• Together since machine pitch, Hare, Stober lead A's into postseason

  • When asked about his Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s longtime teammate David Stober, Corbin Hare just grins.

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  • When asked about his Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s longtime teammate David Stober, Corbin Hare just grins.
    “He was our leadoff hitter,” Hare said, “but he hit a lot of home runs.”
    When Stober was asked about Hare, he had a quick reply.
    “He’s always been the biggest kid on the team – or one of the biggest,” Stober said, “but back then, he didn’t have the beard.”
    Hare and Stober are two of the reasons the A’s crushed the competition this summer as Rod’s takes an impressive 37-7 overall record and 21-5 Zone 2 East mark into this week’s Zone 2 East district tournament in Sedalia. The A's have a first-round bye as the top seed and will play 10 a.m. Saturday against the winner of Friday's 5 p.m. game between Hi Boy Drive In/Post 340 and the Sedalia Post 642 Travelers.
    Hare and Stober weren’t talking about American Legion baseball when asked to make some comparisons. They were talking about their machine pitch days when they were not quite as tall as the bats they now swing for the A’s.
    “It’s amazing when you think about it,” Hare said, “two guys, playing for the same teams since machine pitch. I mean Little League, high school, American Legion, and now we’re both going to Rockhurst. I’ve never heard of anything like that happening.”
    Neither has Stober.
    “Corbin played first base, so he was a big target for the rest of us on the infield to throw to,” Stober said. “He always intimidated the other kids, although there wasn’t a pitcher to intimidate during machine pitch. When he started pitching, he was so big, most of the batters were afraid of him.”
    Stober recalled a perfect game authored by Hare when he was 11.
    “We spread the team in four innings,” Stober said. “We were playing in the USSSA World Series in Branson, Mo. He threw that no-hitter and got a single off the fence. He wasn’t very fast.”
    Hare, blushing a bit, nods in agreement.
    “When we started playing together, we weren’t really friends,” Hare said. “We didn’t know each other that well. But then we started playing on the same teams, and we actually spent more time at each other’s house than we did our own house. I’d spend a week at his house, he’d spend a week at my house.”
    Stober interrupted and added, “My mom would call Corbin’s house and say, ‘David, come home! You can’t live at Corbin’s. You’ve been there a week. They have to be sick of you.’”
    Throughout the years, they have been on too many winning teams, claimed too many championships and trophies to mention and are continuing that success this summer with the A’s.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s been great to play with your best friend,” Hare said, “and it’s been even better to play with your best friend and win a lot of games. We kept hoping that somehow we might go to college together, but Rockhurst was recruiting me and they weren’t recruiting David.”
    Stober was recruited by Lindenwood and Pittsburg State, but a Rockhurst coach saw him when he was watching Hare.
    “I thought I was going to Lindenwood or Pitt State, then I started talking to the Rockhurst coach,” Stober said. “I was thinking, ‘Could this actually happen?’ And it did. I signed with Rockhurst, and now we’re both going to play ball for Rockhurst. It’s really unbelievable.”
    They will be freshman roommates on the university campus and they are already planning to get an apartment near campus when they are juniors.
    “It’s almost like something out of a book or a movie,” Hare said. “Two guys having so much fun, playing on the same team forever. It’s pretty amazing how it all turned out.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC

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