Sports Volunteer of the Month: Rick ‘Buddy’ Wolin

Rick 'Buddy' Wolin has supported Dos Pueblos Little League for 32 years.

Rick ‘Buddy’ Wolin has supported Dos Pueblos Little League for 32 years. (Courtesy of Demeter Family)

The Hall of Fame-like numbers are in …

Thousands of games under this baseball belt!

Even more lives touched.

And for Rick ‘Buddy’ Wolin — it’s the performance of a lifetime with the Dos Pueblos Little League (DPLL) — as its most-spirited fan … honorary coach … board director … and, of course, “Go-To-Rah-Rah-Guy.”

Adds up to one incredible stretch …

An amazing 32 years, for those scoring at home.

He’s a local icon in ‘The Good Land’ …

“Coach Buddy is a Goleta legend,” says Dr. Dan Brennan, DPLL coach & executive VP. “I vividly remember him when I was a little leaguer in the early 1980’s. Now I have the pleasure of knowing him as a fellow coach and board member.”

Buddy moved here from Chicago as a young boy in the 1960s.

The climate and community both proved to be a natural fit.

Later known to ride his bike all around town — he discovered the old DPLL fields (originally where Costco stands today) and started attending Saturday games.

Then weekday games, as well.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH


Pacific Western Bank in Santa Barbara

This monthly series is made possible by Pacific Western Bank

Presidio Sports and Pacific Western Bank have partnered to recognize important volunteer work in the local sports community. This monthly spotlight series is our way of thanking those that selflessly give themselves for the benefit of many. To all volunteers making a difference, we salute you.


The young stars and their wonderful families welcomed him with open arms …

“Dos Pueblos Little League has been an important part of the Goleta community for over 40 years,” shares Ralph Randall, seasoned coach whose son, Scott played DPLL enroute to ‘The Bigs.’

“And for most of those years, Buddy has been there … helping out on multiple teams … going on all-star games road trips … performing his one-and-only opening day ceremony routine … and making the rounds … shaking hands … and asking about everyone’s family,” he adds.

“He is always very positive and encouraging to all the kids,” says Donna Demeter, baseball mom, former DPLL registrar and always-Buddy-fan.

Davey Demeter, Coach Buddy and Nicholas Baker. (Photo Courtesy of Demeter Family)

Davey Demeter, Coach Buddy and Nicholas Baker. (Photo Courtesy of Baker Family)

He’s even considered a ‘Goleta Good Luck Charm’ …

“On our run to the 2006 State Title with our 9-10-year-old all star team, Buddy wasn’t at the first playoff game in Temple City (over two hours away) and we lost,” states Dan Rohde, longtime coach with four baseball-playing sons.

“Well, after a bye the next day, we had the impossible task of six games there in the next six nights. Sure enough, Buddy got a ride to each and we won them all. Winning the State Championship has never been done like that before … or since. And Buddy will be always remembered for making the difference,” he adds.

Buddy with the DPLL 9-10 year old team that won a State Championship in 2006. (Photo Courtesy of Rohde Family)

Buddy with the DPLL 9-10 year old team that won a State Championship in 2006. (Photo Courtesy of Rohde Family)

“We are blessed to have Buddy in our lives,” shines Rose Baker, a Goleta mom.

“Even though we are no longer in Little League, he still regularly joins us for dinner and for other family events — like my daughter, Sarah’s ballet recitals and my son, Nicholas’ high school games. It’s great to have him around – plus, he helps teach patience to my kids in a very special way,” she embellishes.

“We’ve adopted him, too. He’s very, very dear to us,” echoes Cheri Davis of her family’s ‘Buddy Bond’ — one 15 years in the making.

And it goes both ways …

At her recent milestone birthday party with family and friends — it was Buddy who gave the most emotional speech about what the Davis Family means to him.

“A real tear-jerker and something I will never forget,” Momma Cheri smiles.

At this year’s DPLL Opening Day Ceremony at their newer Girsh Park fields — a heartfelt tribute celebrated Coach Buddy’s many valued contributions on-and-off the field.

He capped it off with his trademark Opening Day Rally ‘Charge’ that will continue in the years ahead … [WATCH VIDEO]

After all, baseball needs to maintain its rich traditions.

“I enjoyed coaching the kids and watching them grow up,” says the newly-retired Buddy looking back at his DPLL era.

And looking forward …

Dylan Rohde shares a championship moment with Coach Buddy in 2006  (Courtesy of Rohde Family)

Dylan Rohde shares a championship moment with Coach Buddy in 2006. (Courtesy of Rohde Family)

This avid L.A. Dodger fan still catches some DPLL games — but now has more time for other passions — like watching all kinds of sports with the Dos Pueblos HS Chargers.

“We are genuinely touched by the outpouring of love and support to Buddy over the years,” shares big brother, Jeff, from The Windy City.

“He could not have landed in a better place. Everyone we’ve met in the community — at Buddy’s birthday party or with him around town — has been amazingly wonderful and caring,” adds Jeff’s wife, Robin, Buddy’s sister-in-law.

Presidio Sports cheers our newest Sports Volunteer of the Month for his immeasurable, positive community impact and truly outstanding contributions in nurturing many young athletes — now three generations strong.

Safe to say that in sport and in life — Rick ‘Buddy’ Wolin … Dos Pueblos Little League … and ‘The Good Land’ have hit a Grand Slam for the Ages …

Comments

  1. Steve Buratto says:

    Randy, this is a great article and certainly captures what Rick Buddy means to DPLL and to Goleta sports in general. Thank you so much Presidio Sports and Pacific Western Bank for honoring Rick Buddy; you couldn’t have selected a better guy. Rick Buddy I truly am very proud of you! Congratulations.

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