Shanahan still working his magic with the Crusaders

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – St. Bernard’s pitching coach Greg Shanahan, left, continues to have a huge impact with the Crusaders.

By Ray Hamill — St. Bernard’s baseball has been setting the standard in the North Coast Section for decades and there’s one thing that many of those teams have in common — pitching coach Greg Shanahan.

The same man who, according to a recent story published about him, held Willie Mays, Joe Morgan, Willie Stargell, Johnny Bench, Willie McCovey and Hank Aaron all hitless during his MLB career.

On Saturday, he was influential once again as the Crusaders defeated Ferndale 9-0 on the way to claiming an NCS record 15th championship.

St. Bernard’s is a program that has won consistently since the 1970s, and one that has won section crowns in each of the past six decades.

Head coach Matt Tomlin is the latest to guide the Crusaders to an NCS championship, but he’s quick to point out the role Shanahan continues to play in that success.

“I want to give a big shoutout to Greg Shanahan,” he said of the former Major Leaguer shortly after Saturday’s win. “We continue to win section titles, and every year we win with a (strong) pitching team.

“I want to give so much credit to Greg Shanahan and what he’s meant to these kids and the level of expertise he brings to the program.”

The Crusaders always have strong pitching, and usually plenty of it.

This year it was stellar senior Tyler Dimmick who followed in the footsteps of recent players like Nick Dugan Aidan Dorsch, Caleb Ruiz and Garrison Finck, among many others.

The one thing those players all have in common is the level of improvement each displayed while under the tutelage of Shanahan, who has been coaching at the school for more than 30 years.

And the players seem to relish working with him.

“He just develops pitchers,” Tomlin said. “He’s an older guy but he relates to the kids and knows how to talk to them, and they love him.”

Shanahan, who is a St. Bernard’s graduate, played for the Los Angeles Dodgers for two seasons in 1973 and 1974, and, according to a story published in the Humboldt Historian last year, he held Mays, Morgan, Stargell, Bench, McCovey and Aaron all hitless during his brief but impressive MLB career.

2 replies »

  1. I believe Shanahan was one of the coaches who conducted pitching clinics for boys in the 80s. I drove my son Gary over the hill from Hoopa so he could attend whenever they were available. Gary was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 17th round of the 1986 MLB draft as a pitcher.

  2. When I was hitting in the middle of the SB lineup for Saint Bernards, 1985-1987 Greg would always come out and throw one BP a year. Junior and Senior year, after we hit the blazing heat in BP, after his throwing session, he would walk out to me and say, do you want to stay late and hit a little extra I want to really heat it up. Good times I will never forget! By the way, he would really bring it when most players had already gone home lol

Leave a Reply