Mickey Sullivan

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Mickey Sullivan
MickeySullivan.jpg
Sullivan in 1993
Sport(s) Baseball
Biographical details
Born (1932-02-06)February 6, 1932
Aransas Pass, Texas
Died March 22, 2012(2012-03-22) (aged 80)
Waco, Texas
Playing career
1952–1954 Baylor
Position(s) Outfielder
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1974–1994 Baylor
Head coaching record
Overall 649–428–3
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
SWC Tournament (1977, 1978, 1993)
Awards
All-SWC (1952, 1953, 1954)
All-American (1953, 1954)
SWC Coach of the Year (1977, 1978, 1985, 1988, 1991)

Mickey Sullivan (February 6, 1932 – March 22, 2012) was the head baseball coach at Baylor from 1974 to 1994.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sullivan was born in Aransas Pass, Texas on February 6, 1932 to Alva Sullivan and Effie Sullivan, née McCollum.[2][3]

Sullivan grew up in Houston, Texas and graduated from Sam Houston High School in 1950.[2] As a senior running back at Sam Houston, Sullivan led the city in rushing and scoring, making the 1949 Houston Chronicle All-City Team.[3] Sullivan was recruited to play college football by the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Rice University, the University of Kansas, and LSU, ultimately accepting a college football scholarship to attend Baylor University.[3]

Playing career[edit]

College career[edit]

As a freshman in 1950, Sullivan played on the freshman football team for head coach Sam Boyd.[3] As a sophomore, Sullivan was a running back on the 1951 Baylor Bears football team.[3] Led by All-American quarterback Larry Isbell, the Bears went on to play in the Orange Bowl and finished the season ranked #9 by the Associated Press and UPI, Baylor's highest finish in either poll.[4] Ultimately, while never becoming a full-time starter, Sullivan went on to be a three-year letter winner under head coach George Sauer.[3][4]

As a baseball player, Sullivan earned All-Southwest Conference honors in 1952, 1953, and 1954 and earned All-American honors as an outfielder in both 1953 and 1954.[2] As a senior, Sullivan hit .519, a Southwest Conference record.[2]

Professional career[edit]

After his sophomore year at Baylor, Sullivan was approached by the Washington Senators and offered a minor league baseball contract but Sullivan elected to return to Baylor.[3]

Upon his graduation from Baylor, Sullivan signed with the Dallas Eagles of the Texas League.[3] Sullivan spent the 1954 season playing minor league baseball for the Artesia Numexers of the Longhorn League, a Class C affiliate of the Eagles.[3][5] Sullivan began the 1955 season with the Class A Sioux City Soos of the Western League until being called up to the Eagles for the last 52 games.[6] Sullivan also spent the 1956 and 1957 season with the Eagles before retiring.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

Upon his retirement from professional baseball, Sullivan began his coaching career as a football coach at Jane Long Middle School in Houston.[3] Sullivan became an assistant football, baseball, and basketball coach at Bellaire High School before moving to Westbury High School where Sullivan was an assistant football coach and the head baseball coach.[3] Sullivan ultimately returned to Bellaire High School as the head football coach.[3] Sullivan also served a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies where, among other players, he scouted Nolan Ryan.[3]

Sullivan returned to Baylor in 1969 as the freshman football coach.[4] In 1972, Grant Teaff promoted Sullivan to recruiting coordinator, a position he held until 1978.[4]

In 1974, Sullivan became Baylor Bears baseball's 17th head coach, a position he would hold for the next 21 seasons.[1] Sullivan endured just three losing seasons over those 21 years, leading Baylor to three Southwest Conference tournament championships and back-to-back trips to the College World Series in 1977 and 1978.[1] In addition to 1977 and 1978, Sullivan also led Baylor to the NCAA Tournament in 1991 and 1993.[1]

Sullivan coached thirty-one players who were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including four who were selected in the first round: Jon Perlman (1979), Stan Hilton (1983), Pat Combs (1988), and Scott Ruffcorn (1991).[1]

Sullivan coached ten players who went on to play Major League Baseball: Steve Macko, Perlman, Andy Beene, Fritzie Connally, Lee Tunnell, Ken Patterson, Blaine Beatty, Combs, Ruffcorn, and Dean Crow.[1]

On April 17, 2012, Steve Smith broke Sullivan's Baylor all-sports' record of 649 career victories.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1959, Sullivan married his wife Marilyn.[3] Together, they had a son, Vince, and a daughter, Tina.[3]

On March 22, 2012, Sullivan died at the age of 80 after a long battle with cancer.[8] His memorial service was held at Baylor Ballpark on March 26.[8]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Baylor Bears (Southwest Conference) (1974–1994)
1974 Baylor 25–19 12–12 5th
1975 Baylor 25-19 11-13 4th
1976 Baylor 23–19 14–10 4th
1977 Baylor 43–15 15–9 3rd College World Series
1978 Baylor 32–19 15–9 3rd College World Series
1979 Baylor 34–15 13–9 3rd
1980 Baylor 25–19–2 12–12 5th
1981 Baylor 21–24 6–15 8th
1982 Baylor 25–22 9–12 6th
1983 Baylor 26–22 11–10 4th
1984 Baylor 26–23 9–12 5th
1985 Baylor 42–13 14–7 2nd
1986 Baylor 40–22 12–9 4th
1987 Baylor 38–15 9–12 5th
1988 Baylor 25–31–1 9–12 4th
1989 Baylor 32–19 7–14 6th
1990 Baylor 33–19 9–12 4th
1991 Baylor 40–20 12–9 3rd Midwest Regional
1992 Baylor 29–26 17–19 3rd
1993 Baylor 41–19 11–7 2nd South Regional
1994 Baylor 24–28–1 6–12 5th
Total: 649–428–4

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "2012 Baylor Baseball Media Almanac" (PDF). Baylor University. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Mickey Sullivan Obituary". Legacy.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Oral Memoirs of Mickey Sullivan". Baylor University Institute for Oral History. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "2006 Baylor Football Media Guide" (PDF). Baylor University. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "1954 Artesia Numexers". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Mickey Sullivan Minor League Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  7. ^ DeVries, Greg (April 20, 2012). "Baseball head coach leaving his mark on BU history". Baylor Lariat. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Baylor Mourns Loss of Mickey Sullivan". Baylor Bears. Retrieved 6 May 2012.