Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball
2021 Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team
Notre Dame Fighting Irish logo.svg
Founded1892 (1892)
UniversityUniversity of Notre Dame
Athletic directorJack Swarbrick
Head coachLink Jarrett (2nd season)
ConferenceACC
Atlantic Division
LocationNotre Dame, Indiana
Home stadiumFrank Eck Stadium
(Capacity: 2,500)
NicknameFighting Irish
ColorsBlue and Gold[1]
         
College World Series appearances
1957, 2002
NCAA Tournament appearances
1949, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1970, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2015
Conference tournament champions
1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Conference champions
1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team is the intercollegiate baseball team representing the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. Notre Dame competes as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the NCAA Division 1 college baseball league. The team is currently coached by Link Jarrett and plays its home games at Frank Eck Baseball Stadium, which has a capacity of 2,500. The school has appeared in two College World Series, in 1957 and 2002, and has won 5 conference titles. Heading into the 2021 campaign, the Fighting Irish post an all-time .723 winning percentage a mere .005 points less than the football team.

History[edit]

Notre Dame baseball began in 1892. The Fighting Irish’s first game was against Michigan on April 21, in which they won 6 - 4. They did not have a season in 1893.

In 1897, Frank E. Hering became their first coach. Frank Hering arrived at Notre Dame to play quarterback for the Fighting Irish football team in 1896. By 1898, he had taken on the responsibility of directing the entire athletic department, including coaching the football and baseball teams and introducing basketball to the university. At Notre Dame, he served as athletic director from 1898 to 1900 and coached football from 1896 to 1898, basketball from 1897, and baseball from 1897 to 1899. He has earned the title of “Father of Notre Dame Football” for his success in expanding the program from an intramural activity to a full-fledged intercollegiate sport. Additionally, in 1904, Hering proposed the idea of setting aside one day a year to the memory of Mothers, and thus Mother’s Day was created.

Tommy Mills helmed the team to a 57-20-1 record from 1927 to 1929, good for a .737 winning percentage.[2]

In 1934, Clarence Jack Kline became the school’s 15th coach for 42 seasons. He retired in 1975 at the age of 81, coaching more than 1,000 games and winning 558. He led the team to the College World Series in 1957. He was voted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968. The former Cartier Field was renamed Jack Kline FIeld in 1975.

In 1980, Tom Kelly set the University of Notre Dame’s record for wins (29-8). He remained an athletic administrator at Notre Dame until 2003.

In 1994, the Fighting Irish moved into its state of the art, 2,500 seat Frank Eck Stadium.[3] Moving to Notre Dame in 1995, Paul Mainieri turned the Fighting Irish into a perennial postseason contender winning the Big East tournament a record 5 straight seasons, making the NCAA Tournament 9 out of 12 seasons, and leading the Irish to one College World Series appearance in 2002. He won the 2001 Big East Coach of the Year award. In total, Mainieri posted a .714 winning percentage going 533–213–3 in 12 seasons.

Paul Mainieri had tremendous postseason success with the Fighting Irish. Under him, the team won the Big East tournament a record 5 straight seasons, made the NCAA Tournament 9 out of 12 seasons, and lead the Irish to one College World Series appearance in 2002. Mainieri won the 2001 and 2002 Big East Coach of the Year award.

Evansville's Dave Schrage then earned what he called his dream job, succeeding Mainieri as head coach at Notre Dame.[4] Mik Aoki was named the team's 23rd head coach in team history in the summer of 2010.[5] On June 8, 2019, Notre Dame announced that they would not renew Aoki's contract for the 2020 season.[6]

On July 12, 2019, Link Jarrett was named the 24th coach in team history.[7] He went 11 - 2 in his first thirteen games with the Fighting Irish, but the 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19.

Conference Affiliations[edit]

Year Conference
1983 - 1985 Midwest City Conference
1986 - 1995 Midwestern Collegiate Conference
1996 - 2013 Big East Conference
2014 - Present Atlantic Coast Conference

Coaches[edit]

Current Coaching Staff[edit]

Head Coach - Link Jarrett

Assistant Coach - Rich Wallace

Assistant Coach - Chuck Ristano

Volunteer Assistant Coach - Scott Wingo

Director of Operations - Sean Guite

Assistant Athletic Trainer - Scott Stansbury

Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for Olympic Sports - Kyle Jean

Former Head Coaches[edit]

Tenure Coach Seasons Record Pct.
1892 No coach 1 - 0
1893 No team
1894 - 96 No coach 6 - 7
1897 - 99 Frank Earl Hering 3 17 - 7 .708
1900 Charles Stahl 1 15 - 2
1901 - 02 No coach 27 - 12 - 1
1903 Robert (Bobby) Lynch 1 17 - 5 .773
1904 - 05 No coach 18 - 14
1906 Harry Arndt 1 20 - 5 .800
1907 Lou Criger 1 21 - 2 .913
1908 - 09 Henry (Harry) Curtis 2 33 - 6 .846
1910, 1912 Ed Smith 2 38 - 8 .826
1911 Albert Kelly 1 17 - 5 .773
1913 Fred (Cy) Williams 1 14 - 3 .824
1914 - 18 Jesse Harper 5 61 - 28 .685
1919 - 20 Charles (Gus) Dorais 2 21 - 10 - 1 .672
1921 - 23 Walter Halas 3 46 - 21 -1 .684
1924 - 26 George Keogan 3 40 - 33 .548
1927 - 29 Thomas (Tommy) Mills 3 57 - 20 - 1 .737
1930 - 33 George Keogan 4 28 - 24 - 2 .519
1934 - 75 Clarence (Jack) Kline 42 558 - 449 - 5 .554
1976 - 80 Tom Kelly 5 88 - 102 - 1 .463
1981 - 87 Lorenzo (Larry) Gallo 7 157 - 167 - 3 .485
1988 - 94 Patrick (Pat) Murphy 7 318 - 116 - 1 .732
1995 - 2006 Paul Mainieri 12 533 - 213 - 3 .714
2007 - 10 Dave Schrage 4 119 - 104 - 1 .533
2011 - 19 Mik Aoki 9 248 - 253 - 1 .494
2020 - Link Jarrett 11 - 2 .846

Former Assistant Coaches[edit]

Tenure Coach
1965 - 74 Tom Kelly
1980 Gary Tuck
1992 - 93 Brian Cleary
1993, 1995 - 99 Corey Mee
1994 Doug Schreiber
1995 - 2003 Brian O'Connor
2003 - 05 David Grewe
2005 - 06 Cliff Goodwin
2004 - 06 Terry Rooney
2007 - 09 Sherard Clinkscales
2010 Dave Dangler

Facilities[edit]

Frank Eck Baseball Stadium[edit]

Also see: Frank Eck Stadium

Frank Eck Baseball Stadium, known by fans as “The Eck”, is the home baseball stadium for the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team. Eck Stadium is located on the southeast corner of Notre Dame’s campus in Notre Dame, Indiana. Opened in 1994, Eck Stadium is 14,211-square feet, has a capacity of 2,500, and cost $5.7 million to build.[8] The stadium has become a favorite among the Irish baseball team, and a sampling of teams from the May 7, 2006, edition of Baseball America’s top-25 poll showed that Notre Dame record-setting home attendance averaged ranked 11th-highest among those elite top-25 teams.[9] Since its construction, the stadium has hosted two NCAA Regionals, 1999 and 2001.[10]

Overview of Frank Eck Baseball Stadium at the University of Notre Dame

Plans to build the stadium were announced on June 7, 1991, stemming from a generous gift to the university by alumnus Frank Eck, and his company, Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio.[9] His contribution to Notre Dame have totaled more than $35 million, including a $21 million gift in 2005 for the Eck Hall of Law, which is the fifth-largest gift in Notre Dame’s history.[11] Construction on the stadium finished in Spring 1994, and the first game was played on March 17, 1994, with a 5-8 loss against the University of Tennessee.

Eck Stadium includes spacious home and visitor locker-rooms, meeting rooms, and coaching facilities. Additionally, the stadium includes a spacious press box, located directly above home plate, which seats 25 staff and media members and has a panoramic view of Eck Stadium and other Notre Dame athletic facilities. At the 1995 Notre Dame alumni game, the University named Eck Stadium’s playing surface Jake Kline Field to honor the program’s winningest coach.[8]

The Eck Stadium has undergone several renovations and additions, with plans to expand in the future. In January 2000, a 9,000-square foot indoor hitting and pitching facility, located adjacent to the left-field line, was added to enable year-round practice.[9] In 2012, this facility got a major facelift, including a wall-to-wall synthetic turf floor, four full- and two half-batting cages, permanent pitching mounds within the tunnels, and an “Iron Mike” pitching machine with an automatic ball feeder.[9] This space is primarily used for pitching, hitting, and catching, while the team uses the Loftus Center for defensive fundamentals and base running.  Additionally, the playing surface of the Jake Kline field received an upgrade before the 2014 season. The surface transitioned from natural grass to the artificial surface FieldTurf, which covers the entire field.[9]

The Coach Pat Murphy Locker Room[edit]

The Coach Pat Murphy Locker Room was added after the 2010 season. The locker room is located within Notre Dame’s Frank Eck Baseball Stadium and was included in the first major renovation endeavor since the stadium’s construction in 1994.[12] It was made possible through generous gifts from Daniel Murphy, David Murphy, Bert Bondi (‘67), Craig Counsell (‘92), and John Counsell (‘64), as well as other generous supports of Notre Dame baseball.[9]

The Coach Pat Murphy Rocker Room was designed to make the team space more efficient and improve circulation between the clubhouse, shower, restroom facilities, and the dugout.[12] A kitchenette and mudroom were added along with direct access to and from the dugout area. The space includes 36, 30-inch wood lockers, including four specifically designed corner lockers for the catchers. New flatscreen, high definition televisions and state of the art RightView Pro technology were installed as well.[12]

Cartier Athletic Field[edit]

Also see: Cartier Field

The Cartier Field was a stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana which existed from 1900 to 1962. The field is named after Warren Antoine Cartier, who purchase 10 acres and donated it to the University for athletic purposes and paid for the lumber required to enclose the field.[13] Notre Dame decided the field should serve the needs of a variety of athletic endeavors such as bicycling, track, baseball, and football. The finished grounds contained a baseball diamond, two football fields, a quarter-mile banked track, a 220-yard straightway and grandstand setting for 500.[13] On May 12, 1900, the formal opening of Cartier Athletic Field featured a track and field championship tournament followed by a baseball game.

The field hosted the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team from 1900 to 1928. For more than 20 years after the football team moved out, Cartier Field remained the home of Notre Dame’s baseball and track and field teams. The field was re-established in 1962, and the baseball team began to practice nearby in the Jack Kline Field.

Notre Dame Baseball During World War II[edit]

Despite dropping attendance at Notre Dame during the Second World War, baseball still thrived under coach Jake Kline. Over 200 men regularly showed up for tryouts during the years 1943-1945. The Fighting Irish baseball program benefitted from the presence of the Naval cadet program which contributed valuable team members. Because many schools were not able to field teams during the war years, the 1943 schedule only included eight games against universities located near Notre Dame. In 1944 and 1945, Coach Kline scheduled games against both universities and collegiate aged military teams such as the Iowa Pre-Flight School team and the Great Lakes Naval Training Center team coached by Mickey Cochrane. Major leaguers that played for Notre Dame during the Second World War included John McHale and Jackie Mayo. Notre Dame football players and Heisman Trophy winners Angelo Bertelli and Johnny Lujack suited up for the Irish during 1943 and 1944, respectively. Notre Dame’s strongest team from the three years of America’s involvement in the war was the 1945 squad that went 10-8-1. The 1946 squad benefitted from the return of many veterans, many of whom, such as 1944 team captain Tom Sheehan, had played for Notre Dame previously before joining the military. The 1946 team posted a record of 13-6 followed by a 16-5 record in 1947.

Notre Dame Baseball Records During WW2

Year Record Captain
1943 5-3 Angelo Bertelli
1944 11-11 Tom Sheehan
1945 10-8-1 Frank Gilhooley

Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament[edit]

Year Record Pct Notes
1949 0–2 .000 Region B
1956 1–2 .333 District 4
1957 5–3 .625 College World Series (4th place)
1958 2–2 .500 District 4
1959 2–2 .500 District 4
1960 0–2 .000 District 4
1963 1–2 .333 District 4
1970 1–2 .333 District 4
1989 1–2 .333 West II Regional
1992 3–2 .600 Atlantic Regional
1993 3–2 .600 East Regional
1994 2–2 .500 East Regional
1996 1–2 .333 South I Regional
1999 1–2 .333 South Bend Regional
2000 3–2 .600 Starkville Regional
2001 3–2 .600 South Bend Regional
2002 6–3 .667 College World Series (5th place)
2003 2–2 .500 Fullerton Regional
2004 2–2 .500 South Bend Regional
2005 2–2 .500 Gainesville Regional
2006 0–2 .000 Lexington Regional
2015 1–2 .333 Champaign Regional
TOTALS
42–46 .477 2 CWS Appearances

Current major league players[edit]

Player Position Number Team
John Axford P 72 Toronto Blue Jays
Craig Counsell Manager 30 Milwaukee Brewers
Trey Mancini OF 16 Baltimore Orioles
David Phelps P 37 Chicago Cubs
A.J. Pollock OF 11 Los Angeles Dodgers
Jeff Samardzija P 29 San Francisco Giants
Cavan Biggio 2B 8 Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Bielak P 64 Houston Astros

Former major league players[edit]

Baseball Hall of Famers[edit]

No. Player Position Induction Year
8 Carl Yastrzemski OF 1989

Carl Yastrzemski was recruited to play both baseball and basketball for the Fighting Irish after a record career at Bridgehampton School in Long Island. He only played on the Notre Dame freshman baseball team, which was not as competitive as he hoped. In 1959, he signed a minor league contract in excess of $100,000 for the Boston Red Sox in 1959. According to Notre Dame’s Scholastic, his departure from the program was unexpected, and Coach Jake Kline was pessimistic about the team’s future after Yastrzemski’s Red Sox contract.

While his Notre Dame career was short lived, he left a lasting impact on the Fighting Irish program. Freshman sports teams were phased out soon after to promote higher competition and avoid losing players to the major leagues. Notre Dame’s baseball team also became deeper and more successful following Yastrzemski’s departure.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Color | Athletics Branding | On Message | University of Notre Dame". Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  2. ^ https://und.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/nd_m_basebl_2011_12_misc_non_event__baseball-1920-29.pdf
  3. ^ https://und.com/facilities-3/frank-eck-baseball-stadium/
  4. ^ Marlen Garcia (May 10, 2007). "Notre Dame coach Dave Schrage stays strong". USA Today. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  5. ^ Chris Masoud (April 13, 2011). "Baseball: Aoki changes team culture". The Observer. Notre Dame, IN. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Mike Berardino (June 8, 2019). "Notre Dame will not renew Mik Aoki's contract after 9 seasons as baseball coach". www.indystar.com. USA Today. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "Notre Dame announces Link Jarrett as new baseball coach". www.ndsmoberver. The Observer. July 12, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Frank Eck Baseball Stadium". Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website. 2018-08-07. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Frank Eck Baseball Stadium". Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website. 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  10. ^ "Frank Eck Stadium", Wikipedia, 2020-08-29, retrieved 2020-09-07
  11. ^ Dame, Marketing Communications: Web // University of Notre. "Notre Dame mourns passing of Frank Eck". Notre Dame News. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  12. ^ a b c "The Coach Pat Murphy Locker Room Dedication". Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website. 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  13. ^ a b Dame, Marketing Communications: Web | University of Notre. "Echoes: Cartier Athletic Field | Stories | Notre Dame Magazine | University of Notre Dame". Notre Dame Magazine. Retrieved 2020-09-08.

External links[edit]