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The Heart and Soul of Post 199 Baseball

Longtime Post 199 manager Schaake passes away

For four decades, Ken Schaake and summer baseball in Edwardsville were synonymous.
Schaake, who was the manager of the Edwardsville American Post 199 baseball team for 38 years, died Wednesday (March 23) at the age of 68. Schaake announced his resignation in May 2019 after he was unable to field a team for the summer of 2019. It was the first time in 57 years that he had not put on a baseball uniform. Schaake had 874 career wins, including three state championships and a national championship in 1998. In terms of wins and losses, the high point of Schaake’s managing career came in 1998, when Post 199 had a 41-7 record and won the national tournament in Las Vegas. Most of those players were also on the Edwardsville High School baseball team, which won a state title that year with a 40-0 record. “It was kind of a magical year for Edwardsville baseball, and I can’t say enough for what those kids did,” Schaake, a 1971 EHS graduate, said after he stepped down as manager in 2019. Post 199 had a solid stretch of success before and after the national title, with a second-place finish at the state tournament in 1990 and third place at state in 1994 and 1999. In 2013, Schaake’s squad won state and finished second in the Great Lakes Regional. In 2015 as the Bears manager, the team finished second at state and second in the regional. The Bears were second in the regional in 2016, and in 2017, they won the state tournament and placed fourth in the regional. Schaake’s teams also won 17 District 22 championships and nine Fifth Division Tournament titles. Schaake began playing Legion baseball for Post 199 in 1969 at the age of 15 under former EHS coaches Joe Lucco, Bob Gregor and Bill Funkhouser, as well as Chuck Jones. In 1978, Schaake started coaching for Post 199 under his father Don, who became manager in 1977. Three years later, he took over the team. Don Schaake died on Dec. 19, 2019, at age 88. He served as the team’s scorekeeper through Post 199’s final season in 2018 Evelyn Schaake, meanwhile, died after a battle with cancer on Feb. 27, 2020, at age 85. Like her husband, she was a fixture at every Post 199 game.
By Edwardsville Intelligencer Staff Writer Scott Marion

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