Gary Baughman, the long-time ISC Statistician and Historian, passed away Friday at the age of 72. We offer our condolences and deepest sympathies to his son Bret, his wife and children.
Gary, who was inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame in 2015 in the Administrator category, was a fixture at ISC World Tournaments going back to 1993, when Iowa commissioner Pat Sullivan asked him to work with then statistician Art Cashion on stats and scoresheets.
He was appointed to the statistician role in 1995 and served as statistician and lead scorekeeper for more than 20 years. He could be found in the scorekeeper’s booth or, in later years, in his trailer, inputting games into his computer while regaling passers-by with stories and downing Pepsis.
His work didn’t end at the ballpark. Once back home, Gary would meticulously go through every scoresheet and sometimes rescore every game in his system, then provide all of the stats for the ISC Guide.
“For many years, Gary provided unparalleled service to the ISC, spending long days at the ballpark from the first pitch of each day to the last,” said ISC President Dean Oscar. “He was very dedicated and passionate about his work and his contribution to the ISC is immeasurable.”
Gary followed the game of fastball around the world. He started tracking rosters in January for the upcoming season, and compiled stats from the tournaments in New Zealand and Australia to have info on players who would be coming to North America for the season here.
His love affair with the game started in the Major Open city league in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA that boasted Welty Way. He also worked the National Championship that Welty Way won in 1971, giving them the right to represent the USA at the ISF World Championship in the Philippines in 1972. Gary also kept stats for Teleconnect, the 1987 ISC World Champions from Cedar Rapids.
For more than 40 years, Gary worked the Iowa ISC Area Tournament, doing the public address announcements and stats, something he did for many other tournaments across the mid-west. Gary also did the announcing for several games at the 1984 ISC World Tournament in Allentown, PA.
Beyond the current year’s games, Gary became the ISC historian, digging into the history of our organization and digitizing games from the early decades. He would spend more than 10 years putting this together – his masterpiece being the Lifetime of Stats, which was published a few years back.
“Gary has been a tireless worker and unsung hero for men’s fastball in Cedar Rapids, around the country and the world,” said Wayne Fisher, ISC regional commissioner for Iowa. “His work as ISC Statistician was priceless. Gary made innumerable friends through his involvement in the sport. My deceased son Brendan and I had a special connection with Gary and his son Bret, who was like a big brother to Brendan. I will always cherish our relationship. We have lost a legend of the game.”
After retiring from the ISC, Gary still worked many events every summer from his desk in Cedar Rapids, getting tournament organizers to email him photos of line-up cards and scoresheets, enabling him to do stats for tournaments across North America. It was something that he truly enjoyed and loved to do.
“To say Gary was a perfectionist is an understatement,” said Al Doran, former ISC web administrator, who worked alongside Gary for 15 years. “He took every play, every score personally, he wanted it 100% accurate. Quite often during the week, a manager or two would stop by to provide a correction on a play or a re-entry. When this happened Gary always followed up and asked the scorekeeper, the blue, or team scorekeeper until he was satisfied he had the absolute correct information.”