The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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Head Baseball Coach Mike Gladu Talks About Upcoming Season and Exciting New Coaching Job

Photo from MCLA Athletics
Photo from MCLA Athletics

As Western Massachusetts locals go, none can confidently say they are more successful than the head coach of MCLA’s Baseball team. Coach Michael Gladu’s collegiate baseball career was spent playing Division ll Baseball at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. After completing his college career at AIC, he was signed to play professionally by the Chicago Cubs. He later pitched for the Wytheville Cubs for three seasons. From 2010-2014, he was an assistant coach for the Williams College Baseball Team. In 2015, he started his tenure as the head coach of MCLA’s Baseball team, where he has coached for the last nine years. In 2016, he was inducted into the UNICO Baseball/Softball Hall of fame. In 2017, he was selected as the MASCAC coach of the year.  Most recently, on September 2nd, 2023, he received a call about becoming the head coach of the Pittsfield Suns, a high-level collegiate development team that competes every summer in the historic Futures League.

“I mean it’s cool right? Pittsfield is where baseball originated, so to be able to manage that historic place, which is going to go through some improvements as far as the facility goes… I’m excited to be around that and try to help from a baseball perspective,” said Coach Gladu regarding his new coaching job for the Pittsfield Suns. This past summer he was an assistant coach for the Westfield Starfires, a team that also competes in The Futures League. During his time coaching there, he was able to understand the dynamics of the league. “Historically, the tendencies of The Futures League is high, with Division 1,2, and 3 guys from all over the country… you actually end up doing less managing, and just let them play.”

Growing up, Gladu was a resident of Cheshire, Massachusetts, a town just minutes away from the Suns historic stadium, Wahconah Park. One of the countries’ oldest Baseball venues, Wahconah has been hosting baseball games since 1892. Its legacy was evident in Gladu’s upbringing, and he shares what it’s like to become the coach of a team that he’s known since his youth.  “As a kid I remember going, back in the late seventies, watching the Pittsfield Red Sox play at Wahconah Park. To be able to go back there and sit in that dugout for an extended period of time throughout the summer, it’s going to be fun.” During his senior year at Hoosac Valley High School, he was selected to play at an all-star game at Wahconah Park, making his new coaching position with the Suns even more personal.

“I don’t believe that a Suns manager has moved on because they didn’t want to do it anymore… as long as I’m doing what I know how to do and what I have to do, there could be some longevity there,” said Coach Gladu about the future of coaching the Pittsfield Suns. Although there are many factors that contribute to such a high-level program, Gladu plans on working hard this season with the Suns and if everything works out, continuing to manage the team for years to come.

 The preparation for the Suns upcoming season this summer is almost entirely complete, with both the coaching staff and roster already selected. With everything falling in line for the summer season, all the focus turns towards the spring season with the MCLA Baseball team. “The guys are working hard, and that’s what they need to do. They need to work hard to make the roster, then they need to work harder than everyone else to get playing time… I’m sure these late-night practices aren’t killing them as much as they are killing me,” remarked Coach Gladu about the MCLA season and the preparation for it. The season starts officially on February 25th, against Yeshiva University. The Trailblazers take on the Maccabees in a double header at Silver Lake Park, in West Harrison, New York. This will be Coach Gladu’s 10th season as MCLA’s head coach.

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Traizen Griffith, Staff Writer

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