Baseball ‘Lifer’ Passes On Lifetime Of Knowledge To Next Generation In Tahlequah

Monday, April 12th 2021, 8:49 pm

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -

Yogi Berra once said “it ain't over till it’s over.” Northeastern State volunteer coach Cotton Nye has lived by that quote ever since he stepped on the diamond.

Every time Nye steps on the diamond, he is transported back to being a little kid.

"When I'm out here with the kids, I don't feel old. When the game is going on and I'm coaching, I don't feel it,” Nye said.

Nye was an MLB scout for 25 years and won two World Series rings with the Phillies and Yankees. He also coached in the high school ranks for 20 years.

A Tahlequah native, Nye picked up a baseball when he was just five years old, and he hasn't looked back. He's still a part of the game at 75 years old and shows no sign of slowing down.

"I’m about to tear up, don’t mean to, it’s so special that I have the opportunity, that NSU and coach Hendrix gave me to opportunity to come back here and do whatever I can do in coaching. It’s hard to put into words,” Nye said.

Musician Juliana Hatfield once said, "baseball is more than a game. It's like life played out on a field."

Life has quite literally taken Nye across the globe, including serving in the Vietnam war. But it’s teaching the next generation the game of baseball that means the most to him.

"I just love the having the opportunity to either, with my wisdom or knowledge, to teach something to a kid through the game of baseball,” Nye said.

"He is just that comforting figure just helps you in the lows and the highs,” catcher Braden Rodden said. “We just learn so much by talking to him talking about the game, talking about situational stuff."