Andy Baylock Named GHTBL Vice President

Baylock returns to the Twilight League to lead by example.

Former UConn Baseball Head Coach, Andy Baylock has been named to the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League Executive Committee as Vice President. Baylock’s appointment adds another legendary coach to the league. He will work with President Bill Holowaty and the GHTBL Executive Committee to recruit and develop local ballplayers. “Andy Baseball” as he is known in some circles, was a catcher in the Hartford Twilight for the 1960 and 1961 Hamilton Standard teams. Baylock’s vast baseball experience and established reputation will add another invaluable guiding hand for the GHTBL in 2017.

1961 Hamilton Standard, GHTBL

Baylock is best known for his 24 year reign as Head Coach of UConn Huskies Baseball. There he moulded major league pitchers: Charles Nagy, Roberto Hernandez, and Pete Walker. He began his Huskies career as an assistant baseball coach in 1964 and became head coach in 1980. By 1987, Baylock won the Jack Butterfield Award bestowed by the New England Association of College Baseball Coaches for his unwavering dedication to college baseball.

He guided the Huskies to Big East Championships in 1990 and 1994 along with a trio of College World Series berths. Baylock retired from coaching in May of 2003 after posting a 556-492-8 career record. At the time of his retirement, he had personally coached 1,447 of the 2,327 games (62.2%) in UConn baseball history.  

L to R: Walt Dropo, Andy Baylock and Larry Panciera, 1983.

As a lifelong son of Connecticut, Baylock grew up in New Britain as a talented baseball and football player. A 1960 graduate of Central Connecticut State University, he captained the baseball and football teams and received the Gladstone Award: CCSU’s highest scholar-athlete award. He was later inducted into the Central Connecticut Hall of Fame in 1981. 

After graduating from CCSU, he traveled to the University of Michigan where Baylock earned his master’s degree while serving as a graduate assistant football and baseball coach. In 1962, he returned home to accept the head football coach for East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut. He also had a successful stint as a professional football player with the Springfield Acorns of the Atlantic Coast Professional Football League from 1963 to 1965. He was later honored with induction into the East Catholic High School Hall of Fame. 

In 1997, Baylock was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame.  In the spring of 2008, he received recognitions for his outstanding contribution from both the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and the National Football Foundation’s Southeastern Connecticut Chapter. 

Andy Baylock, 1986.

Nowadays, Baylock is in his 14th year as the UConn football program’s Director of Football Alumni and Community Affairs. He serves as the team’s liaison both to professional scouts and the Connecticut high school coaches. He has been honored by several athletic organizations including an induction into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame (1996) – one of the seven Hall of Fames in which he has been enshrined. Baylock was also selected as the 2011 recipient of the ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award, the highest honor bestowed by the ABCA.

He has also been active on the international baseball scene as a distinguished pitching clinician, including serving as pitching coach for the 1985, 1988 and 1989 USA national teams and the Dutch national team in 1999. During this time, Coach Baylock led players such as Matt Williams, Mike McFarland, Jack McDowell, Kevin Brown, Alex Fernandez, Chuck Knoblauch, Mo Vaughn, Jeremy Burnitz and Joe Girardi. Throughout the 90’s, Baylock spent five summers a veteran pitching coach in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League.

In 1991, he was awarded the Baseball Service Award by the New York Professional Baseball Committee. He has also been recognized by the University of Connecticut with the Albert Jorgensen Athletic Award given by the Alumni Association and the UConn Club Outstanding Contribution Award. He was awarded the 1985 Gold Key from the Connecticut Sportswriters’ Alliance for his years of service to Connecticut athletics. In 2002, sportswriters presented the veteran skipper with the Outstanding Contribution to New England Baseball Award. 

USA Baseball, 1990.

Adding to his accolades, Baylock served as chairman of the Division I Baseball Committee for the ABCA and chaired the Division I All-America Selection Committee. He is a past member of the NCAA Pro-Sport Liaison Committee. Baylock was the President of the BIG EAST Baseball Coaches’ Association and a member of the Executive Council of the New England Baseball Coaches’ Association.

Baylock’s knowledge of baseball traces back to a truly unique experience, as a state championship catcher with the New Britain High School Hurricanes in 1955. There he caught the mythical left-hander Steve Dalkowski, who in baseball lore, is believed by many to have thrown harder than anyone who ever lived.  

Today, Baylock serves in an advisory capacity as batting practice pitcher for the Connecticut Tigers of the Atlantic League. Baylock has been a fixture at Dodd Stadium for the last two decades. He has thrown batting practice to some of the best who ever played for the Norwich Navigators, Connecticut Defenders, and Connecticut Tigers.  

Andy Baylock, 2016.

Baylock has said that Nick Johnson was the best hitter he ever saw come through, but 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner was his favorite. “I love that kid,” Baylock once said of Baumgarner. “And he could hit, because he was always sneaking in the batting cage asking for another 50 or 60 swings when nobody was looking.”

Coach Baylock knows baseball better than most. His coaching philosophy has fostered the development of hundreds of great players on and off the field. “You have to be fun to be around,” Baylock has said about ballplayers. “It’s one of my basic things. Be good people, be dependable, be accountable, be responsible, be caring, be loyal, be self-disciplined, be respectful.” The GHTBL is grateful and honored to have Coach Baylock back in the league.

Here’s to YOU and many more years of success.

Sources:
1. University of Connecticut, Andy Baylock, Director of UConn Football Alumni/Community Affairs, https://uconnhuskies.com/staff-directory/andy-baylock/352.

2. Andy Baylock and His Gift, MLB.com, by Randy Brochu, August 31, 2015, https://www.milb.com/news/gcs-146517702.

3. Wikipedia contributors. (2023, July 26). Andy Baylock. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:49, April 17, 2024, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Andy_Baylock&oldid=1167238711.

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