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Rail City Profile: Hutson enjoys watching youth baseball league thrive
by Dan Eckles
Jul 03, 2013 | 1288 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League President Rich Hutson is a staple at the local organization's complex off of Eagle Canyon Drive. On Tuesday night, he was out watching all-star scrimmages.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League President Rich Hutson is a staple at the local organization's complex off of Eagle Canyon Drive. On Tuesday night, he was out watching all-star scrimmages.
Volunteers are found for all kinds of reasons, some more noble than others. Still, the bottom line is society wouldn't function without people helping each other out now and then.

That's a sentiment echoed pretty closely by Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League President Rich Hutson, a local resident for the past 13 years. He likes giving back in his community.

"My thought is that's everyone's responsibility," Hutson said. "I look at myself. I received a lot in my youth sports experience and then into high school and even college. Without people that are willing to help you, whether that be through their time, money or knowledge, you can't get better at things. I think we -- as community, or we as adults, my generation -- need to provide that for our kids."

Hutson is a 1986 Carson High graduate and a 1993 University of Nevada graduate. Shortly after marrying his wife Ally, he moved into the Spanish Springs valley. He teaches sixth grade at Alyce Taylor Elementary School in the valley as well and doesn't plan to leave any time soon.

"It's quiet out here. There are good people," Hutson said. "We've made a lot of friends. The community has been good to us. We like it here most definitely. I told my wife when we moved out here, 'once they built the Home Depot, I won't have to leave this valley.' And for a exceptions, that pretty much holds true."

The Nevada Wolf Pack fan and San Francisco 49ers fan has three boys -- Jake (16), Nate (11) and Lukas (8) -- and a family that loves baseball, hence his devotion to Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League. He's been affiliated with the league in some capacity for the past nine years. He has sat on its board for the past three years and is wrapping up his second year as the league's president.

He admitted it's a labor of love.

"It's a tough job, but I was really kind of groomed for it by (past president) Damon O'Connell for a year before I took over," Hutson said. "It takes quite a bit of time. It takes a real good team and I think we've got a good team as far as our board, parents and the community as a whole. It takes that to make everything work for us. I'd say 99 percent of the things I take care of are enjoyable. There's always that one percent but it's been a good couple years.

"I like being out at the ball field. I think so many other people do so much more work within our league, whatever their job description is. I just kind of make sure things get done in a timely manner and properly. But when you have people who know what they're doing, that's a pretty easy thing for me to do."

Hutson believes there's a lot for him, and his board to be proud of. He pointed out improved facilities, successful fundraising efforts and a growth in league participation numbers as all positives.

"We've accomplished a lot in terms of improving our facility, creating funds and expanding the league," he said. "It's grown by about 50 kids compared to last season.

"Our main goal is we want to pay off the debt on the lights we put in on Field 3 last year. With such a generous community in terms of donations financially, we will probably be able to do that by next year. But, we'd also like to get, and I know this is pretty ambitious, a permanent snack bar and restroom building. If that's not something we can get accomplished in the next couple of years or as long as I'm involved, I'd really like to get the groundwork laid and have an option ready for the next group of people that take over."

The continued growth and success of Spanish Springs Cal Ripken is what is most rewarding for Hutson. More kids are playing for the organization and its all-star teams continue to advance further and further in the western region each summer.

"It feels real good," he said. "I remember when my oldest son first started playing. Our main fields, 1-2-3, we're not even built at that time. To go from the two little fields, 4-5, to see it expand with new fields, and then lights and then another set of lights, then batting cages, that's where want to have a top-notch facility to provide as many opportunities for kids as possible."

The Hutson family lives and breathes a lot of baseball. The family patriarch says there's not much time right now for much else. And yet, he still manages to keep his priorities in check.

"When I'm teaching, I say to my kids, 'I'm here to tell you what your priorities should be.' I just say 'they are this, family, school and then everything else.

"Our family doesn't have much free time. We pretty much do baseball-related activities about 10 months out of the year, whether it's Cal Ripken or our travel-ball team. Right now, we're actually trying to raise money to take our kids to Cooperstown, NY to go the Baseball Hall of Fame. If we do get some free time, we like to camp and hang with friends."

Rich Hutson's favorites

Food: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Movie: Legends of the Fall

TV Show: Seinfeld

Musical Group: Rush

Book: Tuck Everlasting

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