Monroe fast-pitch softball player Dave Donahue knows from experience no career can be successful without a little help from your friends.
In the last couple of years, Donahue has been assisting Danel Drake and JR Malone in coaching the Prairie City and Monroe-based JC United softball teams, instructing players ages 8-18 years old. Both teams won state championships last year. But the area-softball player was recently honored as an inductee into the Des Moines Softball Hall of Fame.
Donahue played on local teams in Monroe and Reasnor and joined teams sponsored by Des Moines-area organizations including La Pizza House, Henry J’s and Des Moines Metros.
But the most important thing to remember, Donahue said, is the experiences he has had during his decades-long career would not have been possible without sponsors, managers and teammates.
“I have to give thanks to Fred Lorensen, who was my high school baseball coach,” Donahue said. “He helped by giving me direction and believing that I could play beyond high school. Without him, I probably would not have been the person I am today.”
Randy “Slim” VanderWaal is a fellow hall of famer. Donahue said he’s grateful for his friendship.
“(VanderWaal) travelled to many different tournaments and games, and to this day we still get together and share a story or two,” Donahue said.
Other influential players and coaches who helped Donahue throughout his career include Dave Warrick, Tim Rhinehart, Jeff Madsen, Jeff Phifer, Vern Terpstra and the Kuening brothers Tom, Keith and Alvin, Craig Van Wyn Garden, Randy Lamb, Kevin Walker, Blake and Rick Carnahan, and HOF coaches Tuff Walker and Jack Deaton.
During his career as a player, Donahue had nine state championships, three world tournament appearances and four national championships.
He also represented Iowa in a team that played against the Canadian National Team. In 2000, Donahue was the only player in the state of Iowa to play on two state championship teams.
He also had some impressive stats. Donahue hit seven consecutive homeruns in three games, was an all-regional player and was MVP of the Ron Owen Memorial Tournament. Donahue played semi-professional baseball for the Newton A’s and coached at PCM at all levels with a 2012 Heart of Iowa Championship.
Donahue can be reached at email@example.com