LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The Loggers are reaching higher and higher every year. And in the last few that's been thanks in part to a Detroit native who found La Crosse by way of Sacramento, California.
Coach Andy McKay is in his fifth season as Loggers Manager. Outside of that, he manages Sacramento City College--a storied team that's won more postseason games than any other program in California.
He brought those winning ways to La Crosse, having won at least 38 games in every season he's been at the helm, including 2012. I caught up with the coach to discuss his time with the Loggers.
Dustin Luecke: "What a season it's been, I mean first half champs, record number of wins for the franchise this year. What's been your take on it so far?"
Andy McKay: "You know, it's been kind of from day one, it's been easier than it should have been. These guys have been tremendous. We literally have been in every single game with the exception of probably two. When we come to bat in the 9th inning, we have a chance to win the game."
DL: "This is your last season in La Crosse?"
AM: "This is my last season."
DL: "Where do you go from here?"
AM: "I go back to Sacramento City College and do that, and you know, I'll find another challenge. And, I'll find something to challenge me and test me, and find something to prove to myself, I guess."
DL: "What will you take from your time here in La Crosse?"
AM: "Oh, lots. It started out as something that was going to be, 'Hey let's go to the Northwoods League and see if we can handle that schedule,' and obviously between the Kapankes and Chris Goodell and this city and this ballpark--somebody asked me the other day about when did I really start liking La Crosse? I said, 'I think maybe the first or second game we played here.' We had a walk-off hit. Justin Toole hit a base hit to right field and the place just went nuts. I said, 'wow, this is a little different.' It's been great. I've loved every second of it."
DL: "What lasting sort of message would you like to leave for the fans of La Crosse?"
AM: "For the fans? They have a gift. They have a beautiful ballpark. They've got a great ownership group. They've got the best GM in summer baseball. And, they should be grateful because the Kapanke family and Chris Goodell--it's not done everywhere. And it's not like this in every city in the Northwoods League. It's not like this in every city in summer baseball. They've got a very special situation. I do think they appreciate it, and I hope they continue to."
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