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Silver Lake retires legendary baseball coach’s jersey



SILVER LAKE, Kan. – Silver Lake has retired legendary baseball coach Alan Cunningham’s jersey, who led the Eagles to six state titles and 458 wins in his three decades at the helm.

Cunningham announced his retirement last April after spring sports in Kansas were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It just kind of faded into the sunset,” Cunningham said Thursday. “So it was special to come out here today and put a bow on the career that I had here.”

The 1978 Silver Lake graduate joined the baseball program as an assistant coach in 1985 before taking over the program the following year.

Under his leadership, Silver Lake won state titles in 1997, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

“The players built the legacy,” he said. “Good players make us look like we know what we’re doing, and I had a lot of them in my career.”

The Eagles presented Cunningham his jersey plaque at Thursday’s Senior Night game. He also threw the first pitch.

“You’re just trying to get through the next double-header,” Cunningham laughed when asked if he pictured having his jersey retired someday 30 years ago. “You never think that that’s going to be part of where you’re going to end up. It’s just one day at a time.”