- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 11, 2024
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Can you even imagine doing something for over five decades of your life? And doing it because you loved it; but mostly because it helped young men mature in a structured manner. George Kroutch, and his involvement with the Mount Carmel Junior Baseball League, did just that.
George’s love for baseball started when he joined the little league team sponsored by Our Lady’s Church, now the Knights of Columbus in the Mount Carmel Little League, coached by the late Johnny Patrick. He then went on to play for the Rams in the Senior League which was coached by the later Joseph Kerprich. George lent his spare time to keep score and help Patrick with Our Lady’s until he entered the United States Army in 1960. After his military duty, he returned to assist Coach Patrick until Johnny relinquished the helm.
George assumed the position of manager of the Knights of Columbus Junior League team for 19 years – from 1975 through 1993. During that time, his teams won 2 National Division Championships. The team also won 2 prestigious Holy Spirit Tournament Championships. He managed in 2 National League All Star games and 3 Twelve Year Old All Star Games. He also served the Mount Carmel Junior League as Secretary/Treasurer. He always tried to be fair to his players and instill in them “to do the best they could. If they lost, it wasn’t important as long as they tried their best.” One of the more difficult aspects of coaching, he stated, is watching and calculating the movement and play of 9 youngsters, while the parent is focusing on one – his own. Sometimes it was more difficult dealing with the parents than the youngster.
Kroutch is still serving as the Knights of Columbus Junior League Baseball Team Representative since 1966. He has presided as Knights of Columbus Youth Chairman since 1972, overseeing youth activities sponsored by the club, coordinating pizza parties, banquets, and the children’s Annual Christmas Party. He also was the Knights of Columbus Basketball Free Throw Chairman for 16 years and chaired the District and Regional levels of competition.
He served as Treasurer for Cub Scout Pack #3176 and Boy Scout Troop #176 for more then 20 years, and received the “Scouter of Note” award by the Susquehanna Council for Boy Scouts of America in 1972. He was appointed by Bishop Joseph T. Daley in 1974 as a representative of the Catholic Committee on Scouting and was awarded the St. George Catholic Diocesan Scouting Award from Bishop Daley in 1980.
He graduated from Mount Carmel Catholic High School in 1955. He is married to the former Mary Krehel and are the proud parents of 3 children – G. Bryant of Olathe, Kansas, J. Kevin of Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Alexa of Mercersburg. They have 4 grandchildren – Nicholas, Garret, Kelsey, and Lauren. He retired from the PA Liquor Control Board in 2001 and 32 years of service in Kulpmont, Hershey, Milton, Sunbury, and Mount Carmel.