Coach Margraf Recognized for His Influence on New England Baseball

It’s snowing.

Thanksgiving is Thursday.

Hockey starts next week.

And Lawrence Academy is already thinking about baseball season…

This month, long time LA Baseball Head Coach Chris Margraf was selected (and lauded) as one of the six most influential people in New England baseball by the NEBJ.

After talking to Mr. Margraf, New England Baseball Journal’s Dan Guttenplan wrote of his beginnings at LA :

“When I first started here, we had an iconic hockey coach, Charlie Corey,” Margraf said. “I would get the hockey kids who could play baseball. When you look at Belmont Hill, BB&N, Roxbury Latin … they always had a good base to grab kids that could play baseball. Baseball was always good, but lacrosse was also very substantive at these schools. From the Lawrence standpoint, we went from a school where baseball was secondary and on the verge of possibly fading out because of the rise of lacrosse to now having a lot of baseball-first kids.”

And speaking of baseball-first kids, LA been consistent in collecting collegiate-level baseball talent, explained Guttenplan.

“It started with Tyler Beede; all of a sudden, we had this credibility,” Margraf said to NEBJ. “When you look inside (Interstate) 495 at the day schools, they always had strong baseball programs.

“What that did is make boarding schools more competitive.”

Margraf since has had a steady stream of Division 1 talent pass through his school. Joe Napolitano (Concord, Mass.) and Max Tishman (Wellesley, Mass.) followed Beede’s path through Lawrence Academy and went on to play at Wake Forest.

When asked about the article, Mr. Margraf shook off any praise and pointed to prep baseball as the real story.

“Just happy for independent school baseball in New England, our student-athletes and all varsity coaches who do so much more than coach – they teach, advise, dorm parent, counsel for college, etc.,” he said.

“I am proud that I can be associated with such an extraordinary group of peer coaches who have helped to build a very competitive baseball league in New England while making sure that their student-athletes do not define themselves by their baseball abilities, but, instead, by being good citizens.”

Beyond Margraf’s deflection, the proof of his influence on the young people in his charge remains “in the pudding.”

And this year, there’s plenty of tasty post-high school dessert to pass around – in the form of collegiate baseball destinations for the Spartans.

And one particular parent — with a pretty impressive baseball pedigree of his own — praised his own son’s LA experience even as he celebrated.

As such, we stand by our first tweet when we heard about Coach Margraf’s latest accolade and congratulate his being recognized beyond the borders of the elm tree-shaded hillside.