DANVILLE — Bus drivers don’t usually practice baseball, but some do.
Dave Youngdahl is no ordinary bus driver for Campbell Bus Lines. He has transported multiple teams in the Prospect League including the Danville Dans. He was the regular Dans bus driver through the first half of the season, and even took infield and batting practice with the team.
Youngdahl spent 10 years as the technology coordinator for Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV before becoming a bus driver. He said he looked for work for a couple of months after losing his job, and his son reminded him he always talked about driving a bus to Disney after he retired.
Youngdahl decided to start his retirement early.
“When I was 60, about a year and a half ago to two years ago, I lost my job,” Youngdahl said. “When you’re 60 years old and trying to find a job nobody wants to hire you, no matter what your skills are.”
He said both jobs deal with people, which makes them both enjoyable to him. He said the players and coaches are always polite, and he is happy about the relationships he builds throughout the season.
Dans outfielder Gabe Acevedo from Oakton Community College said most bus drivers only focus on getting the team to its destination and watching the game sometimes.
“(Bus drivers) usually try staying away,” Acevedo said. “Not Dave. He will actually be on the field with us during batting practice and try helping us out.”
Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman said Youngdahl is the best bus driver in the league and has brought the team good luck by practicing with the team.
“He’s still got some skills,” Coleman said. “He’s got some hops and he’s still agile in his 60s. He can still move a little bit.”