We have lived in Oak Park for 29 years. Each of our three children attended Oak Park schools, including one who played baseball for Chris Ledbetter. While we are very appreciative of the teachers and athletic coaches who developed our children to be the adults they now are, we are forever grateful to Mr. Ledbetter for the support, guidance and friendship he provided to our son and our family at the time of our greatest need. For us, Mr. Ledbetter’s efforts, both during and after high school, give meaning to the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

We do not know the reason Mr. Ledbetter was recently removed as head coach of the OPRF baseball team. However, for those interested in reading about the special, and at times controversial, role of a high school baseball coach in the life of his players and community, please pick up Michael Lewis’ short 90-page book Coach, which is also available as an article online. 

Lewis writes: 

“Coach Fitz gave another one of his sermons … they never strayed far from a general theme: What It Means To Be A Man … that you struggled against your natural instinct to run away from adversity.”

That’s a difficult lesson to teach. Our son learned that from Mr. Ledbetter.

Thank you, Coach Led.

Mark Leitson and Pamela Strauss

Oak Park

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