Urbandale’s Denny Barton, who already has a baseball field named in his honor, joined a group of other elite names Thursday night.
Barton became the 17th baseball coach in state history to notch 700 career victories. He did it with a 6-2 win at No. 7 Southeast Polk.
Barton picked up win No. 701 when the J-Hawks completed the sweep with a 4-3 victory in game two.
“I’ve been so blessed that I’ve been able to stay at Urbandale for this long,” Barton said after the doubleheader.
Barton is in his 29th season at Urbandale. The school’s ballpark is called Barton Field.
Barton guided the J-Hawks to state championships in 2000 and 2007.
He entered the season needing just five victories to reach 700.
With the sweep, Urbandale improved to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the CIML Central Conference.
“We can move on and we got it out of the way,” Barton said.
Longtime Kee of Lansing coach Gene Schultz is the state’s all-time leader with more than 1,600 wins. Decorah’s Dennis Olejniczak and Bancroft St. John’s Vincent Meyer are the only other Iowa coaches to reach 1,000 wins.
Only seven active coaches in the state have more wins than Barton.
Is 800 wins within reach?
“I don’t know,” Barton said. “We’ll be at Ottumwa tomorrow. That’s about it.”
Barton said the victory was an emotional moment for him after the passing of his mother Dorothy in February.
He credited all the players that have passed through the program for his success.
“We have outstanding, outstanding kids that play for us,” Barton said. “They play their butts off.”