Local Notebook: Chatfield baseball coach joins the 300-win club
Chatfield baseball coach Brian Baum hit a milestone during the final game of the regular season when he earned his 300th career victory.
For 50-plus years a Baum has been the head coach for the Chatfield High School baseball team.
Brian Baum recently joined his father with a historic victory.
Baum picked up his 300th career victory during the final game of the regular season. Following that, the Gophers, the No. 4 seed in the Section 1AA East playoffs, won back-to-back playoff games before being eliminated over the weekend after losses to Plainview-Elgin-Millville and Caledonia.
Chatfield had won eight consecutive games prior to its season-ending setbacks.
“It’s neat, it’s one of those things you don’t really plan on,” Baum said of his 300th victory. “It does mean you’ve done it for a long time.”
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Baum is in his 21st season as Chatfield’s head coach, but he has officially coached 20 seasons since there were no games played in 2020 due to COVID-19. The 2020 season would have been the 50th straight season that a Baum has been the head coach at Chatfield. Brian’s father, Molly Baum, coached the team for 30 years. Brian was his assistant for the final 10 of those seasons.
Molly Baum finished his career with 420 career wins. Brian Baum, who is 54, is certainly within reach of that total.
“That would mean I’d have to do it for a long time,” he said with a chuckle. “We’ll see what happens, and take it year by year.”
Baum has built plenty of memories over the years.
“Whenever you go to state, that’s always a highlight,” he said. ”And I know my first year in (2001)."
During Baum's first season as head coach, the Gophers lost their first section game and then went on a winning streak to earn a state berth. In 2014, the Gophers placed second in the subsection and went on to earn a state berth, and earned third place in the process.
“That was probably a highlight,” Baum said.
Overall, Baum has guided Chatfield to five state berths.
“You go through the years and you have your special groups,” Baum said. “You appreciate all the coaches you’ve coached with and all the time they put into it. Like anything else, to have a good program you have to have good people below you, which we’ve had. Plus the kids love to play baseball in Chatfield, which makes my job a little easier, too.”
Despite losing their top pitcher to an injury for all but one inning this season, Chatfield is 16-6. The Gophers knocked off top subsection seed Caledonia 6-2 last Thursday.
“The kids have really stepped up,” Baum said. “We’ve had a nice year, I’m really happy with it.”
A number of senior area softball players have been selected to take part in the MFCA All-Star Series. The one-day event will be played at 5 p.m. on June 17 at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Each of the four classes — A, AA, AAA and AAAA — has a Red and a Blue team. The format for the event will be for the Red to face the Blue in each class.
In Class A, Hayfield pitcher Caitlyn Henderickson and Randolph pitcher Morgyn Otte and catcher Megan Erickson are members of the Blue team while Wabasha-Kellogg pitcher Julia Schmoker is a member of the Red team.
In Class AA, Zumbrota-Mazeppa pitcher Avery Steffen is part of the Blue team while St. Charles right fielder Jade Krenik and Winona Cotter shortstop Abree Dieterman and first baseman Ellie Macal are part of the Red team.
In Class AAA, Red Wing center fielder Abby Boxrud and Winona third baseman Paige Grafton are part of the Red team.
Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at email@example.com .