After a string of unprecedented success for Union Baseball’s Paul Mound, Head Coach for more than six years, was honored for his regional accomplishments in the form of an induction into the Amsterdam Baseball Hall of Fame.
Over the years, Mound has become a staple in the Capital Region’s baseball world. He made history as a player for Amsterdam high school teams in the 1970s, coached phenomenal regional travel teams and has been a historically great coach at Union.
Perhaps Mound is most impressive for his performances in his playing days when his Amsterdam teams won 77 straight games under his lead in the early 1970s. Impressively, this stretch never saw Mound leave the mound a loser; he was undefeated as a pitcher during this streak.
Mound went on to play in summer independent leagues where he extended his career against future MLB players from the area. In this portion of his career, Mound had what he described as the best moment of his playing career in a home run off of future Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Roger Weaver. However, Mound’s career with baseball didn’t end there.
Mound took a hiatus from baseball for a few years until he started coaching his own kids. Perhaps this is when opposition discovered where Mound’s secret to baseball success existed; it was in his competitive spirit. Union’s Associate Head Baseball Coach Art McDonald recalled facing Mound in a coaching matchup in a girls’ softball game in which McDonald’s team had no catcher.
The two made an understandable gentlemen’s agreement not to steal due to the disadvantage.
McDonald said, “He didn’t stop running all game,” as he impersonated Mound signaling to his players to steal while the two laughed in recollection. Mound went on to start an American Legion program, the Saratoga Stampede, that saw incredible success. Mound led the Stampede program through a 12-year period that saw 483 wins including a New York State Title in 2010.
Mound’s work in baseball has culminated with his position as Union’s head coach. Mound noted, “Union went from the laughing stock of the baseball world with a 10-30 record in 2010 to a team that other teams play against to strengthen their schedule and play tough games.”
From bringing the Dutchmen to their first 20-win season in the program’s more than 100 years of existence, to what coach Mound described as the most memorable moment of his storied coaching career, when Union captured their first conference tournament championship in 2014, Mound’s induction to the Hall of Fame saw the peak of all of these accomplishments.
At the ceremony Mound reminisced with players past and present including former stars Tyler Heck ’13, Dane O’Neil ’14, Joe Bradlee ’14 and Jake Fishman ’17, who now plays with the Toronto Blue Jays organization, among others. Mound added, “That’s what it’s all about and it meant the world to see all those guys.”
Coming off a Liberty League title, Mound is hoping to keep the team’s momentum rolling in what he sees as the deepest team he’s ever coached in his time at Union.