SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s what anyone associated with the game of baseball dreams of, being a world champion That dream, is real, for former Newell-Fonda standout Chuck Baughman. Not as a player, but as a leader on the major league organizations athletic training staff.
“This is my 20th year in professional baseball. Every year seems like it gets a little bit shorter. If you do what you love, time just really flies by,” said Baughman.
Baughman is in his second season working as the Cubs minor league medical coordinator. He oversees sports medicine at all levels of the organization. He earned the club’s athletic trainer of the year award in 2018.
“We’ve got 4 full season teams and 2 rookies league teams so there’s approximately 170 minor league players that are under my care,” he said. “Basically everyone here knows everybody. Players are like kids, the coaching staff, it’s great. To come to work just great fellowship with everyone.”
What’s turned into a career of caring for multi-million dollar athletes actually started here in the Morningside College athletic training room. From Boise, Idaho to Lansing, Johnson City Tennessee and Mesa Arizona where Chuck has spend the last 14 years in this Cubs training facility.
“Getting a little experience working at the collegiant level at Morningside. Got a little taste of that working with the baseball team at Morningside,” says Baughman.
From patching up college players on a shoestring budget to planning rehab for big-leaguers, Baughman said the rewards of the job are much greater than a ring.
“I’ve been there when the player will come back at the major league game and that’s what gives you goosebumps and keeps you coming back to work,” says Baughman.
“I’d say the most unique era was the Sammy Sosa era when he was around. Coming into the training room everyday and yelling “trainer” and everybody would drop what they were doing to go find out what Sammy needed,” says Baughman.
There’s no way knowing when the next Sammy or series winner will come along, but Buaghman says he’s looking forward to whatever happens between now and then.
“Being a championship organization obviously is a huge family,” he says.