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Hamilton Journal News June 2020


The former treasurer of the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League is helping to spread the message of the organization’s namesake through reading. by Michael Pitman, Cox Media

Doug Coates published his second book this spring — “Riley’s Winning Catch” — that highlights traits of the late Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame pitcher and announcer Joe Nuxhall coveted: good character. Coates published his first book, “Pitching for Success: Character Lessons the Joe Nuxhall Way,” in March 2014. The idea of being an author wasn’t foreign to Coates, who had been working on other children’s books and has been shelved for the time being. But his editor, the late Coleen Armstrong, knew his involvement with the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League and convinced him to write a character education book.

“Joe was big on getting into the classrooms and talking to the kids about their options about developing good character, and starting them off early as possible about making good decisions and wise decisions,” said Coates. “That just sprung an idea.” Both books address the importance of good character and sportsmanship through stories about baseball and softball. Coates’ involvement began in 2012 when the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League field was under construction. When it was completed that year, he joined the board as its treasurer.

“I had never been exposed to activities for special needs children and adults,” said the former baseball and softball coach. “I saw there was a whole population of kids that couldn’t be on the local team like my son and daughter were, yet they needed a place to play baseball. ”Before the first book, Coates had sat with Nuxhall’s son, Kim, who is the Miracle League’s volunteer executive director. For his latest book, he sat down with former Cincinnati Reds batboy and author Teddy Kramer and his family to talk about Down syndrome. Coates is working on a third children’s character education series book, which could be out as early as next year.

C. Caddell - June 2020

A story I read and then wanted to go live out!

Coates knocks it out of the park here in his second book! As a lifelong educator, I’ve always stressed to my students, “it’s not about what you do, but who you are.” And Riley’s journey is a beautiful reminder of that truth. The story pulls you in and you ending up finding yourself in the story. It caused me to look around where I live, work, and play and ask, “Who is my Riley?”


Who today needs to be seen, known, and valued? All ages should read this book. I’m going to reread it with our family. The applications and truths are endless. It is obviously written by someone who lives those out in real life and very authentically. Bottom line- I read this book, and then the book read me.


Highly recommend!

Books are available at, Amazon, and local book retailers.


Personalized copies can be purchased from the author by emailing him at


A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League and the Down Syndrome Foundation.

Book signing at Joe Nuxhall's statue - Cincinnati Reds

Author Phil Nuxhall displaying Pitching for Success
Joe Nuxhall Miracle League character poster
Book no.1
Book no.2
Book no.3
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