We’re long past the point where we’re surprised with a guest that is not well known outside the region in which they coach. Coaches often labor in relative obscurity. However, every now and then there is something that does surprise us — like the occasional college coach that didn’t play college baseball. Infrequent, yes, but not unusual. This week’s episode, however, yields a big surprise in that we’ve got a guest who never even went to college. And not only is he the head baseball coach, but he’s also the athletic director! In this episode we visit with Mark “Lunch” McKenzie of Concordia-St. Paul. And what a terrific story he’s got to tell!
In this episode, Coach McKenzie talks about many topics that were so interesting that we only barely mentioned the very team he’s now coaching! Oh well – sounds like a promising part two could be coming. Topics that we do address in this episode are where the “Lunch” nickname came from, growing up (and still living) in nearby Minnetonka, not going to college, getting his foot in the door of Minneapolis-St. Paul big time sports as a bat boy for the Minnesota Twins, working the clubhouse for the Vikings for 51 years, former guest Paul Blanchard recommending Lunch for the Minnetonka High School Baseball coaching job, working with USA Baseball, having the legendary Reggie Jackson as godfather to one of his kids, coaching his sons, working camps and clinics frequently in Canada, and the impact of weather on his program (especially this season!).
- “I became the most popular guy in school (after landing the Twins bat boy job).”
- “It’s who knows you.”
- “I got to see people at the highest level succeed and fail.”
- “Would I want to play for that guy?.”
- “Love your kids. Don’t be in love with your kids..”
- “The game is designed to make you crack.”
- “Tell me about us.” (Coach McKenzie’s inquiry to a Cuban coach about his USA Baseball team)
photo credit: Concordia St. Paul Athletics
Intro Music: Matt’s Blues, Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License