Former Kirkwood coach Lewis back in baseball ... as an owner

Published: February 17 2014 | 4:42 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:46 am in

CEDAR RAPIDS – This was never on John Lewis’ radar.

When he retired as head baseball coach at Kirkwood Community College a couple years ago, he figured his activity in the sport he loves would consist of watching his beloved New York Yankees play on television. Then a funny thing happened.

“I started helping coach my grandson’s team, the Cedar Rapids Reds,” Lewis said.

Assisting with Bronx Lewis’ development led to John and his son, Darren, coming across an indoor baseball complex in Swisher. The guy who owned it said he’d sell it to them.

Voila, back in baseball in an official capacity. Line Drive Hitting, LLC (2597 Marak Rd NW #2a) offers indoor facilities for area baseball and softball teams to work on their hitting, pitching and fielding during the winter. Anytime, for that matter.

Lewis also is available for private lessons, as is former University of Iowa softball coach Gayle Blevins.

“It’s simply a facility for kids to get better,” Lewis said. “To work on their skills, as far as hitting. Pitching, too.”

Line Drive Hitting offers memberships in single, family or team form. Lessons can be made on an appointment basis.

Lewis won 1,095 games in 32 seasons at Kirkwood, so he knows a little something about the game. Same goes for Blevins, who coached collegiately for 31 seasons, 23 at Iowa.

“I never thought I’d get back into baseball,” said Lewis, guessing he’s got around 15 youth teams who are using his facility. “I didn’t know for sure what I was going to do after I retired. All my grandkids are here and involved in different activities, and I wanted to watch them. But all of a sudden, I got involved with the Reds. Everything has kind of evolved from there.”

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