Published in Chicago
Tribune on January 4, 2013
Lee Paul Eilbracht
was born March 22,1924 in St. Louis, Missouri, son of Viola Nixon Eilbracht
and Winfield Charles Eilbracht.
In 1945 he returned from the war and resumed his education and baseball
career at the University of Illinois. In 1946 he was the Big Ten batting
champion with a 484 batting average, and a great catcher.
For the next five years Lee played and managed minor league baseball in
the Chicago Cub farm system with a short stint in the big leagues. He
was known for having lots of "pepper," working hard, playing
hard and sleeping fast.
In 1952, Lee became one of the youngest Big Ten head coaches and had immediate
success. The Illini were the Big Ten Co-Champions in 1952 and 1953. His
teams won the Big Ten Championships outright in 1962 and 1963. The Illini
narrowly missed a trip to the College World Series in 1963.
Eilbracht received numerous awards in College and Amateur Baseball and
was an Olympic Coach in1964 for the US baseball team in Japan. Lee Eilbracht
served as the first Executive Director for The American Baseball Coaches
Lee coached many superior players including Tommy Fletcher, Kenny Holtzman,
and Tom Haller. He scouted for the Arizona Diamondbacks and served as
technical director for the film "A League of Their Own".
Lee Paul Eilbracht is survived by five children, and many grandchildren.
The Memorial Service will be at the Morgan Funeral Home, Savoy, Illinois
on January 6, 2013 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm, and the funeral will be at St.
Mathew's Catholic Church, Champaign, Illinois on January 7, 2013 at 10:00
The burial will be immediately thereafter.