Notre Dame football history connects to Cooperstown

Part of the BASEBALL HISTORY series
Written by: Isabelle Minasian

Notre Dame football at Yankee Stadium has been a tradition that dates back so far that it predates Yankee Stadium itself. Indeed, Grantland Rice’s famous New York Herald Tribune article about “the Four Horsemen” covered a 1924 game at the Polo Grounds, when Notre Dame defeated Army in a 13-7 upset.

Nearly a century later, the Fighting Irish returned to the Bronx on Nov. 17, 2018, as part of their “home-away-from-home” Shamrock Series. Dressed in uniforms that paid homage to the iconic Yankee pinstripes, Notre Dame defeated Syracuse 36-3.

To commemorate this historic event, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum sought an artifact from the game. Specifically, the Hall hoped to acquire an item from Cole Kmet, a dual-sport baseball and football athlete. With the approval of both Kmet and the NCAA, Kmet’s helmet was soon on the way to Cooperstown.

Throughout this endeavor, the process was made even easier by the fact that a Hall of Fame alum is now working in South Bend.

Back in 2008 Mike Scholl, now Notre Dame’s Associate Athletics Communications Director, journeyed to Cooperstown, where he spent 10 weeks as a PR intern as part of the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program. Scholl, a Notre Dame graduate, originally learned about the program from another former Steele intern, Joe Meginnes, who worked in Notre Dame’s Athletics Communications office where Scholl helped out. For Scholl, this was the first time he spent truly away from home, and it gave him the opportunity to prove to himself he could thrive away from his support system.

“Whether it was artifact spotlight presentations to work on public speaking skills, networking presentations or interacting with Hall of Famers, there was a chance to improve in every professional area,” Scholl said.

For those looking to work in the sports industry, Scholl encourages them to follow their passions.

“My passion for baseball is what led me to Cooperstown and the opportunities I had there, including the chance to meet two legendary Cleveland Indians players in Bob Feller and Eddie Murray, will stick with me the rest of my life.”

After Cooperstown, Scholl graduated from Notre Dame and returned to the east coast, where he worked as an athletics communications graduate assistant at Providence College, then full-time as the communications contact for Vanderbilt University’s women’s basketball team. From there he made his way to the University of Cincinnati, working with “five or six teams during a three-year stretch,” and in 2016 returned to his alma mater.

“From the professional opportunities at the Hall to the wiffle ball games at Hartwick College (where the intern stayed that summer), my time as a Steele intern helped make me who I am today.”

For more information on becoming a Steele Intern, please visit www.baseballhall.org/intern.


Isabelle Minasian is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the BASEBALL HISTORY series