Coach Mike Fields, who led baseball teams at St. Cloud and Harmony high schools for parts of three decades, won a lot of games, but also taught players to make a positive difference in their community. He taught high values, like:
Integrity is what you do when no one is watching.
It’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage.
Life is about keeping your word.
Whether you win or lose, in sports or in life, do it with class.
After Fields retired from the dugout and before he passed away from a short but intense cancer battle in 2015, Osceola County honored him by proclaiming May 30, 2014 as Mike Fields Day.
Now his daughter Steffanie Ansbaugh and other family members are appealing to the community — and many around town knew and respected Fields — to do something in his honor on the anniversary of his day: make a donation to the St. Cloud Community Pantry, either in canned goods or cash, over the coming days in honor of Mike Fields Day.
“Since he died we haven’t done much for his day,” Ansbaugh said. “With everything going on right now, we in the family thought it would be great to tie May 30 with Make a Difference Day together. My dad always put others before himself and I feel this town has proven time and time again to do the same.”
Those who can donate and continue Fields’ legacy can drop off canned and non-perishable items at the downtown St. Cloud Post Office at 1102 Pennsylvania Ave., message Steffanie Ansbaugh, or make a monetary donation to the Pantry online.
Helping the less fortunate was something Mike Fields believed strongly in. On National Make A Difference Day each October, he urged his Longhorn players to collect canned goods and money for the food pantry at local supermarkets; his players challenged other varsity teams and those at rival St. Cloud in a friendly competition to “do more”. Over the course of a decade, the athletes collected over $15,000 and 25 truckloads of food for the local food pantry.