By David Fleet
When the final out was tallied on a cool early May afternoon—Bob Foreback officially joined an elite group of high school baseball coaches and reached a pinnacle in a stellar career.
On Monday night, the Goodrich Martians shut out the Lake Fenton Blue Devils 12-0 in the first game of a doubleheader to notch coach Foreback’s 700th win at Goodrich. The Martians went on to win the nightcap 7-0, lifting the 2022 season to 15-0 and 10-0 in the Flint Metro League, the best start ever for a Goodrich baseball team. Foreback’s 701 wins landed the veteran coach in the top 17 all time in the state.
“Baseball is an individual sport wrapped up into a team sport,” said Foreback. “It’s the hitter versus the pitcher or the catcher and a runner on first base leading off ready to steal second. But, still it’s about the team—and the American pastime.”
In June 2017, Foreback was inducted into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Foreback and other inductees’ names are on a permanent plaque near section 113 at Comerica Park in Detroit.
“No coach sets out on a career to someday end up in the hall of fame,” said Foreback. “But it’s an honor and without the support of the players, coaches and community, I’d never make it. I love the competitive spirit of the game and all my players over the years, they keep me young.”
Foreback has coached Goodrich for 27 seasons to a 701-276-3 record (as of presstime Thursday).
Foreback, a 1987 Ovid-Elsie High School graduate, attended Saginaw Valley State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in education in 1992. He taught chemistry for one year at Holly High School then returned to earn a master’s degree in counseling from SVSU. In 1994 he was hired as counselor at Goodrich High School.
“We’ve had some very good players over the years,” said Foreback. “It’s hard to stay in coaching baseball if you don’t enjoy the kids. I still love the bus ride home after the road games with the team.”
On Monday night, six of Forebacks former players were in the dugout.
“I always welcome my players back in the dugout for a game,” he said. “Many of my players I’ve watched grow up from T-ball to Little League to play on the high school team.”
Foreback’s coaching experience included JV baseball coach at Ovid-Elsie High School; freshman boys basketball coach at Bay City Western High School; assistant varsity baseball coach at Holly High School; and JV boys basketball and JV boys golf coach at Goodrich High School. In 1995, Foreback’s first year coaching, the Goodrich baseball team finished the season with a 19-18 record.
In 27 years as varsity baseball coach, Foreback’s teams won league championships in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. District championships in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Regional championships 2001, 2003 and 2008. The state quarterfinals in 2001, 2003 and 2008. Final Four: 2001, 2003 and 2008.