AUGUSTA, Ill. (WGEM) — As Illinois’ all-time leader in career wins as a baseball coach Southeastern’s Dave Swisegood has a lifetime of memories on a dirt diamond.
"The first baseball that I ever played was in first grade. I was six (years old)," he said.
"You played baseball. That is just what you did."
Even those who never played under Swisegood during his 63 year tenure as a head baseball coach know the legend he created during his long career/
"Back when we played against him you knew, no matter what team he had, they were going to come in and give you a good ball game," current Southeastern head coach Cyle Rigg indicated.
"He was going to make things happen. He wasn’t going to sit around and wait."
A veteran of the Korean War, Swisegood even got to play America’s pastime on foreign soil.
"We won the Korean Open. And we got to go to Tokyo to play over there and we got beat," Swisegood said.
In baseball, I’ve always been lucky. It’s been good to me."
When he returned to the states he began a baseball coaching career in 1956 that will come to an conclusion at the end of the 2018 season.
"That passion, you just can’t help that is rubs off on you," Rigg added "You’re just so happy that he is around for you."
During his final home game on the field Tuesday, bearing his name, the Suns sent him out in style as the now assistant coach delivered the lineup card to home plate.
And Swisegood took a spot as the third base coach one final time.
"I tell you what. I would go the same way, tomorrow. I’d do it again," Swisegood said. "Baseball is in me."
It’s a career that lasted more than six decades but one that will be remembered forever.