The Jirschele baseball legacy

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 4:15 PM CDT
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MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAW) - Keagen Jirschele is a rising junior for Mosinee, and finds plenty of comfort on the baseball diamond. He calls baseball his favorite sport in large part because of the name on the back of his jersey.

“Everyone enjoys it. They enjoy playing it, watching it, practicing it. All of it. Talking about it. We just love it,” Keagen said about his family.

The Jirschele family has a long history in baseball, beginning with Keagen’s grandpa, Mike Jirschele.

Mike played 15 years in the minor leagues, topping out at Triple-A for six seasons. When his playing career ended, he shifted to the role of skipper in 1992.

“It was big because It was probably pretty much our whole life,” said Mike, who’s now the bench coach for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Justin Jirschele shakes the opposing manager's hand before a Birmingham Barons game.
Justin Jirschele shakes the opposing manager's hand before a Birmingham Barons game.(Southern Intrigue Photography | Southern Intrigue Photography)

Keagen’s father Jeremy, and his uncle Justin, practically lived in between the lines as kids.

“Spending many, many hours there with dad and my brother and just being around the game of baseball,” Justin said.

“To be able to learn from the highest level that you can learn from. You wouldn’t trade that for anything,” added Jeremy.

Using that expertise, Jeremy and Justin would climb to the professional baseball ranks. Jeremy topped out in Single-A before becoming the head coach for UWSP baseball until 2019. Justin made it to Triple-A before making a similar shift to his dad in the dugout. He’s now the manager for the Birmingham Barons in Double-A of the Chicago White Sox system.

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) celebrates as he rounds the bases towards...
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) celebrates as he rounds the bases towards third base coach Mike Jirschele (59) after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of Game 3 of baseball's AL Division Series in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)(Orlin Wagner | AP)

Grandpa Mike would coach third base and the infield for the Kansas City Royals from 2014 to 2019, including in two World Series’.

“I looked up to them a lot. They loved baseball, I love baseball and they’re both putting in a lot of work too,” Keagen said.

Keagen absorbed as much information as he could.

“He understands how fortunate he is to have a grandpa, a godfather, and a father to have a baseball background that we have,” Jeremy said.

Keagen knew his opportunity was on deck and when he stepped up to the plate, he delivered. He hit for a .424 batting average while recording a 1.13 ERA last season for Mosinee.

Keagen Jirschele with his dad (Jeremy) and Grandpa (Mike) at a Kansas City Royals game.
Keagen Jirschele with his dad (Jeremy) and Grandpa (Mike) at a Kansas City Royals game.(Jeremy Jirschele | Jeremy Jirschele)

“The guy can run, he’s quick, he’s got a good arm, he has good hands defensively and can swing the bat,” Mike said.

Keagen is lacing up the cleats with a goal that feels within range.

“All three of them were very successful, and it just makes me want to get up there and do the same thing as them,” Keagen said.

Armed with a family full of role models, Keagen looks to run in their base path and become the first Jirschele to play major league baseball.

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