Plymouth Man Makes New St. Mary’s Baseball Clubhouse Possible
A man from Plymouth will have a lasting impact on the baseball program at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Because of Marc Weisenburger’s lead donation, the new clubhouse will be called “Pudge’s Place,” after the nickname he had while playing baseball for the Cardinals in the early 1970s.
Donation to create a new clubhouse
Marc Weisenburger led the parade of baseball players and alumni inside the new clubhouse on Monday night at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota . His reaction?
“Wow,” said Weisenburger.
That reaction was echoed by players and coaches alike as they all got a first look at the new clubhouse.
“It’s tough for me to get in the room. I’m getting run over by all of them,” says Nick Winecke, coach. “I think the clubhouse means a ton to us. It started with a vision of what we can do, to really separate St. Mary’s baseball from everyone else, and from there, it just kept growing.”
Marc Weisenburger made the lead donation toward the new, $700k clubhouse, which was funded entirely by alumni.
“We wanted to put a stake in the ground and see if we couldn’t do something to cause potential student athletes to look at the university a little bit differently,” says Weisenburger.
In a recruiting age where facilities like clubhouses, weight rooms and stadiums do play a role in luring talented athletes to play, former players like Weisenburger are shaping the future of St. Mary’s baseball.
“This is incredible,” says player John Heim. “I don’t think another team in the MIAC is going to compete with this.”
Influenced by a Legendary Coach
Marc Weisenburger didn’t come to St. Mary’s for the facilities back in the fall of 1971. He came because he had a chance to play baseball.
“I played baseball in high school,” remembers Weisenburger. “Max [Molock] decided to give me a chance to play. I would have the chance to catch.”
Weisenburger did get the chance to be the catcher and also to grow under the leadership of Coach Molock, who is a legend in St. Mary’s baseball. He coached for 40 years before retiring in 1983 and in 1981, was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
But to players like Weisenburger, Coach Max taught more than just baseball.
“To me, Max was not about baseball, but about life,” says Weisenburger. “He taught us to work hard, have dedication and leadership skills. He required us to support our teammates, stay true to fundamentals and have a nickname.”
Weisenburger says he unfortunately got the nickname “Pudge” after a new uniform didn’t fit quite right.
“Even today when I see classmates, they still call me ‘Pudge,” says Weisenburger.
Now, Weisenburger’s nickname will grace the new clubhouse as “Pudge’s Place,” and he hopes it inspires another generation of players.
“My hope is they would get the same feeling I did,” says Weisenburger. “A sense of belonging, of teammates, a sense of spirit, and a sense of history that represents what St. Mary’s baseball is about.”