New baseball coach is alum, MSU home run record holder

Aug. 21, 2018 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Mike Eddington, a former Grand Rapids Junior College baseball player who went on to break Michigan State University's home run record and play in the minor leagues, has been hired to coach the GRCC baseball team this season.

"Mike Eddington is a tremendous baseball coach and, more importantly, a leader of young men," GRCC Athletic Director Bill Firn said.

"Coach Eddington possesses a positive attitude, high character and is a competitor. I believe his leadership and drive will challenge our student-athletes to be great both in the classroom and on the baseball field. Mike truly cares about each student-athlete and wants them all to succeed in life."

Eddington played two seasons at GRJC for legendary coach Tom Hofmann. He was part of the team that placed sixth in the Junior College World Series and was an honorable mention All-American.

Eddington transferred to Michigan State University, where he broke the Spartan home run record, previously held by former Detroit Tigers star Kirk Gibson -- a record that still stands today. Eddington remains among the leaders in several other categories. He was the team captain and was selected as a first-team Big 10 player and an All-American. 

Eddington was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 16th round of the 1984 amateur draft and played a season in the minor leagues.

He later played for the Grand Rapids Sullivans, one of the top amateur teams in the nation, participating in international competition in the Netherlands. He was part of the 1990 team that beat the Cuban Olympic team to win the tournament. 

Eddington has been a teacher in the Grand Rapids Public Schools since 1998 and has spent 16 years coaching Grand Rapids Central and Union high school baseball programs.

He also has worked five years as an assistant coach at GRCC, including on the 2005 national champions and the 2006 team that was the runner up.

"As a former player and assistant coach with the program, I have a lot of respect for the school, baseball program, former coaches and players," Eddington said. "I look forward to the challenges of maintaining the high standards that have been developed. Our goal is to win championships and to provide an opportunity for our student-athletes to reach their potential academically, athletically and personally."

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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