By Zach Gewelb
A St. John’s coaching legend has been enshrined in baseball history.
Longtime coach Ed Blankmeyer was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Indianapolis.
Blankmeyer has the most wins as a coach in St. John’s history and is the most successful manager in the history of the Big East Conference. He has recorded 758 wins and boasts a .622 career winning percentage as a coach.
Blankmeyer, who was hired by St. John’s in 1996, was humble during the induction ceremony, diverting credit for his success to the players he’s worked with over the years.
“Without outstanding players that are team-oriented, it’s very difficult to achieve championship success,” Blankmeyer said. “I have been blessed to coach many great players over my 38 years as a college coach.
“As a coach, I’ve tried to follow the Golden Rule: I coached and treated players the way I wanted to be coached and treated. My goal was to teach them to play the right way and, through lessons of baseball, make them better men. I pray that I accomplished this goal.”
A plethora of Blankmeyer’s former players and staffers attended the ceremony, which the Hall of Famer appreciated, as he cherishes the relationships he’s made doing what he loves most.
“Baseball has given me a lot to be thankful for,” he said. “It’s given me a livelihood, and I haven’t worked a day in my life. It’s provided me with great friends, and most of all it has taught me a lot about life, relationships and what is truly important. I am blessed to be able to coach this great game.”
Blankmeyer follows in the footsteps of his predecessors Jack Kaiser and Joe Russo. In fact, St. John’s has had just three coaches since 1956, and now all three are Hall of Famers.
The newest member of the Hall said he is grateful to have positive relationships with his predecessors, especially Kaiser.
“The first person to congratulate me and welcome me to St. John’s was none other than Jack Kaiser, one of the founding fathers of the Big East, Hall of Fame coach, former chairman of the board, and cherished member of our association,” Blankmeyer said. “He has done so much for St. John’s, as well as being a very special person to many of us here tonight.”
Blankmeyer is preparing for his 23rd season as head coach of the St. John’s baseball team, which begins play next month.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe