PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Nick Madaloni was a man of many hats and talents. A devoted father, husband, and Airforce veteran. Those who knew him best also described him as an exceptional baseball coach to dozens of kids with the West Boca Youth Baseball League.
“He was the best,” said Assistant Coach Andrew Baamonde. “He was assertive when he had to be, but his love for the kids was like none other. The way my kids gravitated and looked up to him, he was like a second father figure.”
On Friday night, at South Regional Park, the lights went down and candles lit up on the baseball fields as players, parents and fellow coaches joined in solidarity to honor Madaloni’s memory and impact on the community.
Over the summer, he led the West Boca 9u All-Star Team to their first world series win and played a pivotal role in transforming the little league program.
“We weren’t putting out competitive ball clubs, we were losing players,
Nick changed everything,” said Baamonde.
“His passion, his vision, commitment to the program, to the league on all levels is what changed everything.”
Their beloved “Coach Nick died in his sleep last week a day before his 39th birthday while out of town on a trip with his family.
His cause of death remains unclear, but what is certain is that his legacy won’t be forgotten.
“I’ll never be able to replace him, I can’t try to, but I can keep his vision live and I know that's why he would want me to do,” said Baamonde.