Page 2 -The Michigan Daily, Thursday, September 10, 1987
BY GREG MOLZON
Okay, take out your pencil and paper. It's time for
the first quiz of the new school year.
QUESTION: Which University of Michigan
#thletic team has been the most successful of the
a That's an easy one, right?
It's gotta be football, you say? Football is what
Michigan's all about-104,000 fans, the great
helmets, Ohio State, and the Rose Bowl. You
robably already have New Year's reservations in
asadena. No doubt about it, football is the answer.
WRONG. Sorry, but Bo's boys have only won
two conference championships in this decade and
when it comes to the Rose Bowl...well, let's not talk
If it's not football, it certainly must be basketball,
you say? Bill Freider's squads won two straight Big
I'en titles and were one of the top ranked teams in the
country. They even won the National Invitational
I'ournament one year. Right?
2 Well, that's true, but they also had a bunch of
mediocre years in the early 80s and an NIT
thampionship doesn't quite call for legendary status.
So, if it's not football and it's not basketball,
vhat could it be? Here is the correct answer.
Yep, that's right, it's baseball for those of you
who can't read backwards.
If you answered this question correctly, you just
pay breeze through the next four years with a 4.0. If
ou missed it, here are some facts about the team that
you should study if you want to pass Michigan
First, the team is coached by Bud Middaugh.
Although he's not as well known as those other guys
coaching football and basketball, Middaugh's record
speaks for itself.
a In 20 seasons as a head coach, he has a career
-record of 724-284-1, for a winning percentage of
719. He has 368 victories at Michigan to place him
aecond on the career list for wins at the school.
In sharp contrast to Detroit Tigers manager Sparky
Anderson, who says that each year's team is his best
gever, Middaugh constantly downplays his teams'
.accomplishments and abilities. He is a perfectionist
and always emphasizes the need for improvement.
However, it's hard to improve on what his
Wolverines have accomplished in the eight years
since he arrived in 1980 from Miami (Ohio)
-Seven straight Big Ten East titles.
-Big Ten championships in six of the the last
-Seven trips to the NCAA regionals.
-Four visits to the College World Series.
-A winning percentage of .770 (yes, that does beat
the football team's percentage of .760 in the 80s).
This past season, the Wolverines compiled a 52-12
record and were Big Ten champions. The season
included a 22-game winning streak ( two wins shy of
the school record set in 1985) and a constant place in
the top ten of the national rankings.
Although the team bowed out of the NCAA
Northeast Regional with a heartbreaking 10-8 loss to
Georgia that ended hopes of advancing to the College
World Series, the future looks even brighter for the
That is because Middaugh will have virtually the
same team back this year. Michigan loses only one
key senior from last year's squad and although it's
possible that a few of the juniors may be drafted and
turn professional this summer, chances are that most
of them will return for their final year.
As always at Michigan, pitching will be this
year's strength. The staff will be led by first team
All-Big Ten selection and team most valuable player,
Mike Ignasiak (6-5, five saves). Behind Ignasiak,
there is a strong core of young hurlers, led by juniors
Jim Abbott (11-3, 2.08 ERA) and Chris Lutz (6-1).
All of the Wolverines' top hitters will also be
returning. In only his first season, Phil Price led the
team in hitting (.387) and home runs (9). Other top
hitters are Jim Durham (.378), Bill St. Peter (.328,
52 RBIs), Greg McMurtry (.299), and Steve Finken
and Tom Brock (both hit .278, eight homers).
You don't have to memorize the statistics, but you
should probably remember these names because when
a promising crop of freshmen is added to this
experienced and talented team, the results could be
By ADAM SCHEFTER
Being a student at the University
of Michigan carries along with it a
lot of responsibility.
Being a varsity athlete as well
entails even more.
Now imagine all this in addition
to being married and having a child.
IF YOU'RE Michigan's third
baseman Bill St. Peter, you don't
have to imagine. You live with this
triad of responsibility each and
every day of your life.
"It's hard to do all three," the
junior said. "When you should be
studying, there are other things that
have to be taken care of in the
family. There's certain limitations
to what you can do.
"When you're by yourself, you
have only one person to please-
yourself. When you have a family,
you have other people to please and
then yourself. I'm third in line."
Head coach Bud Middaugh also
realizes the nature of the situation,
and he attempts to lend a helping
hand whenever it is possible.
St. Peter leads 'M' batsmen
"There are some things that I
have to understand as a coach,"
Middaugh said. "Say Billy's kid has
to go to the doctor during practice
and Billy needs to be there. It's
things like that that you've got to
be understanding about."
THE SITUATION has also
been a trying one for his wife. For
it has been St. Peter's one wish to
play baseball ever since he was a
little boy. In fact, in 1985 when he
was a fifth round draft pick of the
Cincinnati Reds, he almost chose
the minor league circuit over
"She knows how important
baseball is to me," the soft-spoken
Linwood native said. "It's my
ticket. A lot of people want to get
jobs and work in a business. I don't
really want to work in a business
unless I have to. Baseball has been
my life and she understands."
With good reason, St. Peter has
shown what a tremendous player he
can be. During the 1987 season, he
hit .328, had seven home runs, and
led the team with 52 RBIs.
BUT MORE than that, he has
shown hard work and determination,
and was the only Wolverine to play
in all 62 of the team's games last
"When we played Grand Valley,
he was sicker than a devil," said
Middaugh. "I don't even know how
he played. Andwouldn't you know
he was always on the bases,
running out whatever he was
hitting. When we ran in practice
drills after the game, I had to kick
him off the field, he was so sick."
With a young team last season,
Middaugh looked for players like
St. Peter to step in and be a guiding
force on the team. Leadership is a
must, and in St. Peter he trusts.
"Billy can step into the
leadership role," the eighth-year
coach said. "I think the younger
guys look to him as someone they
respect on the baseball field."
THE 6-0, 195 pound St.
Peter gladly welcomed this
newfound role, but to be the leader
that Middaugh wanted, his actions
had to speak louder than his words.
And they did.
"Billy's been great," said Rich
Samplinski. "I came in here as a
third baseman out of high school.
He's been nothing but supportive
as far as telling me what I've been
doing right and wrong. People at
the sme position often don't want
you to do that well. NotBilly. I
really admire him a lot."
Some may claim-that St. Peter
has too many obligations already.
The thought of one more
responsibility, the leadership duties,
may just be too much for a 20-year
old to handle. This assumption is
quickly refuted by the only other
married member of the team, Greg
"When you get on the field, you
block everything out of your mind
and its all baseball. That's the way
you have to do it if you want to go
anywhere," Everson said.
Student, athlete, father- and
leader. Now that's carrying more
than your fair share of the load.
ARE A GREAT
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Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Michigan third baseman Bill St. Peter leads the Wolverines on the
baseball field and a family at home.
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