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Burgau inducted into the Minnesota Legion Baseball Hall of Fame – InForum

Burgau inducted into the Minnesota Legion Baseball Hall of Fame – InForum

MOORHEAD — Bucky Burgau has been a fixture in and around Moorhead ballparks for decades. Last Sunday, Burgau received another award for his years of service to the baseball community.

Burgau was inducted into the Minnesota American Legion Hall of Fame after a long coaching career with the Moorhead Blues. Burgau was hired as the Blues’ head coach in 1973 and compiled a record of 883-396 in his 27 years with the team.

“This is a very special moment for me,” said Burgau.

Burgau led the Blues to their only appearance in the American Legion Baseball World Series in 1988. The team finished in fourth place.

Although leading the team in 1988 was undoubtedly unforgettable, Burgau said his most memorable moments as Moorhead coach were the connections he made with the people around him.

“Every team that has come through here and that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of has a special meaning to me,” Burgau said, “because of the friendships not only with the players, but also with their mothers, fathers and families.”

American Legion baseball holds a special place in Burgau’s heart. When he took the coaching job with the Blues, members of the Moorhead American Legion taught him “a lot about the flag and what it means.”

The Code of Conduct, recited before Legion games and tournaments, is an essential part of communicating the American Legion’s values ​​to players.

Bucky Burgau

Concordia baseball head coach Bucky Burgau will take on an assistant role after this season. Forum file photo

“When (players) hear those words,” Burgau said, “they have great meaning, not only on the baseball field but in life.”

In addition to coaching the Blues, Burgau was hired as equipment manager and assistant coach for the Concordia Cobbers baseball team in 1977. He later became head coach of the Cobbers in 1979.

During his 36-year career as Cobbers coach, Burgau compiled a record of 711-619-6 before resigning from the post in 2014. He continues to serve the team as an assistant coach.

Burgau was also an assistant coach for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association from 1999 to 2016.

Blues head coach Jack Naugle was one of the players Burgau coached at the Cobbers.

After Concordia’s 2019-2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic, Naugle wasn’t sure what his summer plans would look like. Burgau quickly changed that.

Burgau contacted Naugle about his desire to coach the U14 team – now the Blues’ senior team – in the summer. Naugle accepted.

After coaching Babe Ruth for several seasons, Naugle joined the Blues as an assistant under former head coach Bryant Bergeson and eventually took on that role himself.

“Without Bucky, I wouldn’t be here,” Naugle said. “I have no doubt about that.”

Concordia baseball head coach Bucky Burgau

Concordia baseball head coach Bucky Burgau is in his 36th season as coach of the Cobbers. He also coached at North Dakota State for four years. David Samson / The Forum

In the summer, Burgau helps maintain the baseball field named after him in Concordia. Burgau said it’s on the field that he gets to know the young players and families that make up Moorhead’s youth baseball program.

Moorhead’s 14U and 15U teams earned a spot in the Babe Ruth World Series last season.

“I saw some great teams and players on the youth field this summer,” Burgau said. “Moorhead baseball has a great future.”

Burgau said the support of his family, which includes his wife Penny and daughters Rachel and Jennifer, has had as much of an impact on his career as it has on him.

“Penny always said, ‘The baseball field is our home on the lake,'” Burgau said. “Every time I put on the (Blues) or Cobbers uniform and go out there and play in that game, it’s a special moment for me.”

Andrew Haugland

After graduating from North Dakota State University, Haugland joined the Forum in January 2023. Readers can reach him at 701-241-5508 or by email at [email protected].