Austin grad wins state baseball title
Published 8:47 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012
APPLE VALLEY — Austin grad Tom Strey grew up around winning baseball teams and he finally knows what it’s like to take his own team to the top.
Strey recently coached Eastview to a Class ‘AAA’ state baseball title the school’s first trip to the state tournament in his 12-year tenure.
Srey graduated from Austin High School in 1980 and he played for Dick Seltz, who recently received the the Lifetime Achievement Baseball Coach’s Award from the Minnesota Minutemen.
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“I was kind of a product of the 60s and 70s when Austin had the premire baseball program in the state,” Strey said. “I felt like it was something bigger than myself.”
Strey also played under his dad, Howie Strey while at AHS. Howie coached the basketball team and was an assistant coach on the baseball team.
This year, Strey coached his own son, Pat, who had a homerun and pitched the win in a 5-1 win over Eagan in the section title game. Strey was most proud of how his son laid down two sacrifice bunts in the state title game.
“It was great to see him do that. (Winning state) was quite a thrill and it was fun to share that with him.” Strey said. “My dad was a huge influence on me and he showed me how to deal with having your son on the team. I learned from him.”
When Strey played for the Packer baseball team, he was on the No. 1 ranked team in the state that lost to Waseca in the section finals and he played for the team in 1980 that won a Big Nine title.
Strey said he never forgot the lessons he learned while playing under Seltz.
“He was a huge influence on me. He showed me how to build a program and how to let everyone be part of it,” Strey said.
After high school, Strey, who played second base, went on to play for Austin Community College for two years and he played at St. Olaf for two years.