Indiana High School Baseball Coaching Association Press Release (Nov 25)….(Note: Pictures have been added.)
The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its Hall of Fame class for 2020. The induction ceremonies will be held Friday January 17, 2020 at the Sheraton at Keystone at the Crossing in Indianapolis, IN. This event will be part of the 3-day IHSBCA state clinic (January 16-18) and information is available at www.ihsbca.org Banquet tickets are $45 and available by contacting HOF Chairman Jeff McKeon at 317-445-9899 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s class includes two coaches, Tony Uggen – Northfield HS/Blackford HS and Scott Upp – LaPorte HS; one player, Clint Barmes – Vincennes; one contributor/coach, Brian Abbott; and the Veterans Committee nominee – George Cuppy, Logansport.
Tony Uggen graduated from Blackford High School and Taylor University where he played baseball. He completed his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education at IPFW and earned his K-12 principal’s license through Indiana Wesleyan.
He spent his first 20 years at the helm at Northfield. His Norsemen had a long run of success winning 20+ games in 12 of his 20 years there and garnered 13 conference titles, 7 sectional titles (8 overall), 4 regionals, 2 semi-states, and reached the final four 4 times. The Norse won 2A state titles in ‘01 and ’12 and were 2A state runners-up in ‘13.
After the ’13 season, he accepted the challenge of rebuilding the program at his alma mater. His ’14 Bruins finished 14-14 to end the eight-year losing streak. His ’17 Bruins, 17-13, recorded the program’s first winning season since ’05 and won the school’s only sectional title in any sport since ’09. His ’19 Bruins finished 19-11.
Coach Uggen’s teams have compiled a 476-277 record over 26 years. Overall, he has coached 6 North All-Stars, 15 All-State players, and 20 have gone on to play at the next level. Tony was twice named IHSBCA 2A Coach of the Year and received District Coach of the Year honors 7 times. He was head coach of the North All-Stars in ’06. He has also served on IHSBCA committees.
He also coached football for several years at Northfield including four years as head coach.
After an 11 year teaching career at Northfield, he has served the past 17 as athletic director at Northfield and Blackford. He and his wife Lisa have 5 children: Stephanie, Christian, Brandon, Brendan, and Elly
Scott Upp has been the LaPorte Slicers skipper for 21.5 seasons. He served 6.5 years as an assistant coach before taking the head coach role halfway through the 1998 season. Scott has 472 wins and 197 losses (70.5%) during that time. This includes 5 Duneland Athletic Conference titles, 8 sectional championships, 3 regional crowns, 2 Final Fours, and 1 state championship.
He is a 6-time IHSBCA District Coach of the Year, the State Coach of the Year, and the District 4 National Coach of the Year. He has been president of the IHSBCA and served on the IHSBCA Board of Directors; numerous IHSBCA committees; and is a member of the IHSBCA, ABCA, and BCA. Scott coached the 1997 North All-Star Team, has had numerous players play college baseball, including 4 players joining the professional ranks.
Scott is a graduate of LaPorte HS and played for the legendary Ken Schreiber. He played collegiately at Missouri State and received his Bachelor’s Degree from there also. He has a Masters in Administration from Indiana University and is in his 28th year in education and currently serves as the Associate Principal and Head Baseball Coach at LaPorte HS.
Coach Upp and his wife has three sons: Kevin who played college baseball at Valparaiso; Kyle who played at Purdue University; and Travis who is currently playing baseball at Purdue – Fort Wayne.
Clint Barmes is a 1997 graduate of Vincennes Lincoln HS and played collegiately for Olney Central JC and then one season for Hall of Fame Coach Bob Warn at Indiana State before being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2000. While at ISU, Barmes was voted All-Region and All-Conference. He hit .375 with 93 hits, 18 doubles, 7 triples, and 10 home runs to go along with 63 runs scored, 37 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.
His pro career began in 2000 with the Rockies where he played 3 seasons before reaching the major leagues. He played 8 seasons with the Rockies, one with the Houston Astros, 3 years with the Pirates, and one season (2015) with the Padres. He was a career .245 hitter with 89 HR and 415 RBI, 932 hits, 434 runs scored, and 43 stolen bases. He appeared in the post season twice, 2009 and 2013, and hit .286 in the 2013 NLDS.
Clint and his wife Summer have two children, Cole and Whitney.
Brian Abbott spent 21 years as a high school coach at Eastbrook HS and Huntington North HS. He amassed over 300 wins, 7 county championships, 4 conference titles, 3 sectional crowns, 1 regional title, and a final four appearance in 1999.
Brian served as an IHSBCA district rep for many years and was named IHSBCA Executive Director in 2012, a role in which he currently serves. During this time the IHSBCA has experienced significant growth in all aspects of the state clinic and in the membership; in addition to assisting financially with the expansion of the Hall of Fame.
During the high school coaching years, Coach Abbott also served as a pitching coach at Huntington College / University from 1997 – 2007 and again from 2013 – present. He was a part of teams that appeared in 5 straight NAIA regionals and recently (2017, 2019) the HU team has been in two national tournament regionals. In between stints at HC / HU, Brian served as the pitching coach for Indiana Wesleyan University for 5 years where 2 of his pitchers signed professional contracts. He has spent more than 20 years in the college game as an assistant coach. Regardless of the school, Coach Abbott’s pitching staffs are very well respected and have appeared several times in the national level ERA rankings.
Brian played 4 years of varsity baseball at Delphi HS and pitched collegiately at Huntington College where he obtained a BS in Mathematics Education. He also has a Master’s Degree in Mathematics, a Masters in School Administration from Ball State, and is currently in his 37th year in education, teaching Math at Riverview MS in Huntington.
He and his wife Trisha have two children: son Tyler (wife Chelsie and son Quinn) and daughter Briley.
George Cuppy was born in Logansport on July 3, 1869 and his name when he was born was George Koppe. At some point he changed his name to George Cuppy. He died on July 22, 1922 at the age of 53 and is buried in Elkhart.
George started his career in Organized Baseball at the age of 20 with the Dayton (Ohio) Reds of the Tri-State League in 1890. In 1891 Cuppy divided his time between two clubs in the New York-Pennsylvania League, Jamestown, New York, and Meadville, Pennsylvania. The right-handed pitcher won 21 games that season and found time to play 17 games in the outfield.
George combined with Cy Young to give the Cleveland Spiders of the National League a strong one-two punch during the mid 1890’s. Cuppy’s best season was his rookie year in 1892 when he went 28 – 13 with a 2.51 ERA. He also posted seasons of 24 -15 in 1894, 26 – 14 in 1895, and 25 – 14 in 1896, all in Cleveland. His 10- year major league record with four teams was 162 – 98.
During the five-year span from 1892-1896, Cuppy and Young combined for 279 wins, the most of any two teammates in the majors over that span. In 1894, Cuppy led the National League in shutouts. A good-hitting pitcher, he scored five runs in an 18-6 win over the Chicago Colts on August 9, 1895. Cuppy pitched a complete game in that contest, one of the 224 times in his career that he finished what he started. He threw what he called a “jump ball” which was a rising fastball.
After leaving the majors, Cuppy returned to Indiana, where he pitched for and managed an Elkhart semipro club in 1902. For some time, he and his former catcher Lou Criger ran a billiard parlor, appropriately called The Battery. Lou Criger is also in the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame.
After the 2020 class is inducted on January 17, 2020, there will be 200 IHSBCA Hall of Famers of which 106 are coaches dating back to the first class inducted in 1979. This list includes many players/coaches/contributors that went on to great careers in baseball that many might know including Gil Hodges, Judge Kennesaw Landis, Ford Frick, Charley Finley, Don Larson, Eric Wedge, Don Mattingly, Andy Benes, and Scott Rolen, Bob Warn, Dave Alexander, Mike Frame, and Don Brandon to name a few.
It also includes many coaches that Coach Uggen has coached against over his 26 years as a head coach including Bill Jones, Chris Rood, Don Sherman, Rick Atkinson, Bill Stoudt, Brian Dudley, Tim Bordenet, Dean Stahly, Andy Owen, George Phares and Greg Marchand. Uggen also coached against Rich Andriole when both were the North-South Head All-Star coaches in ’06 and Jack Campbell who was one of his All-Star assistant coaches that same year.
Uggen shared, “To even be considered is quite an honor. To be listed among so many greats on the professional level and so many great high school and college coaches is humbling. Most have no idea who I am and that’s perfectly fine with me. I don’t stand out among this group. I have never been in the good ole boys club, but I have looked up to and learned a lot coaching against and along side many of them. It’s mind blowing.”
He continued, “I think this is a ‘we’ award. I am not even an after thought without the dedication and effort of many who mentored me along the way, some great assistants, and some truly great and remarkable kids that I have had the pleasure to coach over the years. Most of my success came at Northfield. Those were truly 20 fantastic years that included a lot of great memories and successes. But I am also proud of what we have accomplished at Blackford. I was told coming in it would be a challenge and we lived through two very challenging years before turning the corner. I am sure I was not everyone’s favorite at times, but I hope those who played for me felt like my staff and I pushed them to be their best not only as baseball players but as people. I know I have grown a lot myself. I am thankful God put me on earth for a reason….to coach and mentor. It’s a simple, yet very challenging game, but it teaches so much more than just baseball. I am not the most gifted socially, but in a baseball uniform I am a different person and probably when I am the most comfortable in my own skin. I think that happens for a reason.”
“I would be remiss to not mention that I have a family that has sacrificed, supported, and allowed me to do what I love. I couldn’t be more thankful for that. This recognition kind of puts the icing on the cake for me and all who have been a part of my coaching journey. I hope all who coached with me, supported me, and played for me understand how thankful I am that they were a part of it.” Uggen concluded.