I also live in a small town. I graduated from HS here. One of the things I have loved about my son's baseball experience is the legacy in our community.
My husband calls it the baseball mafia and it centers around our high school and local college.
The oldest generation was Larry. He coached Joe, who played in the minors. Joe came home when his career ended and coached my son's travel team coach, who went on to play college baseball. The travel team coach then coached Joe's boys, one of whom played in the MLB for several years, the other of whom got hurt in the minors, before starting our travel team.
Joe, his sons and the travel coach all helped coach my son.
Never had to pay anyone for a lesson. We gave gift cards to local restaurants, a cooler of steaks at Christmas, and that's all anyone would take.
When my 2018 was in elementary and middle school, I watched him at a pitching lessons with one of Joe's boys, Pete. Pete used to sit on an overturned bucket of balls in the cage with him, bouncing baseballs off the floor. They would talk so quietly that I couldn't hear them, even when I sat just a few feet away. They spent more of the lessons talking than throwing, but boy did my son learn tons.
I remembered that a few years later. My son was now a varsity pitcher and he worked at the facility some. One day I walked in, and there he was with a 9 or 10 year old. My son was sitting on a bucket, bouncing a baseball off the floor, and talking very quietly to the kid. I couldn't hear a word he said.
And I knew he was part of that mafia, and so very lucky. And I cried.