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From the Donegal Indians to the Cleveland Indians: An Interview with Mike Sarbaugh

Indians third base coach and Donegal alumnus Mike Sarbaugh ’85 has been through a lot professionally on the diamond.

Sarbaugh, who is now in his fifth season coaching with Cleveland’s Major League team, nearly topped off all his baseball accomplishments with a World Series ring, helping the Indians to push last year's Fall Classic to seven games. Cleveland jumped out to a 3-1 series lead before Chicago roared back and took the decisive game by one run in the 10th inning.

Aside from just coming up short in the sport's greatest showcase, Sarbaugh has accomplished a lot with the Indians organization. In nine seasons as a manager of Indians' minor league teams from 2004 to 2012, Sarbaugh won five league championships, had teams that went to the playoffs seven times and had teams that had a winning record every one of those nine seasons. Over that time, in which he went 697-511, he won the 2011 International League Manager of the Year, the 2010 Baseball America Manager of the Year, the 2009 Eastern League Manager of the Year and the 2007 Carolina League Manager of the Year.

During his playing days, Sarbaugh spent five of his six years playing for teams within the Indians organization. He had 31 career home runs and drove in 207 runs.

Through all his success, Sarbaugh has remembered where he came from.

"There are so many things that I enjoyed about my time at Donegal," Sarbaugh said. "The support from the community for the athletic events is the first thing I thought of. Our community always did a great job of rooting on our teams."

Sarbaugh also credits his professional success to his development at Donegal.

“I had some very good coaches during my time at Donegal," he said. "They definitely made a big impact on me, and I owe them a lot in helping me get to where I am today in my coaching career. Since my father was a coach at Donegal, sports were a big part of our lives."

Even though he has to put a lot of time and travel into his profession, with spring training starting in February and a 162-game regular season schedule, as well as extra time and travel when it comes time for playoffs in seasons that the Indians get there, Sarbaugh still keeps up with the Donegal athletics program.

"My mom still lives [in] Mount Joy, and she keeps me posted on how the sports teams are doing," Sarbaugh, who also played soccer and basketball at Donegal, said. "This spring was fun following the girls’ softball team and their state championship season. Wayne Emenheiser is the head coach, and we were high school teammates, so it was nice to see his team have success."

Sarbaugh also likes the direction that the school's athletics program is headed in.

"Donegal and the community will always be a special place for me," Sarbaugh said. "The success the sports teams have had over the years makes you proud to be an alumnus. The new school and stadium that were built over the last few years shows that good things are happening in the school district."