/Revered Iowa baseball coach soaks in final moments as disease robs his vision

Revered Iowa baseball coach soaks in final moments as disease robs his vision

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As blindness begins to set in for longtime baseball coach Marty Kurth, the Le Mars Gehlen community comes together to celebrate his 500-win milestone.
Michael Zamora/The Register

LE MARS, Ia. — One by one, the seniors of the Le Mars Gehlen baseball team walked out to the field. It was, at first, a typical Senior Night ceremony: flowers and kisses for Mom, a hug for Dad and cheers for the graduating players before a home game on a late June night in western Iowa.

When the last athlete was honored, Gehlen coach Marty Kurth strolled to the plate holding a bat in his hand. 

Players from all 31 of his Gehlen teams assembled across the infield behind their former coach. The crowd was silent as Kurth’s accomplishments were rattled off over the public address system: more than 500 career wins, two state championships and a legacy as one of Iowa’s all-time greatest high school baseball coaches. The crowd roared.

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