A CENTURY OF COMMITMENT TO NOTRE DAME (video)
As part of the Monogram Club’s ongoing 100th anniversary celebration, some of the Club’s many connections to each Notre Dame program have been highlighted. This latest installment of the “Monogram Club Turns 100” series looks at the deep ties between the Monogram Club and the Fighting Irish baseball program.
Baseball’s Monogram Moments
The Notre Dame baseball team was founded in 1891. Following football (1887) and track & field (1889) baseball was the third program established at Notre Dame. This photo is of the 1895 squad that went 3-2.
Seven baseball Monogram winners have gone on to serve as president of the Monogram Club. Former center fielder Dick Nussbaum (’74, ’77) was the most recent to do so as he held office from 2011-13.
Baseball alums who served as Monogram Club president
1927 – Fritz Wilson (’28)
1944 – Roger Kiley (’23)
1950 – Bill Sheehan (’49)
1951 – Frank Miles (’22)
1965 – Bernie Crimmins (’42)
1973-74 – Bill Hassett (’47)
2011-13 – Dick Nussbaum (’74, ’77)
Joe Kernan (‘68) is one of seven baseball Monogram winners who received the Monogram Club’s Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award. Kernan was mayor of South Bend before becoming governor of Indiana.
Baseball alums who received Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award
Clarence “Jake” Kline (’21) – 1980
Bill Hassett (’47) – 1989
Fritz Wilson (’28) – 1993
Dick Rosenthal (’54) – 1995
Chuck Lennon (’61, ’62) – 2011
Joe Kernan (’68) – 2012
Angelo Capozzi (’56) – 2014
Brant Ust (’00) was named executive director of the Monogram Club in March of 2014. Ust (left) is pictured here with classmates (from left) Tim Kalita, John Corbin and Jeff Felker.
Jim Montagano (‘81) joined the Monogram Club Board of Directors in the fall of 2015. Montagano is serving a three-year term on the board and he works with the Club’s service committee.
Aaron Heilman (’01) is a two-time recipient (2000 & 2001) of the Monogram Club Team MVP Award. Heilman copped All-America honors all four seasons at Notre Dame before going on to a nine-year career in Major League Baseball. He’s pictured here with longtime Monogram Club executive director Father Jim Riehle (’49, honorary), former Monogram Club president Mike Heaton (’68, ’71 football & golf) and Brian Boulac (’63, football).
Blaise Lezynski (‘15) received scholarship assistance through the Monogram Club’s Brennan-Boland-Riehle Scholarship Fund (BBRSF). The BBRSF provides financial aid to sons and daughters of Monogram winners who attend Notre Dame. Lezynski’s mother is Jacqueline Pagley Lezynski (’83), a member of Notre Dame’s first volleyball team.
Baseball’s latest group of first-time Monogram winners are seen here during last fall’s Monogram Jacket Ceremony.
Fighting Irish head coach Mik Aoki spoke at the Monogram Club’s pre-game reception prior to last fall’s gridiron showdown against Massachusetts. He discussed how his team has benefitted from Club initiatives such as the Monogram Career Network and the team-hosting program.
The baseball program has utilized the Monogram Club’s team-hosting program, which provides unique opportunities for Irish teams while on the road for competition. The baseball team recently visited the Grand Ole Opry while traveling during spring break.
Notre Dame’s director of baseball operations Kelli Zeese earned a Monogram for her work as a student manager, which included two seasons with the baseball program.
Visitors to the Monogram Club’s football Friday photo booth last fall included Jeff Felker (‘00) and his family and Allen Greene (‘99). Greene is seen here with former teammate and current Monogram Club executive director Brant Ust.
Ryan Bull (’15, baseball) (left) and Monogram Club associate director Matt Weldy (right) teed it up at the Monogram Club’s Riehle Open on the Road last November at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
Dick Nussbaum (right) with former Fighting Irish catcher Chuck Lennon (’61, ‘62) during last fall’s Notre Dame baseball reunion. Lennon, the longtime executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, received the Monogram Club’s Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award in 2011.
Former Fighting Irish baseball coaches Pat Murphy (left) and Paul Mainieri (right) are honorary members of the Monogram Club.