Beloved Fairfield Baseball Coach Dies at 75

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FAIRFIELD -- If you played baseball in Fairfield growing up then the chances were you knew a man by the name of Jim Tell.

He was more than a coach. He helped build the league, the stadiums and serve on the board year after year.

"He played, his grandfather played. He got a few offers," said his son, Robert Tell. "He had a tryout with the Giants back in the early '60s. He got a letter from the Pirates."

Jim Tell never made it to the pros but that didn't stop him from making a huge impact on the Fairfield and Vallejo communities during his time.

"He was big in the business community in Vallejo," Robert Tell said. "He was a charter member of the Lions Club in the late '70s. He was in the Rotary Club. He did a lot of things before I even came along or was even affiliated with baseball for the community."

But on the diamond is where Jim felt most at home, helping build the Fairfield Expos Baseball Association into one of the top youth programs around.

"It's hard to find somebody who has that same drive and wanting to come out here as a volunteer. It's hard to come out and volunteer your time and he did that," said Orlando Ponce, a coach with the Expos.

"He coached generations of kids. He'd run into sons of kids that he had coached, nephews, cousins. He almost gave too much that it was a detriment to his own health," Robert Tell said.

On Tuesday, just before sunrise, Jim Tell died of complications from diabetes. He was 75 years old.

"I think the outreach and all the kind words people say or let me know that my dad is remembered and I think that's all I can ask is that he's not forgotten," Robert Tell said.

It's only fitting that the service for Jim Tell be right at Yarbourgh Field. It will be held Monday, July 9 at 7 p.m.

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