MOLINE, Illinois--- Riverside park holds a lot of memories for former Moline little league baseball players.
For Coach Todd Whiting, and former little league player Kevin Case, it is also the perfect place to say goodbye to Lawrence “Larry” Anderson.
“Probably when I was around 12 years old, Larry was around, and he started coaching and I was on his team; one of the first teams he started coaching,” says Case.
Case says Larry coached Moline Little League baseball for more than 25 years. His team he remembers was called the ABC Collectibles, which was also the name of Anderson’s baseball card shop he owned around the same tim e he started coaching.
“He motivated us by telling us that we did a good job or if we made a mistake he said, ‘next time do better’…We’d go to Chicago… some kids didn’t have any way to get there, Larry would pay for him, he’d pick them up,” says Case.
Anderson was one of two men killed when an old tree branch fell more than 25 feet to the ground near the Rock Island County Courthouse, Tuesday night.
“When I found out it hit me we’re going to a big state tournament this weekend and that’s all I can think about,” says Whiting, who began coaching at the age of 17 through the recommendation of Anderson.
“I’ve coached all over the place and I do it because of what he did for me. He’s the one that put me in that box,” says Whiting.
In the obituary for Larry Anderson... The family says "coach Anderson" was "called up to the baseball diamond in the sky"
His funeral services are set for this Saturday morning at moline's Salem Lutheran Church
Visitation for Daniel Mendoza Ortiz Senior, of Rock Island is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Moline's Raftery Funeral Home.
He leaves behind a wife and two kids.
A burial service is planned at moline's St. Mary's Church Monday morning.