Not long after helping his team cap off a Class 6A state championship win over Edmond Santa Fe, Owasso star Austin Kirk found Rams coach Larry Turner on the concourse at Drillers Stadium to ask him an important question.
"Can I borrow the trophy?” Kirk asked Turner.
Turner wasn’t quite sure what Kirk, The Oklahoman
’s All-State player of the year, had planned, but told him of course.
"I want to show this to Odis,” Kirk said.
Odis McCormack was a 70-year-old Owasso resident from California who had taken a liking to Owasso baseball and, specifically, Kirk.
While he was battling a long-term illness, McCormack’s daughter called the Owasso baseball offices to see if some of the players, including Kirk, his favorite, could visit.
Of course they could, they just had to do it after the next day’s game against Sperry.
"We hope he lives until then,” came the reply.
Kirk and the Rams made that visit and McCormack and Kirk hit it off. Kirk gave McCormack one of his old Owasso jerseys. Kirk kept in touch with McCormack and the family throughout the rest of the season.
Not long after the championship game, Kirk called the McCormack house to tell them about the title game and check on Odis.
"He’s a better person than he is a player and he’s a damn good player,” Owasso coach Larry Turner said.
Soon after the championship, Kirk and his teammates took the trophy to McCormack and presented him with his state championship medal. McCormack responded by giving Kirk an autographed ball from the 9-year-old team he coached in California. That ball is going in the Owasso trophy case.
McCormack died Wednesday.