Home Runner: Retired Holmes principal writes book highlighting path to victory

Looking onto the neighborhood field of green, back on the country road of Iowa, young David Welter and friends packed up after a long day of playing baseball. Little did he know, Welter would play the game for his home team throughout his whole life, a team that would help him enjoy an even deeper relationship with baseball as well as strength for a successful educational career, strength to overcome life threatening illness and inspiration for a writing a book based on his experiences.

“It was like our own personal neighborhood sandlot,” said retired Holmes Junior High Principal and author David Welter.

Welter started playing organized baseball when entering grade school and junior high. From then on, baseball became his whole life.

He played all through his high school years at Columbus High School in Waterloo and continued his education and baseball career at Cornell College in Mount Vernon.

From 1979 to 1989, Welter began involvement as a scout with the Cincinnati Reds baseball organization. After being with the Reds organization, he began scouting for the Atlanta Braves and is still with them today.

“Baseball has been a big factor in my life. I use baseball terminology all the time,” Welter said.

Not only has the game been a big part of his life but also his family as well, Welter said.

His two sons and daughter were always with him on the field helping him, being his “bat boys,” and both his sons played, and his wife was always in attendance whether he played or was scouting.

“It’s a family thing,” he said.

When he wasn’t scouting up-and-coming baseball players, Welter was making a big name for himself in the education system.

He has taught and coached at Highland High School in Des Moines, coached at Iowa State University as an assistant baseball coach and, for 37 years on, Welter has been teaching and in administration in the Cedar Valley.

Welter retired from being principal at Holmes Junior High in July of 2016. He said since being an educator for 40 years, he wanted to move on and experience other things life had to offer while he still could.

“I’ll be honest. I do miss the kids, but I’m lucky I still get to see them. I struggled with the decision of going from teaching to being in administration, and, ultimately, I felt I could impact kids in that way more.”

Welter has been inducted in the Iowa Baseball Hall of fame and during his career was named Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year.

“It’s not about me but about the people,” he said.

While riding out his baseball career and scouting, having a wife and kids and impacting the Cedar Falls community, he also faced adversity head on, like when he found out he had cancer on his 55th birthday.

Welter was diagnosed with throat cancer in February of 2009.

“At the time, it was quite a shock. It still kinda is,” he said.

He said he had never smoked a day in his life, but doctors anticipated the cancer in his throat could have been from farm chemicals.

“I was given a 50/50 chance to live,” he said.

Welter said that when he is faced with a challenge, often times he journals as a way to cope and process.

After many months journaling, Welter said he created a blog sharing his reflections and thoughts about his situation to share with other people.

On the day of his diagnosis, he started his first journal, and eight years later, it has been turned into a book.

“Reflections from the Home Team; Go the Distance” is a book by David Welter and the purpose of this book is to provide hope, strength and support for those who are facing challenges.

“A lot of the lessons learned in life, especially within baseball, have translated into my book,” he said.

Welter said that this book is not only targeted and written from the perspective of cancer patients but also those who face struggles life presents every day.

“It comes from my heart. By no means, am I an expert, but I’ve been there and done that,” he said.

He said that he has been given numerous opportunities to speak with people who have been faced with a challenge like cancer, other illnesses or anything life has thrown at them.

Welter said he loves talking with people and has spoken with many groups about his book such as the Human Relations Department at UNI.

Since starting his blog, Welter said he has gained a huge support group, or as he likes to call it, his “home team,” of 700+ people.

Welter said he decided to ultimately start writing a book after many of his followers from his blog asked if he would write a book.

“I just said I wouldn’t write one. I just knew it. Well, once I retired a year ago, a good friend of mine connected me with a publisher.”

Xulon Press, one of the largest Christian publications in the country, supported and was a helpful tool when Welter decided to take writing a book seriously.

“People are always trying to get any kind of hope they can find, and that is what my book is about. I try to be all about positivity for everyone struggling no matter the situation.”

In the book, Welter said at the end of each reflection, leaving a total of 43, he wanted to add an encouraging attitude, a spiritual insight and a step to consider in each of his challenges.

“I’ve always said, God doesn’t save you from something but for something,” Welter said.

Welter’s book was released in late June of 2016 and can be found on his website, www.reflectionsfromthehometeam.com/, Barnes&Noble, Wiley’s Christian Book Store and Amazon, which has five stars at the moment. One can also order a personalized copy from his email, which is located on his website.

“To me, that’s what it’s all about: making connections with people and having them on my home team.”

Looking back to his sandlot team, Welter, a baseball fanatic, education consultant and friend to everyone, has learned more than batting tactics or fielding drills but has configured a way to break through the curveballs in life and share experiences with his hometeam.

“You’ve gotta make the most of each and every day. That may sound cliche, but, boy, did it hit home with me.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply