The Obit For Jack Rumohr

Zeeland coach, baseball great John "Jack" Rumohr remembered

By LEO MARTONOSI
Holland Sentinel contributor
Posted Jul 07, 2011


Zeeland — John “Jack” Rumohr, a longtime Zeeland Public Schools coach and former professional baseball player, died this week in Muskegon at the age of 74.

“He really knew his stuff,” said Bob Lamer, one of Rumohr’s former Zeeland baseball players. “He was a college All-American pitcher at Western and went on to pitch in the Baltimore Orioles farm system. I learned most of my baseball from him.”

Rumohr was inducted into WMU’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

He helped Western reach the College World Series in 1958 and still owns the second-lowest, single-season ERA with a 0.47 mark in 1957 and the second-best career win percentage at .889 with a 16-2 mark.

Former Detroit Tigers great and Orioles scout Hal Newhouser signed Rumohr out of college.

An arm injury suffered in Applachian League play ended his pro career.

After his playing days concluded, Rumohr taught and coached in Zeeland for 28 years.

“He was a baseball man,” said Lamer, who followed Rumohr into coaching at Zeeland. “He was someone who demanded respect.”

Jack Roelofs, who graduated from Zeeland in 1969, felt the Chix had a big coaching advantage back when he played in high school.

“He had a lot of experience from his college and minor league professional days,” Roelofs said. “We felt going into every game that we had an advantage because of his experience.

“We seldom lost back then. In my three varsity seasons we only lost two or three games. A lot of that was because of Rumohr’s experience.”

Roelofs looked up to Rumohr.

“He was a special guy,” Roelofs said. “Every year he would take us on a spring baseball trip to Virginia and Tennessee, and that was back when teams seldom went on a spring trip.”

Ivan Janssen of Drenthe, who also taught and coached at Zeeland for years, called Rumohr a well-spoken and very respected person.

“He loved to play and coach baseball and golf,” Janssen said.

A memorial service for Rumohr will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lee Chapel, Sytsema Funeral Homes in Norton Shores.

Visitation with family will be one hour prior to the service at 6291 S. Harvey St.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are asked to be given to the American Diabetes Association.