Have you ever received an ‘A’ on a final and did not
even know it? Have you ever received an internship and didn’t
even realize that the announcement had already been made? If you
are one of these rare individuals who has experienced something
like this, than you and Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney have a
little in common.
Last weekend, Michigan won three of its four games versus Iowa
in Iowa City, but the first two victories were a little more
special than usual; they were coach Maloney’s 299th and 300th
victories as a head baseball coach.
“The irony is that I didn’t even realize it,”
Maloney said. “I didn’t know until the sports
information director, Jim Schneider, came and told the guys on the
Once things sunk in, Maloney took five minutes to reflect on his
“I was able to reflect on the fact that I have been very
fortunate to coach a lot of outstanding baseball players in my
years,” Maloney said.
They were just five short minutes, but in that span, he
remembered the great players he has come in contact with over the
In just over 10 years of coaching, Maloney has seen five of his
players in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft (all
from Ball State, during his eight years there), including No. 1
overall pick Bryan Bullington (2002), and four other first round
picks: Jeff Urban (1998), Larry Bigbie (1999), Luke Hagerty (2002)
and Brad Synder (2003).
“To have five first-round picks when many coaches have
never had one is a great feeling,” Maloney said.
“Especially when you consider that those guys came from a
Four of those five players were not even drafted coming out of
high school; Maloney hopes that their development is a testament to
him and his staff.
“I hope that some of what I did helped those guys get
drafted,” the second-year Michigan coach said.
But Maloney does not only remember the extremely gifted players.
There have been a lot of players he has worked with that most
people have never heard of. But, he is very proud of those
“Travis Minix was one of the best college pitchers I have
ever seen — he could not throw that hard, but he had great
command of his stuff,” Maloney said. “His development
was great to see.”
While Maloney feels most of his players had a significant amount
of natural talent, he thinks that his hard work and his philosophy
played a part in their success on the diamond.
“During my career I think that I have paid attention to
detail, and have been a hard worker; those have helped me the
most,” Maloney said.
A part of his hard work is that Maloney has been able to have
kids buy into his philosophy that they do have something special in
them, even if they cannot see it.
“I try to find something in the players that others cannot
see, bring the best out of the kid,” the two-time
Mid-American Conference Baseball Coach of the Year said.
“Fortunately kids have bought into that
Maloney said that he did not dwell on his 300th victory because
there are too many things going on with the team for him to
“When we’re in the heat of the battle, I’m
really focused on that,” Maloney said.
Maloney is happy about his accomplishment, but he is more
preoccupied with restoring a great baseball tradition at
“We’re focused on winning here, and that’s
what I’m thinking about,” Maloney said.
In Maloney’s five minutes, he had a lot to think and
remember fondly, but he moved on quickly. In fact, Michigan won its
next game to give him his 301st victory.
Getting Some Hardware: What will a save against an
instate rival and a shutout win versus a Big Ten team do for
someone? For sophomore Derek Feldkamp it meant winning his first
Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award.
Feldkamp earned his third save of the season on Wednesday
against Eastern Michigan. Feldkamp entered the game in the eighth
inning with a 3-1 lead and two Eagles baserunners. His second pitch
was smashed to third, where sophomore Scheidt started a 5-4-3
double play to end the threat. Feldkamp finished the game leading
the Wolverines to the victory.
“I’m really happy to receive the award, but it was a
testament to my teammates’ defense behind me,” Feldkamp
said. “Beating an instate rival helped the team and the
Feldkamp wasn’t finished for the week. He tossed his first
shutout as a Wolverine against Iowa in a 6-0 win. Although he
enjoyed a spectacular weekend, he did not see the award coming his
“I was a little bit surprised,” the Adrian native
said. “I didn’t know until this afternoon when my mom
With the award, Feldkamp realizes that opponents know he has had
some success, and that they will be gunning for him a little more.
But he feels like he is ready for it.
“Its nice to get the award and get some gratification, but
(the competition) will make me work even harder,” Feldkamp