NH baseball world reacts to Harvard baseball coach's death in Chester
Marc Hordon of Amherst said he was saddened over the sudden death of longtime Harvard University head baseball coach Joe Walsh of Chester yesterday.
“Anyone who played for coach Walsh is going to feel this,” said Hordon. “I mean the whole Harvard community and beyond will feel this.”
Walsh, who coached the Crimson to five Ivy League titles over his 17-year career, died at his home Tuesday. He was 58. Including his first head coaching job of 15 seasons at his alma mater, Suffolk University, Walsh registered a 569-564-3 career record over 32 seasons.
Hordon, who pitched three seasons (2000-03) for Harvard and played for the 2002 Ivy League championship team, said “no one loved the sport of baseball more than coach Walsh. I'd walk by his office at eight o'clock each night and he'd still be there. He never took a day off. He'd either be studying film, on the computer looking up information on recruits or just talking baseball on the phone with just about anyone. The man had so much energy.”
Hordon, who was born in Amherst, grew up in Mont Vernon and attended Souhegan High for one year before attending Phillips Andover Academy, said the 2002 season was one of Walsh's best.
“We ended up facing Rice in the NCAA tournament,” said Hordon. “We lost by four runs to a team that ended up winning the national championship a season later. The thing about coach Walsh was he saw baseball as an emotional sport and coached it that way. And we all fed off his energy.”
Walsh was inducted into Suffolk University's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He was the 1997 and 1998 Northeast Region Division I Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. In 1996, he became Harvard's first full-time baseball coach. Walsh is survived by his wife, Sandra and four daughters.