Rod Dedeaux

Raoul Martial "Rod" Dedeaux (February 17, 1914 – January 5, 2006) was an American college baseball coach who compiled what is widely recognized as among the greatest records of any coach in the sport's amateur history.[1][2][3][4][5]

Dedeaux was the head baseball coach at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles for 45 seasons, and retired at age 72 in 1986.[5][6] His teams won 11 national titles (College World Series), including a record five straight (19701974),[7][8] and 28 conference championships.[4] Dedeaux was named Coach of the Year six times by the Collegiate Baseball Coaches Association and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1970. He was named "Coach of the Century" by Collegiate Baseball magazine,[9] and was one of the ten initial inductees to the College Baseball Hall of Fame.[10]

Rod Dedeaux
Roddedeaux
Shortstop
Born: February 17, 1914
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: January 5, 2006 (aged 91)
Glendale, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 28, 1935, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1935, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.250
Home runs0
Runs batted in1
Teams

Early life

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dedeaux moved to Los Angeles and graduated from Hollywood High School in 1931.[11] He played baseball at the University of Southern California for three seasons. Dedeaux then played professional baseball briefly in 1935, appearing in two games as a shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers late in the season. The following year while playing for Dayton in the Mid-Atlantic League, he cracked a vertebra while swinging in cold weather, and his playing career ended.[11] He then turned to coaching in the semi-pro and amateur ranks.[1][9][12]

Career

Dedeaux invested $500 to start a trucking firm, Dart (Dedeaux Automotive Repair and Transit) Enterprises, which he built into a successful regional business.[3][13] When his college coach, Sam Barry, entered the U.S. Navy during World War II,[14] he recommended Dedeaux to take over the team in 1942 for the war's duration. Upon Barry's return in 1946, they served as co-coaches, with Dedeaux running the team each year until Barry finished the basketball season.[15][16] USC won its first national title in 1948, over Yale, captained by first baseman George H. W. Bush. The finals were held at Hyames Field in Kalamazoo, Michigan, settled by a 9–2 win in the third and deciding game.[17][18]

Following Barry's death in September 1950,[19] Dedeaux became the sole coach and proceeded to build on the early success to establish the strongest program in collegiate baseball. Prior to his retirement in June 1986, Dedeaux's teams won ten additional College World Series titles in Omaha, including five consecutively (1970–74), the sixth in seven years. No other coach won more than three titles until 1997.

At USC, Dedeaux coached dozens of future major leaguers, including Ron Fairly, Don Buford, Tom Seaver, Dave Kingman, Roy Smalley, Fred Lynn, Steve Kemp, Mark McGwire, and Randy Johnson.[1][9][20] Throughout his USC career, he accepted a nominal salary of just $1 per year, as his trucking business supplied him with a substantial income.[11] He turned down numerous offers of major league coaching positions, including invitations from Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda to join his staff, always rejecting them due to his preference for the college game and his desire to remain close to his family.

He retired as the winningest coach in college baseball history with a record of 1,332–571–11 (.699),[21] and for the rest of his life remained an honored annual presence at the College World Series in Omaha. At to the 1999 edition, the 50th played in Omaha, he was given a key to the city by the mayor and a one-minute standing ovation by the fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.[22] He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame in 1970, and in 1999 was named the Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball magazine.[15]

USC played its home games at Bovard Field through 1973,[23] and Dedeaux became known as "The Houdini of Bovard" for the come-from-behind home-field wins by the Trojans. A new baseball field named Dedeaux Field opened in 1974, named in honor of the active head coach.[24]

Olympics

Dedeaux was the head coach of the United States Olympic team in 1964 (Tokyo) and 1984 (Los Angeles),[25] both times as a demonstration sport.[26] Baseball was elevated to full medal status in 1992, but only through 2008.[27]

Films

Dedeaux also served as the baseball coach and consultant for actors and ballplayers on the 1989 film Field of Dreams. While Dedeaux was critical of the "phoniness that was in baseball movies", which he acquired working as an extra in the 1948 film The Babe Ruth Story, he accepted the task after reading the original novel Shoeless Joe, and brought Buford along to help him coach the cast.[28][29] Phil Alden Robinson, who directed the film, said the following about Dedeaux:[30]

All of the ballplayers in the movie were prepped for the film by Rod Dedeaux. He coached at USC for many years, and is a wonderful man, very full of life, energetic, very supportive, just really was very giving of himself and cheerful all the time, was a great spirit to have around. And one day, we were in between setups and I said, 'Hey, coach, what position did you play?' He said, 'I was a shortstop.' I said, 'Really, could you — were you good?' He got very quiet, and he said, 'I could field the ball.' I said, 'Could you hit?' He said, 'I could hit the ball.' And he was strangely quiet. And I said to him, 'Well, how come you never played in the majors?' And he said, 'I did.' I said, 'Really?' [Dedeaux said] 'Yes, in 1930-something.' I forget what year he said. He was the starting shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played one game, broke his back, and that was the end of his career.

And I just blanched. I said, 'My God, you're Doc Graham.' He said, 'That's right.' And I said, 'Do you ever think about, "gee, the career I might've had."' And he said, 'Every day.' He said it very quietly. It was very out of character for him, and I was so touched by that. And I did look him up in the Baseball Encyclopedia: He did go, I think, 1-for-4 with an RBI. That was his lifetime stats. So having him be the man who trained all these fellows, including the kid who plays Doc Graham, was very meaningful to me, and I know it was to him, too. It was great to have him around. I think about that often, about what that must have been like, to be good enough to start with a Major League team, and for one unlucky moment, not be able to do — the rest of your life takes another turn. What he did with that is, he put all of that emotion — which could have gone into bitterness or regret — into being a phenomenal coach. He sent more people to the majors than, I think, anybody else in college history. He's an amazing man.

Personal

Dedeaux was married to the former Helen L. Jones (1915–2007) for 66 years, and they had four children.

Death and legacy

Dedeaux died in early 2006 at age 91 at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale,[5] of complications from a stroke five weeks earlier.[27][31] Six months later on July 4, he was one of ten in the first class inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.[10][32][33] Dedeaux was also inducted in the inaugural class of the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, and a statue of him was unveiled at Dedeaux Field on the USC campus in 2014.

Dedeaux was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals in 2005.[34]

Dedeaux and his wife Helen are buried in Los Angeles at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Rose, George (2004). One Hit Wonders: Baseball Stories. iUniverse. pp. 8–9. ISBN 9780595318070.
  2. ^ Santelli, Robert; Santelli, Jenna (2010). The Baseball Fan's Bucket List: 162 Things You Must Do, See, Get, and Experience Before You Die. Running Press. pp. 200–01. ISBN 9780762440313.
  3. ^ a b Murray, Jim (February 24, 1973). "Dedeaux' Dynasty". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 3B.
  4. ^ a b "Construction Begins On The Rod Dedeaux Research For Baseball Institute". Usctrojans.com. October 4, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Glick, Shav (January 6, 2006). "Rod Dedeaux, 91; led USC teams to 11 national baseball championships". Los Angeles Times. (obituary). Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  6. ^ "Trojans' Rod Dedeaux resigns after 44 years". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. UPI. June 4, 1986. p. D2.
  7. ^ "Troy wins; Miami foe in finals". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. June 15, 1974. p. 12.
  8. ^ "USC dynasty stays intact". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. June 17, 1974. p. 14.
  9. ^ a b c "Dodgers to celebrate Rod Dedeaux Night on April 5". MLB.com. January 19, 2006. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Rod Dedeaux Elected To College Baseball Hall Of Fame". CSTV.com. April 26, 2006. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "Dedeaux strives for excellence". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. May 5, 1978. p. 35.
  12. ^ Rod Dedeaux Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  13. ^ The New York Times & Arno Press. 12. 1981. p. 472 Service https://books.google.com/books?id=NuA1AQAAIAAJ&q=rod-Biographical Service Check |url= value (help). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Sam Barry given new Navy post". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. June 1, 1943. p. 8.
  15. ^ a b Miller, Doug (May 5, 2005). "Dedeaux honored by Louisville Slugger". MLB.com. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  16. ^ Habib, Daniel G. (June 14, 2004). "Crown Jewel". Sports Illustrated.com. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  17. ^ "Yale Elis even Trojan series". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. June 27, 1948. p. 1, sports.
  18. ^ "Southern Cal takes college ball title". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. June 28, 1948. p. 15.
  19. ^ "Sam Barry dies, returned to LA". Lodi News-Sentinel. California. United Press. September 25, 1950. p. 6.
  20. ^ Murray, Jim (March 28, 1976). "Baseball's gold mine". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 2B.
  21. ^ "Dedeaux retires after 45 years". The Courier. Prescott, Arizona. UPI. June 4, 1986. p. 12A.
  22. ^ "Rod Dedeaux honored in pre-game ceremony". Boca Raton News. Florida. Associated Press. June 18, 1999. p. 2B.
  23. ^ "Rod, the tree, recommissioned". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. Associated Press. June 5, 1973. p. 2C.
  24. ^ Newnham, Blaine (May 14, 1974). "Duck-Trojan game set back a day". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1D.
  25. ^ Vecsey, George (June 2, 1984). "Baseball joins the parade". Wilmington Morning Star. North Carolina. (New York Times). p. 4D.
  26. ^ "Dedeaux looks forward to Olympic baseball". Times Daily. Florence, Alabama. UPI. July 16, 1984. p. 5B.
  27. ^ a b Peters, Ken (January 5, 2006). "Former USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux dies at 91". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  28. ^ Blocker, Sue (July 13, 1988). "'Shoeless' Managers know game". Telegraph Herald. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  29. ^ "The 'Field of Dreams' Scrapbook", Field of Dreams DVD
  30. ^ Audio commentary featuring Phil Alden Robinson and John Lindley, Field of Dreams DVD
  31. ^ Goldstein, Richard (January 7, 2006). "Rod Dedeaux, 91; Led U.S.C. to 11 College World Series Titles". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  32. ^ "Winfield, Dedeaux among 10 elected to College Hall of Fame". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. April 27, 2006. p. 6C.
  33. ^ "Winfield leads class of 10 into College Baseball Hall" July 4, 2006. Associated Press. College Sports (ESPN.com). Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  34. ^ "Shrine of the Eternals – Inductees". Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2019-08-14.

External links

1948 NCAA Baseball Tournament

The 1948 NCAA Baseball Tournament was the second NCAA-sanctioned baseball tournament that determined a national champion. The tournament was held as the conclusion of the 1948 NCAA baseball season. The 1948 College World Series was played at Hyames Field on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan from June 25 to 26. The tournament champion was Southern California coached by Sam Barry and Rod Dedeaux. It was the Trojans' first of 12 championships through the 2012 season.

1948 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1948 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1948 NCAA baseball season. The team was coached by co-head coaches Sam Barry and Rod Dedeaux.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating future U.S. President George H. W. Bush and the Yale Bulldogs in the championship series.

1958 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1958 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1958 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twelfth year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 26 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The College World Series was held in Omaha, NE from June 13 to June 19. The twelfth tournament's champion was Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was Bill Thom of Southern California.

1958 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1958 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1958 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached by Rod Dedeaux in his 17th season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Missouri Tigers in the championship game.

1961 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1961 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1961 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its fifteenth year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 25 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The College World Series was held in Omaha, NE from June 9 to June 14. The fifteenth tournament's champion was Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was Littleton Fowler of runner-up Oklahoma State.

1961 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1961 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1961 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 20th season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Oklahoma State in the championship game.

1963 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1963 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1963 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 22nd season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Arizona Wildcats in the championship game.

1968 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1968 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1968 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 27th season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Southern Illinois Salukis in the championship game.

1970 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1970 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1970 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 29th season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Florida State Seminoles in the championship game, starting a run of five consecutive national championships for USC.

1971 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1971 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1971 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twenty-fifth year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 23 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The twenty-fifth tournament's champion was Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was Jerry Tabb of Tulsa.

1971 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1971 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1971 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 30th season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Southern Illinois Salukis in the championship game, winning their second of five consecutive national championships, and third in four years.

1972 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1972 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1972 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 31st season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils in the championship game, winning their third of five consecutive national championships, and fourth in five years.

1973 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1973 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1973 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twenty-seventh year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 32 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The twenty-seventh tournament's champion was the University of Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was Dave Winfield of Minnesota. Winfield was the starting pitcher in two games, tossing 17​1⁄3 innings, allowing 9 hits, 1 earned run, and striking out 29. In addition, he batted .467 in the Series.

Southern California became the first team to win four consecutive College World Series.

1973 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1973 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1973 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 32nd season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils in the championship game, winning their fourth of five consecutive national championships, and the fifth in six years.

1974 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament

The 1974 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1974 NCAA Division I baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twenty-eighth year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 28 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The twenty-eighth tournament's champion was Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was George Milke of Southern California.

1974 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1974 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1974 NCAA Division I baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 33rd season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Miami Hurricanes in the championship game, completing their run of five consecutive national championships.

1978 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament

The 1978 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1978 NCAA Division I baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its thirty-second year. Eight regional competitions were held to determine the participants in the final event. Seven regions held a four team, double-elimination tournament while one region included six teams, resulting in 34 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The thirty-second tournament's champion was Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was Rod Boxberger of Southern California.

1978 USC Trojans baseball team

The 1978 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1978 NCAA Division I baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 37th season.

The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils in the championship game for the Trojans eleventh and final national championship under Rod Dedeaux.

USC Trojans baseball

The USC Trojans baseball program represents the University of Southern California in college baseball. Established in 1888, the team is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pac-12 Conference. USC home's field is Dedeaux Field, which is named in honor of former head coach and National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Rod Dedeaux.

The USC Trojans are one of the most successful programs in the history of college baseball. The Trojans have won more baseball national championships than any other program across all divisions of college baseball. With 12 national championships, USC is far and away the leader in that category; no other Division I school has more than six. As of June 30, 2018, USC also ranked fifth in all-time College World Series (CWS) appearances with 21, trailing only Texas (36), Miami (FL) (25), and Arizona State (22), and Florida State (22). The Trojans have won more individual CWS games (74) than any program but Texas (85). USC also ranked fourth in all-time NCAA Tournament wins with 173—trailing only Texas (240), Miami (192), and Florida State (192)—and eighth in total NCAA Tournament appearances with 37.The Trojans have compiled an all-time record of 2,884–1,685–28 (.630)—ranking fifth in all-time wins and 18th in all-time win percentage—and have captured outright or tied for 38 conference championships, as of the end of the 2018 season. USC's most notable baseball coach was Rod Dedeaux, who coached from 1942 from 1986 and led the school to 11 of its NCAA championships, including five straight from 1970 to 1974. The first Trojan national championship came in 1948. The 12th and most recent NCAA championship came in 1998.

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