Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
PIKETON — From now on, when you walk into the gates of Piketon’s baseball complex, a monument erected in honor of the late Zach Farmer will be the first thing your eyes meet.
The Redstreaks unveiled the statue in a ceremony Saturday morning, just before throwing the first pitch of the newly christened baseball season.
“Zach was a great kid. Every time you were around him, he lit up the place. He was just special. Honoring Zach and getting this monument in place is just a testimony to what kind of person he was,” Piketon coach Jonathan Teeters said. “He’s the best baseball player I’ve ever watched, and it’s not even close. I cant speak for players in previous years that I didn’t watch, but I would have a hard time thinking anyone has ever walked through the hallways at Piketon High School who was better on the baseball field than Zach Farmer.”
The installation of the statue, which weighs north of 2,000 pounds, was something Teeters thought about as soon as he took Piketon’s head coaching gig this past offseason.
“The first thing I wanted to do after being hired was something special for Zach. I approached the administration and Board of Education about the possibility of a monument being put in and they immediately approved it,” Teeters said. “After getting it approved, [Zach’s father] Larry, myself, Mrs. [Megan] Williams and Treber [Memorials] all worked together to get this monument for Zach put together the right way.”
During his four-year career at Piketon, Farmer, a left-handed flamethrower, was a three-time All-Ohio selection. He then played collegiately at Ohio State University, where he went 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 49 1/3 career innings.
During his freshman year at Ohio State, Farmer was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on April 28, 2014. He entered remission on June 6 but announced that the cancer had returned on July 15.
At 21 years old, Farmer passed away Aug. 4, 2014.
Now, his legacy — as a person and as a player — will be set in stone forever.
“The community has been so supportive. I really feel like it’s bringing people together. Everyone is talking about [the statue] and is excited, which is awesome,” Teeters said. “Zach deserves it. I know he’s looking down on this day with a big smile on his face, and proud that every person who walks in that ballpark can come and see how great Zach Farmer really was.”