Trundy, Jeff (2013)
Jeff grew up in the small town of West Minot, Maine. His first memories of his early childhood is playing pick up games with his cousins and friends. They played whenever possible, in make-shift fields in the small towns of West and Hebron. They pedaled their bikes for miles to far away fields to play a game. To them playing on those fields was every bit as exciting as it would have been to play in the shadow of the Green Monster at Fenway.
His father Donald and mother Crystal were the first to instill his love for the game. His father and his four brothers grew up playing baseball. The five of them, and occasionally their uncle Forrest would be in the line-up for West
Eagles town team in the Pine Tree League. The six Trundy’s in the box score were a hot topic for opposing teams and fans. Woody Gammon, from his mother’s family was also a standout player on the team. It’s not hard to understand why Jeff had such great knowledge and love for the game. It was an unspoken assumption that Jeff and his cousins would continue the tradition and also play baseball.
Those early years of watching, as well as playing the game laid the groundwork for what has been Jeff’s life passion. He was 13 years old he joined the men on the West Minot town team. Many of the same cousins and friends he grew up with were also on the team. They played on Sanatorium field, a beautiful spot high on a hill overlooking the White Mountains. Right field plummeted downhill so drastically you had to stand tall to see the right fielder: the outfield fence was rows of corn stalks.
Jeff grew up revering major leaguers with their pictures on baseball cards, but also had equal admiration for the men who played town team ball in Maine. Eventually, the West Minot team disbanded. He and a few of his cousins were fortunate enough to be invited to play a few towns over with the tradition rich Turner Townies. Jeff took the field with, among others, Stan Timberlake, a Maine Hall of Famer. He enjoyed playing ball in the summers for Turner even while playing high school baseball at Edward Little in Auburn. Evan after productive years At UNH he would come home and play for the Turner Townies. At Edward Little, Jeff had a chance to play with another Hall of Famer and future New York Yankee hurler Larry At UNH Jeff was a leading hitter in The Yankee Conference. He played for Coach Ted Connor and with Maine Hall of Famers, Johnny Gleason and Peter Dresser. After serving as Captain during his senior year at UNH, Jeff’s playing days sadly came to a close. His long time dream to coach baseball began as a graduate assistant at the University of Colorado. He returned to Maine to coach at Cony High School for the next twenty years. While their, he coached State Championship teams Some of his former players were Hall of Famers Ed Pickett and Mark Sutton.
During the 1980,s Jeff enjoyed a five-year stint as the coach of the Auburn in the Portland Twilight League. His roster was filled with many University of Maine players such as future Major Leaguer Mike Bordick, Mike Mark Sutton, Rick Lashua, Jeff Paul, Billy Reynolds, and fellow 2013 inductee Jeff nephew, Kevin Bernier. These core players and pitcher Don Dewolfe led Auburn to 3 straight league championships 1981 to 1983. Jeff fondly remembers many memorable nights at Deering Oaks and Pettingill Park in Auburn, where battles against Dennis Gratto’s Forest Gardens club were always epic.
In the summer of 1995, Jeff served as an assistant coach with Mike Coutts in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League. This started a new career in baseball that still continues today. After four years as an assistant, first at Cotuit and next at Falmouth, Jeff was named the head coach of the Falmouth Commodores. In 2004 he received the Mike Curran Award, naming him as the Coach of the Year. He has also served as a part-time scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. He is currently in his fifteenth year at the helm and has had the good fortune to coach numerous outstanding college players. Many of these college players have gone on to professional and major league careers. These include twenty-one current major leaguers, such as American League All-stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Crow.
The past 17 years Jeff has had the pleasure to coach and teach at the Gunnery, a prep school in Washington, Conn. He continues to take satisfaction from helping young men develop their baseball skills while respecting the game.
Jeff and his wife Patti have three daughter’s. His extended family has a rich tradition of playing and coaching baseball. From the small towns in Maine to the shores of Cape Cod, many of us have been lucky to be part of his journey. He is a welcome addition to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
From The Gunnery
Coach Jeff Trundy Honored for 20 Years of Leading the Falmouth Commodores
Science teacher and Gunnery Head Baseball Coach Jeff Trundy was honored August 1 for his 20 years as Manager of the Falmouth Commodores. The Commodores dedicated the last regular season home game to Trundy, who is one of the longest-tenured managers in the Cape Cod Baseball League, calling it “Trundy Night.”
Julia Alling ’81 P’19 was in attendance and described it as “the kind of summer night made for baseball.” There were trivia contests: Where does Coach Trundy teach and coach? The Gunnery. What milestone tally did he celebrate last year? 400 victories. In what state is Coach Trundy a Baseball Hall of Famer? Maine. There were multiple-choice questions: Which course doesn’t he teach? “It turns out that Coach doesn’t teach philosophy in the ‘off-season,” though I think those of us who have watched him work with students on and off the field would disagree,” Alling said.
“Oh yes, there was another win to chalk up,” she said, citing the Commodores 8-3 win over Cotuit. But, she added, “For Coach, it was about the kids. As he rounded up his team and the fans filed out of the stadium, he was still doing what he does so well – coaching the kids.”
Trundy’s baseball career was highlighted in an article in the team’s 2018 Program Book, written by Steve Kostas, a friend and Past President of the Falmouth Commodores. In it, Kostas acknowledged that Trundy’s 20 years as manager “may not be well known beyond the boundaries of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s (CCBL) coaches, players, or fan base, but to Falmouth, it is these achievements that have made him a true icon.”
In social media posts this week, the Commodores hailed Trundy as “a Cape Cod legend,” and the team and fans alike tag their posts with #WinItForTrundy.
Every summer, after commencement and final exams, when all the students have left The Gunnery campus, Trundy makes his annual pilgrimage to Cape Cod, where he has been coaching for nearly two dozen years. As Kostas pointed out, Trundy started as an assistant manager for the Cotuit Kettleers in 1995-1996 and became an assistant coach for the Commodores in 1997. Two years later, he was promoted to head coach and field manager. He has twice been voted the league’s Manager of the Year by his peers, receiving the Mike Curran Award in 2004 and 2016.
“Jeff’s quiet, professional and accessible demeanor has endeared him to his peers and engendered tremendous support amongst Commodores management, volunteers, fans, and most importantly, the players,” Kostas said, noting that many players attribute their success in the major leagues to Trundy.
Many of the players Trundy has coached at The Gunnery have also gone on to play baseball in college and in the MLB, including Justin Dunn ’13 (New York Mets), P.J. Higgins ’12 (Chicago Cubs), and Brooks Belter ’06 (Tampa Bay Rays).
As Kostas recounted, Trundy began his baseball career at the University of New Hampshire, where he was the team captain and a star player. After college, he coached the team at Corey High School in Augusta, Maine, where he received the Maine Public School’s Coach of the Year Award three times. In recognition of his contributions to the program, he was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. He was a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays and has coached baseball at The Gunnery for 21 years, while also coaching girls varsity soccer and teaching biology and anatomy and physiology.
Heading into the final game of regular season on Wednesday, the Commodores’ David Simms talked about what it was like playing for Trundy: “Everything’s rolling, Everyone’s feeling great, and the most important thing is what coach Trundy preaches to us – having fun,” Sims said in a Commodores blog post.
The same post quoted Trundy saying: “If you’re having fun, you play that much better.”
Mr. Trundy is beloved by his current and former players. This summer the staff and interns sported t-shirts that said #WinItForTrundy which dates back to a 2013 phrase coined by former Falmouth player Kevin Cron.
From Cape Cod Baseball League
With players coming from top programs around the country, this type of clubhouse camaraderie isn’t something easy to come by. Falmouth GM Eric Zmuda was quick to credit Trundy for allowing that atmosphere to thrive.
“He’s a person that puts the player first and foremost each and every year,” said Zmuda. You see how he will stand by and develop the player at their speed. “He’s there to assist them to get to that next level, that’s his main goal every year. In my opinion, that’s manager of the year every year.”
With the President’s Cup in their possession, Trundy is focused on looking forward. “We’re going to face some great teams if we keep winning. I’m going to think about tomorrow and not think beyond that, we can’t get wrapped up in what is two or three days ahead, or what happened yesterday.”
Taking it day by day, and player by player, has gotten Trundy this far. With some of the league’s premier talent and a solid team spirit as a foundation, they’re clearly favorites to celebrate a Cape League Championship