Column: Weier’s coaching will be missed next year

As many would know, when assembling a summer baseball team here in New Ulm, one tries to mesh the skills of players from the three high schools here in New Ulm into one team.

Several years back, I was covering a VFW baseball game in New Ulm when I saw them pull off two double plays in the same game, successfully hit and cut down a runner at home on a perfect relay throw from right field to the cutoff man and then to the catcher.

And they also executed a suicide squeeze.

That team was coached by Bob Weier.

After the game, I was casually talking to a player from that VFW team that did not play for Weier at New Ulm Cathedral in the spring and I asked him, out of curiosity, how he liked Weier as a coach.

His response did not surprise me, but it made me look at Weier in a different way.

“I have learned more about the game of baseball this summer from coach Weier than I did playing for my high school coach,” he said. “He has taught me a lot.”

Monday, Weier retired after 27 years as head baseball coach of the Greyhounds. But as good as a coach as he was, he was even a better teacher of the game. He was respected by his peers for that and he was always a class act on or off the field.

Next year, Weier is going to miss coaching and teaching the players.

But the players are going to miss him a lot more.

NEW ULM HAS HAD GREAT COACHES: Weier retired with 427 career wins. When you add in retired New Ulm High School baseball coach Jim Senske’s 707 career wins and retired Cathedral softball coach Bob Mertz’s 802 career wins, that totals up to 1,936 career wins for three high school coaches in the same town. There are not a lot of cities that can stake a claim to having had three outstanding coaches like New Ulm has had.

STATE BOARD IN NEW ULM: Eight members of the Minnesota State Baseball Association were in Springfield Friday and New Ulm Saturday to look over Riverside Park in Springfield and Johnson and Mueller Parks in New Ulm for next year’s 2020 State Amateur Baseball Tournament. They met and talked with Facilities Manager Ryan Weier, Tom Schmitz, New Um Park and Rec Director and members of the New Ulm State Tournament Committee.

“Both communities have done a nice job with their projects,” Fred Roufs of the MSBA said. “They have some real interesting plans that should be done by this year and next year it is just fine-tuning and grooming.

“Springfield has a nice down home work environment, a great size grandstand, a large parking lot and a new scoreboard, so the essentials are there. They are also going to put on a two-deck concession stand. They have some water issues, but they are working around those.”

As for New Ulm?

“New Ulm has completed their restroom facilities and are putting a cover on the Mueller Park grandstand,” he said. “They will have a new concession stand, renovated grandstand and an observation deck. We are very excited about next year.”

Roufs has big hopes for bringing in baseball fans next year.

“We are hoping to get between 18,000 to 20,000 people here next year. That will benefit hotels, motels and businesses.”

NEW ULM DAY SUNDAY: This Sunday on June 16 is “New Ulm Day” at Mueller Park, with four baseball games lined up. At 11 a.m., the New Ulm 14U will meet Litchfield, with New Ulm VFW Silver playing Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart at 1 p.m., New Ulm Legion Gold playing Sleepy Eye at 3 pm. and the New Ulm Brewers hosting Leavenworth at 6 p.m.