Barnard's son, Spencer, 12, plays left field for the Canadian champions, who lost to Panama, 6-0, in Monday's first round. Having mom there is "all right," even if she does treat all the players the same, he says.
"Having my son here is kind of nice," she said. "I can't imagine too many mothers will have this experience."
Four of her players will move to a higher league next year, including Spencer. Another son, David, 10, will be back in this league. She was torn as to which team she would work with, but decided with her husband that she would stay at the lower level.
"Holy smoke. There's the mother in you. You don't know what to do. You really get that feeling," Barnard said. "Guys have it, but maybe in a different sort of way."
On the field, Barnard tucks her pony tail through a hole in the back of her cap. And because her 4-foot, 10-inch frame is smaller than those of all her players, she was forced to stand in front in the team's official Little League photograph.
Barnard, 38, and her two brothers played Little League baseball about 90 miles north of Vancouver. Barnard still plays in three softball leagues - at third base, shortstop and left field - and in the winter plays hockey. She's a goalie.