VOTING CLOSED: Vote for the Braves Baseball Coach of the Week: Week 1

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Coaches teach young athletes about hard work, passion and good sportsmanship — skills that are just as important off the field — and they can instill a lifelong love of the game.

All summer long, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta Braves are teaming up to honor the youth baseball and softball coaches who are making a difference on the field and in their communities.

“We would like to recognize the outstanding coaches in Georgia providing our young athletes with exceptional playing experience. The most important thing to know is the fundamentals, but there is so much more than that,” the Braves said in a statement.

This week’s nominees have all demonstrated outstanding dedication to providing youth athletes with exceptional playing experiences. Check out their profiles and vote for your favorite. The winning coaches will each be profiled in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and receive a $100 gift card from Kroger and an autographed Braves ball.

ExploreVote for the Braves Softball Coach of the Week: June 27, 2022

Jeff Baltes

Baltes has been coaching youth sports for more than 10 years and serves as VP of Sandy Plains Baseball. According to parents, he “gives his all in teaching the boys not only baseball but character as well.”

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Jeff Baltes is a nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Jeff Baltes is a nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Combined ShapeCaption
Jeff Baltes is a nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Credit: RCT

Baltes was nominated by three separate parents. One of them, NikiTurco, wrote, “Jeff is the best coach ever. He understands kids and helps them learn the game of baseball in a fun way. He is patient and encouraging. He really helped my son to gain confidence in baseball. He created an environment for the team that was like a brotherhood. This was our best baseball experience yet!”

Justin Tomczak

Justin Tomczak is coach of the Red Pintos team in the Sandy Plains Baseball Association. According to parents, he’s “a fair coach who believes in giving every child the chance to excel in every position.”

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Justin Tomczak is a nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Justin Tomczak is a nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Combined ShapeCaption
Justin Tomczak is a nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Credit: RCT

Tomczak was nominated by several parents. One of them, Robert Quinilty, wrote, “Positive coach, about having fun and learning the fundamentals to keep kids playing.”

Doug Spence

Another coach from the Sandy Plains Baseball League rounds out this week’s top coaches. Not only does Doug Spence “love the game of baseball,” according to parents, “He is dedicated to fostering that same love of the game with his team.”

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Doug Spence is nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Doug Spence is nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Combined ShapeCaption
Doug Spence is nominee for Braves Coach of the Week.

Credit: RCT

Credit: RCT

Parent Kristin Sweitzer nominated Spence, writing, “Doug cares deeply for each of the kids, regardless of their skill level. He works with each of them where they are and adjusts his approach as needed for each child’s personality. My son, who is a beginner and is shy by nature has thrived under Doug’s leadership.”

Vote for your favorite coach

Voting runs through Sunday night. Winners will be announced on Monday afternoon on the Braves Coach of the Week page.

Voting for this round has ended.