John Kaiser

Timeout with Dustin Sullivan

Guest – John Kaiser

Podcast release date – September 15, 2022

Season 1

Announcer Elaine – Welcome to taking a timeout with Dustin Sullivan.  A production of Kan DU group.  Kan Du group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit provider of day services for adults with developmental disabilities and is pleased to bring you this podcast.  Today Dustin’s guest is John Kaiser.  John is a native of Oregon Ohio and now resides in Findlay.  He attended the University of Findlay receiving a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Hazardous material management and a Master’s degree in environmental management.  John played baseball for two years at Owens Community College and two years while attending the University of Findlay.  He is active in the Findlay youth baseball program coaching and tutoring kids, and now serves as an assistant baseball coach at Findlay high school.  And now I will turn the mic over to Dustin Sullivan.

Dustin – Where are you originally from?  I already know this but…

John – Well I grew up in Oregon Ohio born in 1975 grew up there and then once I started playing ball down here at Findlay I’ve been here ever since so since 1995 I’ve been a resident of Findlay Ohio. 

Dustin – Who was your sports role model growing up?

John – I had a lot of sports role models and it kind of depended on what sports we played in but being a baseball guy, I always followed the work ethic of Pete Rose always going full go and play to win. 

Dustin – Oh yea that’s right me and you think alike cause I like Pete Rose too. 

John – I know you’re a big Reds fan. 

Dustin – Yeah and you’re a big tigers fan.

John – I am a Tigers fan I grew up

Dustin – They used to have battles all the time over

John – We did I remember playing video games

Dustin – College football you used to play as Michigan and Ohio State, and you used to kick my butt all the time

John – Wow.  I’m an Ohio State fan now but I liked to pick Michigan to get under your skin a little bit

Dustin – Cause we were playing games in the garage one time and my tire exploded

John – That’s right when Dustin was younger, I would put my TV and my video games in the garage so we could get in there and play with him and the other kids around the neighborhood. 

Dustin – Yep.  What got you into coaching?

John – Well, being I played baseball throughout my high school career and then 4 years in college.  I got into coaching cause my boys were interested in baseball and coached them through t-ball years through coach pitch and then I’ve had the good opportunity to coach them while they went through high school.  My oldest boy just graduated last year and then I have a boy who will be a junior in high school this year.  So, it’s been an awesome experience for me to see them grow and coach them all 4 years in high school.  And when they were younger. 

Dustin – It’s amazing to see how great Andrew’s became

John – Yes, they both have a, I don’t know what water they drank from but they both have outgrown me by about 5 or 6 inches.  And it’s awesome to see them grow and get better. 

Dustin – It’s crazy because it’s hard to believe Hunter is already gotta be a sophomore in college already. 

John – He’s studying up at the University of Toledo, he’s 19 and he’s probably I think 6ft 3 ½ now and Andrew is about 6 foot 6 one. 

Dustin – They make me feel old now.

John – We’re all old Dustin.  You think they make you feel old how do you think it makes me feel. 

Dustin – I remember I was a young kid, and I was like we were out playing games and stuff and now I’m almost 30. 

John – Dustin I remember going out we were talking about playing football in the backyard having the boys guard you and throwing the ball and playing wiffle ball

Dustin – We used to have some fun

John – We did.  We did have some good times.

Dustin – Cause I remember Mason used to play football then when he couldn’t catch the ball.

John – That’s right.  I used to make up kid names for all the boys just to make them laugh.  I’d call them Maynard and yeah, we used to have some good times in the back yard playing games.

Dustin – good memories. 

John – It is great memories. 

Dustin – It’s hard to believe it’s been that long ago.

John – It is it is I think if I go out there and play, I’d be in bed for 2 weeks recovering

Dustin – I think my dad would be the same

John – I think your dad would be in worse shape than me. 

Dustin – I remember you guys used to play pig out basketball

John – Yep, basketball and then we’d go inside we’d play, we’d kind of kick Dustin off the video games and play Tiger Woods and football and we made him watch us

Dustin – Tiger Woods you kicked my butt at that game

John- Yeah. 

Dustin – My Dad used to say you cheated all the time

John – I didn’t tell you back then, but I had to cheat to beat you because you were better than me. 

Dustin – Tell us a little bit more about your experience working at MBA camp.

John – Well, I can’t remember the year, but your dad asked me if I’d be interested in helping and you know I’ve always gotten along and want to do whatever I can for you and any kid but the first year I went up there I absolutely loved it.  I like to see the smile on your guys faces it just it really hit me in the heart and I loved doing it so for the next I think three years I’d go up there and help out and it was a little rough staying in the cabin in the hot summers and then your dad got the great idea of putting an air conditioner in our cabin which was which made all the difference in the world.

Dustin – Cause I remember you guys used to not eat the food at the cafeteria

John – Nope.  Yep, your dad was pretty smart we would go to the mall and buy our food

Dustin – Cause I remember Kent used to have you go into Hooters for him and get wings

John – We never went to Hooters.  It was always Taco Bell or something like that but yeah, we would forgo the camp food

Dustin – I remember when I got in trouble when we TP’d your cabin. 

John – Yeah.

Dustin – We almost got arrested

John – You never would have got arrested.  We made up calling the cops. But we had to clean it up while you guys just laughed at us.  You guys would toilet paper us and they would go around the cabin at night making noises and we’d always wonder what the heck’s going on

Dustin – We used to have fun times at camp

John – It was.  It was fun.  Even swimming was fun

Dustin – The dance was always the last day.  The dance and the hog roast were always two great things

John – Did you enjoy the dance?

Dustin – Yeah.  I remember we used to get pizzas like

John – We would get pizzas.  I remember wheeling you up and I remember you and a couple other kids were shy talking to girls so I’m wheeling you up there and shut your chair off so you couldn’t get away

Dustin – And do you remember that, and we did have a mascot at camp he was named Chomper.  And we used to have to search for him. 

John – Yeah.  We did.  I don’t think anybody ever found him though.

Dustin – Inaudible

John – I do.  I remember one of the best times at camp was in the big field when we would play frisbee football and there would be about 20 kids in wheelchairs, and we would be quarterback throwing the frisbee and it was a challenge for us trying to hit them and it was so much fun trying to see them.  They would go full go trying to catch these frisbees and sometimes they’d hit the chairs, but I don’t think anybody ever got hurt which was a good thing.  It was so much fun doing that and watching you guys. 

Dustin – There was always a curfew, but we snuck out a lot.

John – We did.  The curfew never really applied.  Your dad found ways to sneak out and I followed his lead.

Dustin – Dad used to buy snacks galore for

John – Snacks and pop

Dustin – We were never hungry

John – No.  15 to 20 kids hopped up on Mountain Dew and Doritos and were a challenge to get them to go to bed at night. 

Dustin – It’s been sad over the years because we’ve lost a couple.

John – Yes. Yeah, it has.  Great memories and fun times I still remember at camp

Dustin – I remember some great times Kent used to do it with us

John – Yeah.  Kent’s still up there in Liberty township

Dustin – In Michigan

John – He will still reach out to me through Facebook messenger from time to time and he’s a big Dallas Cowboy fan so he would text me when they would play so it’s good that he continues to reach out and it’s good to hear from him

Dustin – We used to watch some great movies at your cabin.

John – It is and again the funest times for me is in the evening when the kids were in bed and we would be watching a horror movie like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and you guys would be screaming and we would just be laughing about it and then I would say oh my gosh is there someone outside with a chainsaw

Elaine – Dustin could go down memory lane with you forever, lets move on to the interview ok, lets go back to the questions

Dustin – What was your most memorable game as a coach?

John – I think last year my son Hunter was a senior we lost in the district championship game we played Bowling Green, and it went into extra innings and Hunter had a great game

Dustin – I remember he had the walk off remember

John – He had a walk off base hit to get us there and then he had a great game against Bowling Green

Dustin – Yea cause I remember Andrew did it too

John – He did Andrew had a walk off base hit in the summer for coaching the high school I would say that was being a father and a coach that was awesome.  To see one us getting that far when nobody expected us to Hunter playing very well and one of the key players to get us to that point. 

Dustin – Baseball is a great sport for high school cause Colin played too.

John - Yeah.  It teaches a lot of life lessons because in baseball you fail more than you succeed and you gotta pick yourself up and move on. You gotta keep trying. 

Dustin – What was your most memorable game as a baseball player?

John – As a baseball player.  Well, it was when I played at Owens.  I played to years at Owens community College when I got out of high school.  My second year at Owens I hit a walk off triple to get us to the Junior College World Series.  We finished 3rd place and unfortunately, I gave up a two run homerun to knock us out of the tournament but getting there I hit a walk off triple to go to the World Series. 

Dustin – I remember you used to like, you were always good at baseball. 

John – Yeah.  I’m a short stocky guy I have small arms and its easy to hit. 

Dustin – You and Colin used to play baseball together

John – Yeah. Yeah, we did in a summer wood bat league.

Dustin – I understand you have been at the University of Findlay for several years as an Environmentalist.  What kind of things does an Environmentalist do?

John – Well at my job I’ve been with the University all Hazard training center for 23 years.  I’m the director of operations there and we conduct OSHA and EPA safety training courses so the fire department emergency response teams we train them on how to respond to chemical spills, emergencies, the correct way and the safe way.  Whether its wearing protective clothing or different things to research the product that’s spilled.  So, we just train them on how to respond safely and so everybody gets to go home. 

Dustin – Sounds like a yucky job because you’ve got all that horrible stuff to do. 

John – I wouldn’t say it’s a glamorous job, but somebody’s got to do it and it’s a unique job we’ll say that. 

Dustin – It helps having a good boss like Dave Copus.

John – Dave is yeah, I work with Dave Copus and he’s a great guy.  He’s a retired fireman from the Findlay Fire department and he’s been with us for 12 years now.  Him and I work day to day together

Dustin – I’ve known him for a while now.

John – You have.  He comes over from time to time to help you out

Dustin – He knew my grandma. 

John – He knew your grandma and he knows your dad and your aunts.  He’s a guy that’s very reliable and he’s more of a friend than a coworker. 

Dustin – What was it like being inducted into the University baseball hall of fame?

John – It was great.  A great honor and nothing says how well you played and how you’re respected than that.

Dustin – At least you know you’ll always remember it in your heart. 

John - Yeah.

Dustin – Maybe someday Andrew will be in the baseball hall of fame.

John – Yep.  Andrew he’s playing well his baseball skills all the boys I see they just keep getting better being a high school coach and I can’t wait for this coming year because we are going to be a team to be reckoned with. 

Dustin – Andrew’s been the older he gets he’s changed quite a bit. 

John – He has.  An unfortunately for me every year that goes by I keep either shrinking or everyone else grows taller, so he’s gotten bigger and stronger.

Dustin – I remember he used to get frustrated with sports but now he’s not. 

John – I wouldn’t say that he’s gotten over it completely because he still gets angry.  He’s more competitive than I am as you know throwing video game controllers at your house and

Dustin – One time we had, because he was being bad, we had to make him pay for my controller.  Teach him a lesson.  He never did it since.

John – He’s a real competitive guy and he and Dustin were playing.  I don’t know if you were playing football and Andrew my youngest boy threw the remote because Dustin beat him, and we made him pay for it but

Dustin – Cause me and Andrew used to go back and forth because he like the Bengals and I liked the Steelers always a feud

John – Yeah but I love that I think its awesome that you guys still play

Dustin – Me and Andrew, he’s always looked up to me. 

John – Yeah, I remember him sitting in your lap and you riding him around in your chair when he was younger

Dustin – Used to love all the sour candy he gave me

John – Yeah if you didn’t keep an eye on him, he would steal all your candy.  I remember him going into your house into your mom’s cupboard taking chips and pop and candy out of your mom’s cupboard.

Dustin – We probably should go back to the interview.

John – Dustin you’re getting sidetracked here.  I’m easy I follow you right down the rabbit hole. 

Elaine – I really am not giving him the evil eye but he looks over at me and I’m like oh god.

Dustin – What is your dream vacation spot if you could go anywhere in the world. 

John – Well I’ve been to a lot of different places I remember going on vacation with your mom and dad.

Dustin – Aunt Tracy and uncle…

John – All your aunts and Uncles to Jamaica which was unbelievable

Dustin – I remember you used to wear the batman pants

John – Yeah, that was a great vacation and I unfortunately forgot to put suntan lotion on and because I couldn’t wear shorts, I had to wear my lounge pajama pants pajama batman pants which glowed in the dark because my shorts and dress pants were too they rubbed against my sunburned legs and it was too painful. 

Dustin - That was almost as bad as when we camped out in the backyard. And you and my dad left me.

John – yeah, those were good times camping out in the backyard but your dad and I we would get smart and realize the air conditioner was a little better in our own bed. 

Dustin – I think you and my dad wanted to go into the house and have a drink or something. 

John – No.  We wouldn’t do that.  We would just go in the house

Dustin – I’ve always been a character.

John – You have been a character.  That’s one of the things we like about you. 

Dustin – Are you still doing the travel baseball tournament in Florida?

John – I do I started in 2010 I started playing in an adult wood bat league.

Dustin – For the Findlay Bombers, right?

John – Well they’re called the Toledo Black Socks now.  So, every year I go down to Fort Myers beach Florida and we play in a wood bat baseball tournament which has roughly about 56 teams and it’s a 35 and older tournament. 

Dustin – Fort Myers is a good place to have it.

John – Fort Myers and we play at all the Minnesota Twins Stadium and the Red Socks stadium but It’s a great time. 

Dustin – That’d be cool to go there.

John – It is, and it’s a fun experience for me because we get to play in the big-league stadiums and go in the locker rooms and there’s a lot of ex big leaguers that go down there and play. 

Dustin – I’ll be getting to do that pretty soon. Stephan Evan is going to let me go in the locker room. 

John – That will be good I’d make sure they put some air freshener in there though because

Dustin – It might stink bad

John – it might stink, but Findlay football they’re going to have an exciting season to I mean they’re looking good

Dustin – Got Luke Montgomery

John – Yeah, Luke Montgomery and Coach Adams is a great guy he knows what he’s doing and the staff he has it’s going to be fun to watch them play on Friday nights because I think they’re going to go far this year.

Dustin – It was a great honor to meet Luke

John – Yeah, it’s awesome him they’re both, Luke he’s a great football player but he’s a good kid too and Coach Adams is awesome with the kids, and he knows football wise and dealing with young athletes he’s a great guy, great mentor for those boys and

Dustin – This was a great honor to get to do all these podcasts

John – I was so excited when you asked me to do this.  There’s no way I would have said no I was looking forward to this for weeks now and matter of fact I texted your mom and your dad to make sure I had the right time because I didn’t want to miss it. So, I’m glad you guys invited me and you’re asking me these tough questions Dustin

Dustin – It’s an honor to get to do one with my good friend John

John – Yeah, Like I said I am honored and tickled that you asked me and there’s no way I would have said no

Dustin – Do you have any hobbies?  I know some of your hobbies.

John – Well, I have too many hobbies is what my wife tells me.  I play baseball on Sundays then I coach baseball I got for the last 2 years I’ve been coaching JV golf at the high school.  I golf at home and now that I coach at the high school on the JV level for golf, then I like to go hunting and fishing

Dustin – I know about your hunting because you used to get bear and I used to call you Grisley Adams.  You used to bring me some bear sausage

John – Which you loved, you loved all the deer and the bear sausage.  I still do that and that keeps me out of trouble.

Dustin – Do you have a favorite movie?

John – Favorite movie?  Well, being a sports guy, I love, my wife will tell you if there’s certain movies on I will watch them.  Bull Durham is one, Casino would be another, some of the other mob movies but I love Bull Durham if that’s on I will watch it. 

Dustin – I know what your favorite movie is.

John – What’s that?

Dustin – Star Wars

John – I, yes, I’m a huge Star Wars fan, I have a collection of Star Wars

Dustin – You’ve got a big Yoda

John – I have a life size Yoda with, maybe I should be embarrassed to say but I’m not.  I have a life-sized Yoda, I used to have a Darth Vader speaker phone and I bought the boys star wars sheets when they were younger just because I was a star wars fan, they had no choice. 

Dustin – I remember that because Andrew used to wear the Darth Vader mask.

John – Yeah, I watched one of the Star Wars movies the other night and my wife asked me how many times I’ve seen it and I said probably 200 times, but they keep getting better every time I watch it.

Dustin – That’s what my dad always says

John – Yeah

Dustin – Who was your all-time favorite Star Wars character?

John – I like Chewbacca, and Boba Fet. 

Dustin – I kind of like the bad guys. 

John – That doesn’t surprise me you like the bad guys, like who would you like?

Dustin – Probably Darth Vader, or Yoda

John – Yoda’s a good guy though

Dustin – I like those two.

John – Yeah.  Like I said growing up for Halloween I’d be Darth Vader or one of our family friends made me Chewbacca costume which I wore to school for one Halloween party, and I probably looked ridiculous

Dustin – Cause I remember we used to, you and my dad used to have competitions you’d both do your garages for Halloween. 

John – Mine was more to scare the kids. 

Dustin – My dad used to try to make that spiked apple cider too. 

John – You’re ratting us out again.  Yeah, the times that we had I love. I wish we had more times like that but making the spiked apple cider as you call it, walking you guys around the neighborhood.  The best part was afterwards me and your dad would steal the candy we wanted from you guys

Elaine- You’re just going to have to visit for trick or treat

John – I know,

Dustin – What is your all-time favorite restaurant or food?

John – You know what I loved when I first got here to Findlay, they had one in Toledo was Damon’s.  They had the ribs and then the onion loaf.  I don’t think there’s any more Damon’s anymore but that was one of the best restaurants I would go to I think now I’d have to say we go to Cheddars, that’s our go to restaurant but Damon’s was number one.

Dustin – I remember when you used to live over by me, we used to go to B dubs all the time

John – We’d go to B dubs and Jed’s and you would get the most insane hottest wings and you would eat them until your lips were white and you’d be sweating.  I could not understand how one you could eat them two they would tear me up, so I know they had to tear you up. 

Dustin – Yeah you used to only eat the wimpy flavors

John – Yes, I’m not a strong guy like you.  Your lips would turn white. 

Dustin – Yeah

Elaine – Ok we need to wrap things up Dustin do you want to ask him you famous last question.

Dustin – John this might be the most difficult question you’ve ever heard in your lifetime.  Do you consider a hot dog a sandwich?

John – A hot dog a sandwich?  No. 

Dustin – I don’t either. 

John – Hot dogs are hot dogs.  A sandwich is a

Dustin – It’s a flat piece of bread

John – A flat piece of bread with like peanut butter and jelly or some kind of deli meat.

Dustin – Yeah, not hot dogs.

John – A hot dog a sandwich? Now I’m going to be thinking about that for like two weeks.  That’s going to drive me crazy. 

Dustin – Now when you see Andrew and them, you’ll have to ask them

John – I am going to ask them that and see what they say.  I’m going to tell them to text you, their answer. 

Dustin – They’ll probably be like stumped. 

John – They probably think it’s going to be a sandwich. 

Dustin – Yeah.

Elaine – Ok well thank you John

John – No thank you, thank Dustin like I said I am honored that you invited me.  I love this and thank you guys for having me in today.

Dustin – Thanks.  It was fun to talk about memories. 

John – It is, and we probably could have gone on for a lot longer time but they would run out of tape and time on their own. 

Dustin – I gotta eat lunch

John – I thought I heard your stomach starting to growl.  I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you.

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