LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There are the two players coached by Chris McIntyre who made their way to the big leagues, one with the Kansas City Royals, the other with the Baltimore Orioles and the Nationals of Washington.
They were two of 16 New Albany Bulldogs who earned Division I baseball scholarships under McIntyre.
There are the six Hoosier Hills conference championships, 11 Indiana high school sectional titles and a regional championship that the 53-year-old McIntyre won in New Albany.
Remember the 581 wins and nearly 69% winning percentage that earned McIntyre his 2021 induction into the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, a year before he announced his retirement. last week.
This is McIntyre’s resume. Here is the McIntyre achievement:
Twenty-eight seasons of making a difference in the lives of teenagers at New Albany High School.
“It’s good that you wrote this, but I’m not sure I’m newsworthy anyway,” McIntyre emailed me last week after finishing an interview.
Sorry Chris. I’ll give you a list of people who disagree, and it takes longer than a 9-man batting order. I’ll start with the 18 players, including a dozen surprise arrivals, who showed up for your Hall of Fame induction in Indianapolis last year.
Over time they figured out that you showed up early and stayed late, when it was freezing in March and sweltering in June.
When they were 17, they didn’t understand the need to deal with referees, travel, uniforms, equipment, schedules and other things that I probably forget (like dealing with parents). They do now.
McIntyre also teaches math at New Albany High School. He teaches it now, during a summer semester. I didn’t ask him how much money he made coaching baseball for the Bulldogs.
I knew this answer: Not enough.
No one who coaches sports in high school does it for the money. You hope most coaches do this to invest in the youth community.
That’s what McIntyre did. He managed to bridge the gigantic gap of transitioning from alumnus and Jeffersonville High School player to a top face in Bulldog Nation.
He even kissed rival Floyd Central High School. He and his wife, Shannon, sent one of their two sons to school there. In southern Indiana, he really is a man for all countries.
“The thing about Coach Mac is that he really cared about us as a people, not just as baseball players,” said Josh Rogers, the former left-handed Bulldog and University of Louisville pitcher. who is currently in rehab with the Nationals in his fourth major league season.
“When you were a young player, there were days when you thought of him as a tough coach, a guy who was tough on you. You didn’t understand why. You thought he was just tough.
“But as you got older, you realized he just wanted the best for you and wanted you to achieve your goals.
“He has become a very good friend.
These aren’t empty words to flesh out a story about a coach who said the best explanation he could give for retiring was “it wasn’t one thing, it was a lot of little things.” It was just time. It’s time to do different things. In this business, there was very little off-season.
When McIntyre took his last team from New Albany to Indiana Regional High School in Jasper several weeks ago, Rogers called ahead to the famed Schnitzelbank restaurant and paid for the team’s dinner the night before their game. opening.
Of course, when Rogers pitched his first major league game for the Orioles on Aug. 28, 2018, McIntyre drove the New Albany nine at Camden Yards to cheer on Rogers’ 85 pitches while beating the Blue Jays.
Then, when Rogers recovered from his injuries to return to The Show with Washington last summer, McIntyre took another nine-hour hike to watch Rogers defeat the New York Mets at Nationals Park.
Rogers isn’t the only former Bulldog McIntyre has tracked. His former players have played at U of L, Western Kentucky, Ball State, Indiana State, Xavier, Kent State, Chicago State and IUPU Fort Wayne, as well as several Division II and III programs. He said more than 40 of his former Bulldogs played college baseball.
McIntyre said he was surprised (and delighted) at how many called, texted or wrote emails when they learned of his decision last week.
“You don’t even realize some of the kids you’ve touched,” he said. “I heard a few that I thought didn’t like me. That was great.”
Most guys aren’t going to make the big leagues like Rogers or Steve Stemle, another former New Albany pitcher who had a short run with the Royals. Most won’t make it to college baseball, like former U of L starters Daniel Burton and Drew Haynes.
It’s a message that McIntyre tried to convey to his players. The most important lessons you’ll learn playing baseball won’t get you to Yankee Stadium. They will make you a successful employee, a better father or husband or a reliable friend.
“Baseball is like life,” McIntyre said. “You have to learn to wait your turn. You have to learn to master the little things.
“You have to learn to get along. You might have a teammate you don’t like, but you have to learn to connect with them for the good of the team. You will have this same situation throughout your life.
“Those are some of the things I tried to get my players to remember.”
Over 28 remarkable seasons, they certainly did.
Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.