Sammy Frichter, head of the powerhouse club Wiregrass Cardinals, was recently inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Frichter’s club is a staple at AAU Baseball Nationals and Showcases each year. The Cardinals have won numerous Nationals and are always contenders for the title. Coach Frichter’s son, Michael, is always at his side during Nationals on the mini-John Deere tractor that Michael uses for mobility. Michael shares his father’s love for baseball and is an avid participant in the Dothan Miracle League of which his father serves as vice-president. National AAU Baseball Chair Ed Skovron and Southeastern District Director Mark Miller were on hand at the event to support Coach Frichter.
AAU Baseball extends a hearty congratulations to Coach Sammy Frichter! It is an honor well deserved.
Read the FULL story from DothanEagle.com below.
First and foremost Sammy Frichter describes himself as a “teacher.”
He’s a teacher on the baseball field, served as a teacher in the classroom and continues to teach lessons in life.
“I didn’t get paid one penny for coaching – not a penny,” Frichter said of his 17 years as head baseball coach at Wallace Community College. “I got a teaching salary. If I couldn’t go out to practice every day and teach them something new, I wasn’t doing my job.”
On Sunday afternoon at the Westgate Recreation Center in Dothan, many of Frichter’s former players filled the room for a reception to pay tribute to the longtime coach, who was inducted with four others into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday in Birmingham.
“I figured it up the other day that we’ve got over 60 of them that are either coaching or teaching in schools,” Frichter said of past players. “We’ve got 18 of them that are college coaches.
“We’ve got guys who are superintendents of education. It’s just astronomical how many of them are still in the community and in service areas.”
A native of New Orleans, Frichter has been a fixture in the Dothan area since 1974 as a baseball coach and mentor to hundreds of players ranging from the youth league level through college.
At Wallace, Frichter’s teams compiled a 482-275 record while winning six conference championships – including a 227-113 mark in league play. He was named JUCO Coach of the Year in the state on five occasions.
Frichter also started the American Legion baseball program in Dothan and coached Dothan Post 12 from 1974 until 1988. Post 12 won eight state championships during that time.
“We had so many championships,” Frichter beamed. “I’d put our record with anyone in the country in the 1980s.”
Gil Anthony was the play-by-play radio announcer for Frichter’s teams at Wallace College and on the American Legion baseball level.
He marvels at the coaching expertise of Frichter, but even more so at how the coach prepared his players for the future.
“What Sammy’s legacy is all about is what these guys have done with their lives,” Anthony said. “Sammy has coached so many who have gone on to be successful in businesses.
“He was really important in shaping their life and showing there was no shortcut in getting things done. That was the thing. They worked for it on the baseball field.
“I just recently talked to a guy up in Montgomery who played for L.B. Wallace when Sammy coached the Governors, and he said he sat on the bench just wishing he could have played for Sammy, because he knew what his players would do for Sammy. He said they would run through the wall for Sammy, and that’s just the way he coached.
“A few years back you could look at coaches in the Wiregrass and almost all of them had some sort of connection with Sammy Frichter.”
Frankie Pittman is an example of someone Frichter coached who benefitted not only as a player, but later in life as a businessman. After two years of playing at Wallace, Pittman went on to be a standout during his final two years of college eligibility at Auburn University-Montgomery. Now a successful businessman in Dothan, Pittman has also served as a coach in the area.
“He really taught me the game of baseball like it should be played,” Pittman said. “Taught me the fundamentals and that’s why I was able to go on and play from there.
“I think it helps you with all aspects of life – with your family, your business, being a team player, working hard and doing what it takes. I think it carries over to every part of life.”
Frichter called the hall of fame ceremony in Birmingham on Friday “breathtaking.”
“You can’t explain it in words,” he said. “The event was beautiful. There were 275 people there and I guarantee you there was close to 100 of them there for us.”
Frichter continues to teach the game of baseball on several different levels. He organized the Wiregrass Cardinals Senior and Junior baseball teams in 2004. The Cardinals have become one of the most respected AAU programs in the southeast with countless players moving on to the college ranks.
Away from the baseball field, Frichter is a successful businessman as the owner of Coach’s Petro convenience store and Smokies, Inc., a tobacco store.
Frichter is also very involved in the Dothan Miracle League for handicapped children. He serves as vice-president of the local group of which his son, Micheal, is a participant.
“I love it,” Frichter said of coaching. “I’ll do it to the day I die.”
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