Who have you coached just might be the hardest question for Jeff Trundy to answer. As a Connecticut high school science teacher and baseball coach it’s fair to wonder why that is, but he has also coached several players who have gone on to successful careers in Major League Baseball.
“I always feel bad to start naming names, because I don't want anybody to ever think that I’ve forgotten them because I haven't,” said Trundy, who teaches and coaches at the Frederick Gunn School in Washington, Connecticut.
But the players he doesn’t want to forget: Kevin Cash, Jacoby Ellsbury, A.J. Pollock, Rhys Hoskins, major league baseball players he’s seen through his summer job in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
“I think a lot of times that list is, is always right there in my mind,” said Trundy. “And when you talk to someone, all of a sudden other names come up, and you start sharing stories about people that have been here in the past. Needless to say, I have a long, long list on my phone of people.”
“The kids,” as Trundy calls them, are Major League Baseball All-Stars and World Series champs, but they could never play another inning of baseball and still be just as important.
“It's been a lot of great kids and a lot of great players,” said Trundy. “I just want to see them be able to have great lives after they leave here.”
Trundy has spent 28 seasons managing in the Cape Cod Baseball League, 24 of them with the Falmouth Commodores. So, there is no off-season. He goes straight from high school to summer ball, but that’s no problem.
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“I love baseball,” said Trundy. “You know, for someone to do it as long as I’ve done it, I think that's pretty obvious.”
Every so often his day job and summer job overlap. This season, he’s coaching UConn pitcher Garrett Coe, who was also his player in high school.
“Just ‘cause he's quiet doesn't mean he's a scary guy,” said Coe. “He's never gonna get like really on you like that unless you're taking the respect out of the game.”
Coe remembers when he almost called it quits. He was struggling through injuries in the college recruiting process and Coach Trundy was there.
“I just remember one day him looking at me, and just saying ‘What are you doing?’ Because ... he knows just how much you love the game,” said Coe. “And, and I can't thank him enough for not letting me forget that.”
There's no forgetting Trundy. If there's one thing he loves more than baseball, it's every single one of his “kids.”
“Grateful for everything, entitled to nothing,” said Coe. “He says that one all the time, whether we're here or we're back in Washington, Connecticut.”
“Most of these guys now obviously are adults and living successful lives, but I think they give me much more than they realize,” Trundy said.
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