South Middle School Baseball Field Dedicated to Don Roth

(left to right) Jane Sloan, Lily Sloan, Al Marrazzo, Parker Sloan, Kelsey Roth, and Tim Roth (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Roth)

When people think of Lynbrook Baseball, they think of Don Roth. As a teacher and baseball coach in Lynbrook for decades, Roth impacted many both on and off the field. As a tribute to him, the South Middle School baseball field was renamed the Don Roth Field in a ceremony on April 30. 

Before becoming a coach, Roth was an accomplished baseball player himself. He achieved all-county status while playing for the Lynbrook varsity team, and he went on to play college ball at Wake Forest University. Afterwards, he returned to Lynbrook to teach physical education and health and coach baseball from 1975-2001. For years, he also maintained the wall of fame in the hallway outside of the LHS gymnasium. “He took pictures for all of the teams and was always updating the showcases whenever a student received a new award,” granddaughter Kelsey Roth, a freshman, said. 

Kelsey Roth shared that she “was very proud to see him be recognized for all the amazing things he did for the Lynbrook baseball program.” She witnessed how his care for the community intersected with his love for the sport, saying “if [he] ever saw a young child having a baseball catch, he would give that child a new ball from his box of new baseballs he kept in his car.” 

The ceremony took place before the varsity team’s game against the Valley Stream South Falcons. At the ceremony, varsity baseball head coach and South Middle School teacher Al Marrazzo spoke about Roth’s impact on the community. He described Roth as “unique, fun-loving, and friendly” and expressed his gratitude for the guidance and kindness he showed him. He also shared how Roth would put a book together for every player detailing all of his moments from the season, called “the synopsis,” which truly shows his good humor and “the care that he had for all of them.” 

Marrazzo then spoke about Roth’s involvement in the Lynbrook community as a whole. Roth used to bring Marrazzo’s elementary school students baseball cards and other memorabilia, and he was also a frequent attendee of basketball and football games. “He was a supporter of all things Lynbrook… We are here to honor a man who gave so much as a teacher, a coach, and a community member,” Marrazzo said. 

Coach Hess of the Valley Stream South Falcons was also a longtime friend of Roth and shared some words at the ceremony as well. “Everything that was good about baseball was because of ‘Moose’ [Roth’s nickname] and the atmosphere he created with his players,” he said. “Everything was just great, everything was a smile, everything was what’s right about living life, baseball, [and] Lynbrook,” Hess added.

To conclude the ceremony, members of Roth’s family threw ceremonial first pitches, including son Tim Roth, daughter Jane Sloan, and grandchildren Kelsey Roth, Parker Sloan, and Lily Sloan. Kelsey described it as “heartwarming” and a “touching experience.”