Tyler Reinert’s senior baseball season at Bermudian Springs is giving him flashbacks to playing whiffle ball at family gatherings.
This year is Tyler’s first playing for his grandfather, Bruce Reinert, who was an American Legion coach and Central League manager in Dover for nearly 25 years.
When his “Pop-Pop” yells at practice, it reminds Tyler of the coaching his grandfather would do during whiffle ball games in the backyard.
“I can remember when I was 3 or 4 years old playing whiffle ball in the backyard, and he’s yelling, ‘Hey, c’mon, level it out, hit it the other way,’” Tyler said. “I turned 18 yesterday, and we had a get together on Sunday. What did we do? Played whiffle ball in the backyard, and he was up there yelling.”
Bruce, who managed Dover for 12 years in the Central League, said coaching his grandson is “enjoyable,” though he said he coaches Tyler just like every other player.
“If Tyler makes a mistake, I tell him, and everyone knows it,” said Bruce, who is in his first season coaching the Eagles, who sit at 7-2 overall. “Daulton, my other grandson, is on JV, and I do the same with him. If they make a mistake at practice, I yell at them just like I yell at the other kids. I don’t want them to think they have special treatment. That’s how I did it with my boys.”
“Old-school” coaching: When Bruce took the job at Bermudian, Tyler and Daulton’s father, Brendan, told them to prepare for the type of old-school coach their grandfather is.
“I hope you’re ready for it, because he’s not going to be nice. He’s not Pop-Pop anymore,” Bruce recalls Brendan telling them.
“He’s definitely old school,” Tyler said. “He’s definitely harder on the team, but it’s a different age. It makes us have a thicker skin and bounce back quicker.”
Bruce said he has adjusted to “today’s ballplayer,” who he believes are a little less “tough” than when he was coaching 30 years ago.
“We have family gatherings, and my boys, who are 45 and 43 now, talk about how I was hard on them,” Bruce said. “I’m hard on these guys now, but players are different today now. You have to be a little more sensitive with them.”
About Bruce: Bruce, 67, moved to York County in 1973 and coached the 13-15-year-old team in East York for several years. After he moved to Dover, he coached his son’s teams in little league up through the Legion program.
He then coached Dover’s Central League team for 12 years until around 2008, when complications from several hip surgeries made it difficult for him to walk and coach third base. His teams at Dover were consistent contenders and won several championships in his 12 seasons.
“I had a good group of players, and the players do make the manager, no matter what anybody says,” Bruce said. “We had a group of guys who won many championships, not just in Legion ball or teener league, but also in the (Central League).”
Two of those good players were his sons, Ryan and Brendan, both of whom won Central League MVP awards. Ryan now lives in Gettysburg, and his son, Dylan, is one of the top wrestlers in the York-Adams League as a three-time state qualifier, who owns 114 career wins as a junior.
After about eight years away from coaching, Bruce started coaching the Junior Legion team in Bermudian three years ago and thought he was a good fit for the high school job when it became open.
“Quite honestly, with my age and the problems with my hip, I didn’t think I’d get the head job, but I thought I could still help out,” Bruce said. “But I got the job, and I’m thankful I have two great assistant coaches, Eric McClintic and Jeff Carpenter, who are great with the kids.”
About Tyler: Bruce said Tyler’s best asset as a player is he’s “well rounded.” Tyler is the Eagles’ No. 3 hitter and one of their top two pitchers. He hit .560 last season and is hitting around .500 with more than 15 RBIs this year.
“He’s an all-around player,” Bruce said. “He can play catcher, first base, shortstop and third base, and he’s one of the best pitchers and better hitters in the league.”
Tyler is going to Penn State in the fall and will major in biomedical engineering.
“I doubled up in science and math (classes) in high school,” Tyler said. “I love science and math. It’s a passion. I love calculus, and I love my biology classes. I think it’s a great fit.”
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.