There were many things on his mind as his baseball team prepared to play Indiana Wesleyan University in their regular season finale on Saturday, April 25, of which the most important was the need to win at least one game of the doubleheader to clinch an automatic berth for the Foresters in the upcoming Mid-Central Conference (MCC) tournament. Things got more intense after Huntington dropped game one to the Wildcats, but the Foresters recovered with a 12-7 win in the nightcap to capture the bid and hand Coach Mike Frame the 600th victory of his 25-year career at Huntington’s helm.
Not one to want to make a fuss about his achievements, Frame wasn’t aware that he was approaching the milestone until just prior to the start of the doubleheader. “In preparing for the games, my main thought was that we needed to at least split because we needed some time off,” said Frame. He realized the possible significance of a win on the day when looking at a media guide before the game to see how close Edwin Rodriguez was to breaking the RBI season record. Both Rodriguez and Frame came away from the day with new entries in Huntington’s record books. Rodriguez surpassed the previous mark of 54 RBI in a season and his total currently stands at 56. Frame joined the ranks of an elite group in the sport after hitting the century mark for the sixth time in his career.
“It’s a nice honor, but it’s a credit to the great players and assistant coaches that we have had here over the years,” said Frame. “We have had some great men donate a huge amount of hours with little or no pay to make an impact on the lives of young men. The relationships are what last.”
In the fall of 1984, Frame took over Huntington’s floundering baseball program. Four different coaches in as many years had taken its toll and the university administration was looking for someone to give the program stability. His original commitment to stay for three years has turned into twenty-five seasons, and 600 wins later, Frame shows no signs of relenting. Fourteen wins in his first season remains a career low for him and by his third year; he guided the Foresters to a 29-14 record and his first of seven MCC Championships. During his tenure, Huntington has captured the MCC regular season title and MCC Tournament title 11 times in his previous 24 years. His teams have been above .500 in 16 of his 25 seasons with record highs of 35 wins in both the spring of 1988 and 1991. He has a current career record of 600-481, all coming as the Foresters’ skipper.
In addition to being named MCC Coach of the Year five times, Frame was selected as the NAIA District 21 and NCCAA District Coach of the Year each one time, and was one of eight coaches across the nation to receive NAIA Area Coach of the Year honors in 1987. Huntington University honored Frame with his induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame in November of 2003 and in January of 2009, he was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. Under Frame’s tutelage, five players have signed professional contracts, 10 have received NAIA All-American honors, five have been honored as NAIA All-America Scholar-Athletes, and 35 players have earned MCC All-Conference honors.