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Baseball Field Named in Long-Time Coach Mel Taube's Honor

June 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Northfield, Minn.—Carleton College will honor Mel Taube, who served the Knights’ athletic department from 1950-70 as a multi-sport coach and latter adding men’s athletics administration duties, by the naming of the Mel Taube Baseball Field. The dedication ceremony will be held during Carleton’s Alumni Reunion Weekend activities at 4:15 p.m. on Fri., June 20 at the baseball complex.

Several members of the Carleton class of 1958 are on campus this weekend to celebrate their 50th reunion. This group has spearheaded a variety of planned improvements to Carleton’s baseball facilities, all in Coach Taube’s honor.

Members of the Taube family will also be in attendance at Friday’s ceremony.

Melvin H. (Mel) Taube profile:

Mel Taube has been described as a mentor and a friend by the student-athletes who, between 1950 and 1970, had the opportunity to learn from one of the most versatile and able coaches in Carleton’s history.

A 1926 graduate of Purdue University, Taube earned nine letters, three each in football, basketball, and baseball. After two years as freshman football and basketball coach at his alma mater, he taught and coached at Marion High School in Indiana, followed by a coaching stint at Massachusetts State College. He received a master’s degree in education from Indiana University in 1933.

Taube returned to Purdue in the spring of 1936 as assistant football and basketball coach, taking a three-year leave of absence to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Discharged in 1945 with the rank of lieutenant, he was appointed head basketball and baseball coach at Purdue in 1946.

He arrived at Carleton in 1950 as head basketball and baseball coach and assistant football coach. In response to questions about his shift from a Big Ten university to a small liberal arts college, Taube gave a simple yet profound answer: “There are other things in life besides the so-called big leagues.

Taube was the head baseball coach for his entire tenure at Carleton, garnering Midwest Conference (MWC) pennants in 1953, 1957, and 1964. For 11 years, he was head basketball coach and led his teams to a 136–80 record, including four conference titles. His teams of the mid-1950s, featuring Laurie Slocum ’55, Howie Rosenblum ’55, and Little All-American Bob Buis ’54, were among the finest in MWC history. Following the untimely death of football coach Warren Beson, Taube became head Football coach and director of men’s athletics in 1960. During the next decade, he led the football team to an overall record of 28–42–3. He continued to coach both football and baseball and administer the men’s athletic programs until his retirement in 1970.

Taube was involved in the planning of the West Gym, which opened in 1964, and the renovation of Laird Stadium in 1968. Upon his retirement from Carleton and a lifetime career in college athletics, he commented: “I am finishing the best 20 years of my life. Carleton has been good to me and for me.”

Mel Taube ushered in a new era of intercollegiate sports at Carleton, coming to the College the year (as the result of a Carletonian referendum) that “Knights” was adopted as the official name for all varsity sports teams. Throughout two decades at Carleton, Tuabe was focused on helping the Knights be successful and on shaping the men’s varsity athletic program. His commitment to Carleton, recognized by the naming of the Mel Taube Baseball Field, will now be a part of Carleton for generations to come.