The content in this blog was written as an article by Scott Springer for the Cincinnati Enquirer. See the complete article here.
KENWOOD – Tim Kremchek remembers part of his father’s job meant pulling out of the driveway on Friday evenings in the fall for high school football games. He also remembers the family phone going off in the house on Saturday mornings around 6:30.
It usually was Gerry Faust, the architect of Moeller football, calling Dr. Edward Kremchek who began serving Moeller athletes as far back as 1968. His father lived for those moments as a pioneer of what is now known as sports medicine.
The combination of sports and medicine so intrigued young Tim that he went off and became an orthopedic surgeon himself, serving under world-renowned Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham until returning home to Cincinnati to work with his father before his passing in 1995.
Though neither Kremchek went to Moeller, both cared for their athletes and witnessed how the school molded them into successful young men.
In honor of the late Dr. Edward Kremchek and as a gift back for the inspiration Moeller has meant to both of them, Dr. Tim Kremchek gave the Crusader family a generous donation to name the new field after the Kremcheks, Kremchek Stadium.
“You get to this point in your life and you want to give it back to the community,” Kremchek said. “My father meant everything in the world to me and he was one of the leaders in sports medicine in this city. He gave me the inspiration to go into medicine to begin with. The way he loved Moeller High School and the way he cared for Moeller High School, he was really a trailblazer especially in this part of the country, on how to take care of a high school.”
The new complex was announced in early December at Moeller as part of their $14 million “Raise The Shield” campaign. It will be located in Miamiville off of Second Street.
“Often when I talk to Doc Kremchek, he talks about his dad,” Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Moeller grad Barry Larkin said. “He left a lasting impression. His father was the team physician when I was playing for Moeller. Everybody had respect for him because he was a quality person.
The gift thanks Moeller for its tradition-rich history and for allowing both Kremcheks to play a part in it. Dr. Tim Kremchek has been well known in athletic circles for years through his position as the Reds team medical director since 1996.
“The Kremchek family has been a part of the Moeller family for decades and has already given so much to our teams, students, coaches and families,” said 1996 alumnus Marshall Hyzdu, Moeller president and acting athletic director. “We are eternally grateful for the Kremchek’s long and deep commitment to the school and are honored that Kremchek Stadium, the first home baseball field in school history, will stand as a lasting testament to the Kremcheck family’s dedication to Moeller High School and all that it stands for.”
Family ties that bind
Like his father, Dr. Tim Kremchek has been wrapped up in his work from being in the Reds clubhouse to Goodyear spring training to pacing the sidelines at Moeller games, Lakota West games or Indian Hill games (other Beacon clients).
“As I got older, I understood it,” Kremchek said of his Dad’s ties to the athletes. “When I came back in 1993, he was sick and I was helping him. I watched how Moeller took care of him and made him feel like he was the most needed, wanted man in the world even though he could do nothing at that point. He wasn’t able to perform surgery and was having a hard time getting around, but he’d still go to the games with me.”
He was thankful for the time he was able to spend with his father at places like Galbreath Field where former coach Steve Klonne once awarded him the game ball after a victory by the Crusaders.
That picture still rests in Kremchek’s office in Sharonville at the Beacon Orthopaedics Complex. If you’ve not been there, numerous pictures adorn the walls of athletes he has worked on, worked with or encountered along his medical journey.
He’s performed numerous Tommy John surgeries on Reds and other major leaguers, as well as college and high school players, including Moeller’s own Brent Suter (Milwaukee Brewers) in recent years.
A day off?
Kremchek’s a busy man in all seasons and began some of the first Saturday clinics in the area. Remembering those 6:30 a.m. Saturday phone calls from Faust to his father, he began seeing patients Saturday morning rather than having parents wait until Monday. Athletes from girls and boys sports populate his office now early in the weekend.
Again, that sprang from his father’s experiences giving Moeller athletes the quickest medical treatment possible. Dr. Edward Kremchek was on the sidelines at a time when most schools had no medical personnel around.
“People used to think he was crazy bending over backward, working seven days a week with high school kids,” Kremchek said. “But he loved it. He got drawn into the culture and tradition.”
That dedication was honored years later at Dr. Edward Kremchek’s funeral at All Saints Church when hundreds of Moeller kids in blue blazers showed up to pay tribute.
“I’ve watched how they grow up and are educated,” Kremchek said. “I’ve watched how they go out into the world and the kind of people they become. The brotherhood, the camaraderie and the community of Moeller is something like I’ve never seen in my life. What it meant for my father, what it means to me, what it means to my family is where I wanted to put my money.”
Former Moeller football coach Steve Klonne, who led Moeller to state titles in 1982 and 1985, remembered Dr. Edward Kremchek’s sense of humor and dedication to the team at a time when few if any high schools had team doctors attending practices and games.
“Dr. Kremchek was one of the funniest guys I was ever around,” Klonne said. “He had a dry sense of humor, and he always had a joke. And in those days, you didn’t have doctors caring about your football team and going to football games on Friday night.”
A historical venture
The baseball stadium will recognize past teams like the eight state champions (1972, 1989, 1993, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015). Moeller’s first coach Mike Cameron won the first four state titles with Tim Held winning the last four.
Moeller’s major leaguers will also be recognized at the new Miamiville property such as Baseball Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr. The Crusaders have also produced Buddy, David and Mike Bell, Andrew Brackman, Phillip Diehl, Adam Hyzdu (brother of Moeller President Marshall Hyzdu), Stephen Larkin, Bill Long, Len Matuszek, Eric Surkamp, Brent Suter and Alex Wimmers.
All were in contact with Drs. Edward and Tim Kremchek at one point or another.
“The donation to Moeller is a reminder of how meaningful Moeller is to Doc Kremchek and his family,” Cincinnati Reds manager and Moeller alum David Bell said. “On top of everything he has done, this is a gift that will continue to give for many years to come. I’m happy for Doc and I’m happy for all the Moeller athletes who will be able to play on this beautiful field that Doc is helping make possible.”
Now, the circle continues as Kremchek treats kids of the kids he helped when they were in high school.
“He took care of hundreds and hundreds of those kids through the years,” Kremchek said of his father. “He used to tell me about watching Junior Griffey play saying, ‘This kid’s going to be something else!’ All of those guys remember my father.”
Kremchek would like to thank his colleagues at Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for supporting the donation.