Statesville Herman Paul Starrette, 80, of Statesville, passed away at Gordon Hospice house Friday, June 2, 2017. He was born Nov. 20, 1936, to the late Anna Mae Kennedy and James Robert Starrette. Herm was born, raised and resided in Cool Spring. Herm was a loving family man who loved the game of baseball. Growing up the youngest of nine siblings, he learned the benefits of hard work, farming and the love of sports. His older brothers loved the game of baseball and their influence drove him to want to be like them. He would throw rocks at a tree and pretend he was pitching in Yankee Stadium. That dream eventually came true for Herm. He graduated from Cool Spring High School. During that time, he learned the game of baseball from Paul Brendle, whom he always said was one of the best coaches he ever had. His battery mate and lifelong friend at Cool Spring High School was Jerry Fox, who helped Herm continue his baseball career and get into Lenoir Rhyne after high school. He always credits Jerry for keeping him in baseball which led him to sign with the Baltimore Orioles. He would talk about walking out of an English exam at LR and telling the professor he was going to play baseball with the Orioles because he thought he would be better at that than the exam. During his 42 year professional baseball career, he coached and played with many Hall of Fame players. He credits Earl Weaver and George Bamberger with teaching him the game that became his life. Some of his greatest accomplishments included winning a 17 inning game with Baltimore, against Gaylord Perry, in which they both pitched all 17 innings and was suspended with a 1-1 tie. The game was continued and Billy DeMars hit a home run to win the game in the 18th. Herm's first major league pitching coach job was with the Atlanta Braves. He was part of the celebration for Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's home run record with his 715th home run. Herm was actually named after George Herman "Babe" Ruth. He was the Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach for the 1980 World Series Championship. He was still giving pitching and coaching advice during his last days in the hospital to his beloved friends, Dan Duquette and Kent Qualls with the Baltimore Orioles. He enjoyed going to solve the world's problems with his breakfast friends, lead by the notorious Ted Evans, at Sunshine Restaurant and First RX. He loved sitting on his back patio with his wife Betty, visiting with his friends and neighbors that would stop by to visit, listening and watching the birds and squirrels. Thanks to Tim Daley, David and Kaye Padgett (Brutice). Those left to cherish his memory are wife, Betty Lou Sigmon; daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Scott Bass; and granddaughter, Laura; sisters, Hazel Phillips and Bertha Marlow and his many beloved nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by brothers; George, Lawrence, Rueben, Clyde, Jack, and James Robert "Demp" Starrette; also his beloved Yorkie, Missy. He was a member of New Salem Methodist Church and served in the National Guard. A memorial service to celebrate the life of Herm will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 6, at New Salem United Methodist Church with the Rev. David Gay officiating. The family will visit with friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, condolences may be sent to Gordons Hospice House, 2341 Simonton Rd., Statesville, NC 28625, Iredell County Animal Services, 430 Bristol Dr., Statesville, NC 28677, and New Salem Methodist Church, 155 New Salem Rd., Statesville, NC 28625. Special thanks to doctors, Paul Kirkman, James Foushee, Carla Pence, and Ray Georgeson and all the nurses and staff at Iredell Memorial Hospital and Gordons Hospice House. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.nicholsonfunerals.com and Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family.