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Catching Up on All Things Hopkins Baseball
Updated: May 20, 2014
Recently completeing his 35th season at the helm of the Johns Hopkins baseball program, head coach Bob Babb has established the Blue Jays as one of the top teams in the nation, reaching a Regional Championship game in four of the last six seasons, including trips to the NCAA College World Series in 2008 and 2010.
While guiding the program to national prominence, Babb has amassed a 1,012-370-12 (.730) record. Babb led the Blue Jays to the fourth best overall record in Division III during the decade from 2000-09 at 335-96-2 (.778).
During Babb's tenure at Hopkins, the Blue Jays have captured 10 Middle Atlantic Conference Southeast League titles, 12 Centennial Conference championships and seven University Athletic Association titles and made a total of 18 NCAA Division III Tournament appearances.
Over the last ten seasons, Babb has earned several milestone victories. In 2002, he became the 14th active coach in Division III to win 600 career games with a 4-1 victory over Franklin & Marshall. Exactly three years later, Babb recorded his 700th win with a 7-5 triumph at home over Shenandoah. Babb tallied the 750th victory of his career in the 2007 season-opener against William Paterson. He recorded his 800th win against Swarthmore on March 29, 2008 and his 850th career win in the 2009 Centennial Conference Tournament with a 7-6 win over Franklin & Marshall. In 2010, Babb notched the 900th win of his career with a 7-4 victory over Shenandoah in the 2010 NCAA College World Series.
During the 2014 season, Babb earned his milestone 1,000th victory as the head coach of Johns Hopkins with a win over St. Joseph's Long Island. He became just the ninth coach in Division III history at the time to accomplish the feat, and the fourth active coach to reach 1,000 wins.
In 1989, the Blue Jays had one of the most successful postseason runs ever, finishing with a 34-7 record and taking third place at the NCAA Division III World Series in their first trip to the final eight.
In 1998, Babb guided the Blue Jays to a then school-record 36 wins with just four losses. Hopkins was ranked as high No. 4 in the nation during the regular season, won the Centennial Conference and UAA Championships and was the top seed in the 1998 NCAA III Mid-Atlantic Regional.
In 2003, the Blue Jays earned their sixth Centennial Conference Championship, the third straight under Babb and tallied their 11th consecutive season with 25 or more victories. The Blue Jays finished with a 34-7 record and advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships.
Hopkins posted a record-setting 40-4 mark, the best record in the nation in 2004. The Blue Jays' .909 win percentage of 2004 was the highest in school history. Hopkins set a then NCAA record with a 33-game season opening winning streak (broken by Trinity in 2008) and advanced to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional final before falling to Rowan, a Division III CWS participant that year.
In 2007, the Blue Jays finished with the second most wins (38) and games played in school history (49). Hopkins captured its eighth Centennial Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional final before falling to Kean in extra innings. Kean went on to win the College World Series.
In 2008, Babb led the Blue Jays to the College World Series for the second time in the 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Hopkins finished No. 2 in the nation with a 42-8 record. The Blue Jays claimed their second consecutive Centennial Conference championship and ninth overall.
The Blue Jays returned to the regional championship game for a third consecutive year in 2009, falling to Shenandoah, 11-7, in the final game of the year. The Blue Jays finished the season with a 26-18 record and won their third-straight Centennial Conference Championship.
JHU put together another impressive year in 2011 as the Blue Jays won their fifth consecutive conference title with a 15-3 in-conference record. Hopkins also made its fifth straight and 18th overall appearance in the NCAA Regional tournament, with three of the last five taking place in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Blue Jays captured the 2010 Mid-Atlantic crown with an 8-3 victory over Kean in the championship round. The Blue Jays were knocked out of the regional by Alvernia.
Babb has led the Blue Jays to 22 consecutive seasons with 25 or more wins and has never finished a season below .500. He has coached 20 All-Americans and 15 of his players have moved on to the professional ranks. He was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
Babb played baseball at Hopkins for four years from 1974 to 1977. The 1976 squad participated in the first NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, while the 1977 team won the Middle Atlantic Southeast title. Babb remains one of the all-time leaders at Hopkins in stolen bases, as he ranks eighth with 65.
A 1977 graduate of Johns Hopkins, Babb taught social studies for two years at Lansdowne High School. During this time, he served as an assistant baseball and football coach at Hopkins under Denny Cox, who rejoined the staff in 2007, as the catchers' coach, after a 27-year break.
In 1980, he received his master's degree from Morgan State University and became the head baseball coach at Johns Hopkins. Babb served as an assistant football coach at JHU from 1977 through 1998, coaching current head coach Jim Margraff and later serving as one of Margraff's assistants.
During his final four seasons as a member of the Blue Jay football staff (1995-98) he helped guide the team to a 27-12-1 (.688) record. At the time, it was the winningest four-year period in school history.
In addition to his duties on the field, Babb has been the director of the Johns Hopkins University Summer Sports Day Camp since 1982. He currently serves as head of the Centennial Conference Baseball Coaches Committee and is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the editorial committee for the ABCA, the Division III National Committee, the ABCA rules committee, and the Maryland Old-Timers Baseball Association. Babb also participates on the board of directors of the Roland Park Little League.
The "Friends of Hopkins Baseball" organization, established to help raise funds for the baseball program, was founded by Babb in 1980. "Friends of Hopkins Baseball" is now administered by the Blue Jays Unlimited organization. A member of the Johns Hopkins Athletics Hall of Fame Committee, Babb was the director of the H-Club prior to the introduction of Blue Jays Unlimited in 1994. Babb also instituted the Johns Hopkins Baseball Old-Timers' Game in the early 1980's and has continued the tradition.
Bob and his wife, Gilly, live in Baltimore with their son, Andrew (18). Gilly and Bob also have two daughters, Gillian (25) and Olivia (22). Olivia is currently a senior at Johns Hopkins.