In the life of a minor leaguer, you spend countless hours and days on the road on a cramped bus with 35 people and bags. That is where Dale Gamble, from Middlefield, comes in to play.
Gamble has been the bus driver for the Lake County Captains for the last 4 seasons, starting following the 2010 Championship Season.. He has been a driver for Precious Cargo for the past ten years and is now the senior driver for the company.
Gamble has a hand in a lot of local activities with Precious Cargo. On top of driving the Captains throughout the Midwest League, Gamble drives various Lake Erie College Storm teams to destinations throughout the country. He has driven the baseball team throughout the East Coast on their annual Spring Break trips. He also has taken Lake Erie coach Bob Booher and his women’s basketball team to GLIAC contests in Michigan.
The hockey teams for John Carroll University and Kent State University request Gamble’s services for trips as well as his hometown Chagrin Falls Tigers baseball team.
Following the 2010 season, Precious Cargo asked Gamble if he would like to take the Captains throughout the Midwest League. With baseball being his favorite sport, he jumped on the opportunity.
From the beginning, Gamble vowed to make friends with the players and coaches and make sure they are as comfortable as possible. He offered to take them wherever they want to go when not at the hotel or the ballpark.
“The biggest reward is to watch the members of each team move up throughout the system,” said Gamble about the best part of the job.
Throughout the trips that Gamble has made to other stadiums in Akron, Columbus and Cleveland, players still tell him thank you and wish that he was the driver there as well.
When the Captains swept the Fort Wayne Tincaps to advance to the Midwest League Championship this month, guess who was in the locker room throwing champagne around? None other than Gamble.
“It was exciting to be there in the locker room, they make me feel so welcome. It is rewarding to see the way they treat me.”
Gamble spoke highly of the staff and organization as well, “They are all great to me in so many ways. They have always been a great bunch to me.”
At the end of the season, to show how much respect the players have for Gamble, every single player in the locker room shook Dale’s hand, gave him a hug and genuinely thanked him for everything he has done.
Gamble lives in Middlefield, is married, with a daughter and two grandchildren.
For five months out of the year, he is just simply one of the guys.