Ron WestrenRon Westren played youth baseball and two years at Ellet High School, but at that point kind of figured that baseball wasn’t going to be a very key factor in his future. Westren could not have more wrong. Western got back into the game he didn’t totally embrace as a teen 15 years later and now figures he will never let go. “My career really didn’t begin until I started playing Roy Hobbs with Akron A’s in 1993,” Westren said. “In fact, I probably would not have got back into playing baseball if I wasn’t in coaching. “I just got back into playing to be a better coach. I figured if I got around guys who really knew the game I would have a great chance to learn something.”

Westren quickly found out that he was learning something every day he got on the ball field. He started as a lanky shortstop with the A’s and helped lead them to Roy Hobbs 30-plus and Open Division championships from 1995 through 2000. He later transitioned to second base when the A’s added former minor-leaguer Rick Rembielek and then made another shift to third base and finally to catcher. The versatile Westren helped lead the A’s to Roy Hobbs 30-plus World Series championships in Florida in 1998 and 1999.

“I really enjoyed being a utility player,” said Westren, who has spent the last 30 years working in information technologies as a programmer analyst for companies in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. “Playing with guys like Greg Beals, Rick Rembielek, two head coaches in college, and longtime catcher George Spiroff, really gave me an opportunity to learn high-level skills and then pass those skills along to the high school players I coach. “It was like getting an MBA in baseball.” Westren recently completed his 15th season as a varsity assistant to John Sarver at Ellet High School. Westren plays in the over-45 and over-53 in the NEO Roy Hobbs baseball league.