One thousand. That is quite a number.
Every year, Verona’s elementary school kids celebrate the 100th day of school by pasting 100 different small objects to a poster. Line up 10 of those posters and you’d have 1,000. But it wouldn’t begin to approach the magnitude of what happened Saturday afternoon at Rutgers University’s Bainton Field.
There, long-time Verona resident and Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill won his 1,000th baseball game, becoming the 16th active Division I head coach to reach that milestone. His record, for those of you who take your kids to the Fred Hill Sports Academy on Fairview Avenue, is now 1,000-651-9 overall and 852-560-7 at Rutgers.
“This really belongs to the players I have had an opportunity to coach and the coaches I have worked with throughout the years,” Hill said in a statement released by Rutgers University. “I am blessed to have the support of my family through all these years I have spent on a baseball field. Today was a great moment, which I will cherish forever.”
“Everyone at Rutgers is very proud of what Coach Hill has accomplished,” said Rutgers Director of Athletics Tim Pernetti. “It is a great day for Coach Hill and the baseball program and a great day for Rutgers.”
In a ceremony after the game, in which Rutgers beat the University of South Florida 6-1, Coach Hill was presented with several trophies and a 20-foot banner that will be a permanent addition to Bainton Field’s left-field fence. Rutgers and USF will close their 3-game series with a 1 p.m. game today.