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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Schumm humbled by state Hall of Fame honor

OHSBCA Hall of Fame

By Gary R. Rasberry
Mike Schumm never expected to get the call that put him in the exclusive group of great high school baseball coaches.
The longtime Parkway baseball coach will be inducted into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame this Thursday during the state baseball coaches' clinic in Columbus.
"It's quite a humbling experience because I don't place myself amongst those people when I look at them," said Schumm. "Those are an elite group of people and I feel very fortunate to have this honor. It's a thrill, a dream of a lifetime and it's certainly something that makes you emotional when you ever think about it, but it's something you never dream will happen."
Schumm credited assistant coaches that have worked with him over the years as well as the numerous players that he has been able to coach during his years of guiding the Panthers' baseball program.
"I'm extremely grateful and thankful this is taking place," said Schumm. "But I have to certainly share this with former coaches who have worked with me and the players who made success happen.
"I was real proud of Eric Stachler, who took my place (from 2004 to 2009). I think he's done a tremendous job at Parkway. When he was in high school (at Coldwater), he was an adversary. When he got out, he became an assistant of mine and I became an assistant of his (Schumm served the last several years as a voluntary assistant coach)."
Schumm also gave credit to the coaches of the Midwest Athletic Conference, saying that preparing to play the conference teams helped the program tremendously.
"Throughout all the years I coached, they were true gentlemen. I appreciate the camaraderie that I had to share with these people," said Schumm. "They've all been quality people who've been successful. I think because the league is as strong as it is, that's why our programs have been as strong as they have been. ... Just a terrific bunch of guys."
Among the men that Schumm will join in the Hall of Fame, Don Black holds a special place. Black, the first baseball coach of the Parkway program after the consolidation of Rockford and Willshire, was Schumm's high school and ACME coach.
"Coach Black is one big reason I went into coaching," said Schumm. "I always had tremendous respect for him. To me, he was the greatest baseball coach that could ever be in this country. He wasn't just a fundamentalist and great teacher of baseball, I think his value system of expecting the best out of everybody was what I remember the most. He was a fair man, I do remember that. All of the things he did brought forth success. A lot of things he did I continued because they were successful. I'm indebted in being a part of his program.
"He helped me a great deal, not only in high school but when I got out of school. We had talks at different times. He shared a lot of terrific information with me."
Schumm took over the Parkway program in 1986 after the death of Black.
"His presence is certainly missed here," said Schumm. "To ever think I could ever step in and take his place, I didn't think would ever happen. When it did, I didn't think I could ever live up to the same expectations he had created."
Success quickly followed. In 1987, Schumm guided the Panthers to the school's first-ever state title, taking the Class A championship. In 1991, Parkway won the Division IV state title.
In 25 years, having coached at Fort Recovery for three seasons and Mendon-Union for four years before heading back to Parkway, Schumm's squads compiled a 352-197 record. Schumm has guided teams to four district and 14 sectional titles to go along with four Midwest Athletic Conference championships.
In addition to his work in spring baseball, Schumm has been a fixture of the summer ACME program, coaching for 20 years and continuing to work in the program as an assistant commissioner for the ACME Baseball Congress, earning induction into the ACME Hall of Fame this past fall.
Of the many players Schumm has coached over the years, three of which played professionally and 28 that played college ball, he is proudest of having coached his sons Aaron and Galen, both of whom went on to play college baseball.
"Working with your sons is a unique situation," said Schumm. "It's a great feeling for me to know that I had my sons playing for me. At the same time, I think there were situations where I was harder on them than other kids because they were my kids. I was always proud of them and the way they performed. At times they were the first to practice and last ones to leave. That always made me feel good. Watching them mature and go on and play in college (Aaron at University of Findlay, Galen at University of Dayton) is one of the greatest experiences in my life.
"My kids have been a very special part of me, and it's very tough for me, at times, not to be with them. To be honest, that was one of the initial reasons I got out of coaching, to be able to watch Galen play in college because he was my last one. One of the biggest regrets was not watching my daughter (Amanda, a standout in softball at Parkway and at Mount Vernon Nazarene University) softball in high school, because they were very successful and she had a great career. When I'm coaching one sport and she's playing the same time in another, it's just hard to get there. I wish there were times I could have seen her play more. I did get to watch her play in college and that was some terrific times. When you coach, you make sacrifices and your family makes sacrifices. You hope your relationships stay strong through that time. I feel like ours has and I was pretty lucky to have the three kids I have. "
Schumm also praised his wife Deb, for allowing him the long hours after school to work in baseball.
"My wife has especially been understanding," said Schumm. "It takes a special woman to let you go and be up at the school all day and all night and get home late. I'm just real lucky to have the family that I have. They all have been very supportive and they mean a great deal to me."

Schumm's career:
• 3 years head coach at Fort Recovery
• 4 years head coach at Mendon
• 18 years head coach at Parkway
• 20 years ACME baseball coach
• 1 year Assistant Coach for Grand Lake Mariners
• 2 State titles (1987, 1991)
• 2 Regional Championships '91
• 2 District Championships
• 4 District runners-up
• 14 Sectional Championships
• 4 MAC Championships
• 4 MAC runners-up
• State Poll Champions in '87
• 4 MAC Coach of Year Honors
• Ohio All-Star Game coach (1988)
• 3 Players have gone on to play professional baseball
• 28 Players have gone on to play college baseball
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