(7-22-21) A 1954 graduate of Celina High School, C. Duane ‘Bake’ Baker was inducted into the Bulldog’s athletic hall of fame in 1995.
From the 1953 ANILEC
Baker played two seasons of varsity basketball, both seasons (Soph and Jr) he led the Bulldogs in scoring.
From 1954 ANILEC
Baker played baseball all four years.
His Senior year in 1954 he was Celina’s Outstanding pitcher.
In a Sectional game in 1953, Baker threw a no-hitter vs. Kenton.
He attended Ohio University and played baseball for the Bobcats. He still holds the school’s single-season ERA record of 0.52 set in 1958.
Baker served as Springfield South’s athletic director from 1981-95. Baker retired from South after 30 years in the Springfield City School District but stayed involved in the community. In 2007, he served on a committee that provided recommendations on how the South and North athletic programs would be combined the following year.
OBITUARY – C. Duane BAKER
Age 84 of Springfield, passed away at home on June 21, 2021. Born in Celina, Ohio, on November 24, 1936, the son of the late Chalmer and Bernice (Baucher) Baker.
Following graduation from Celina High School in 1954, Duane attended Ohio University where he was a member of their varsity Baseball team and held many school records.
After graduation with his Bachelor’s in Education he went on to serve as a Quartermaster in the United States Navy. After serving his country “Bake” began his teaching career at Wapakoneta High School before moving to Springfield, OH. At South High School he both taught in their science department and coached baseball and basketball. Duane was a natural leader who loved his community and they loved him. He was soon the strong choice to lead the “Wildcats” as their Athletic Director. He had a passion for “kids” and that love shines through the legacy that he has in the community. The lasting mark he made carries on through the individuals he touched: his students, his athletes and their families and his coaches. He had the ability to connect even with strangers. He was great at defusing and encouraging. This characteristic drew many to respect and adore him. Once your life was touched by Bake you knew he would always have your back and that you could always call on him for strong advice or help. His life will be carried on in the hearts and service of those he touched. He retired after 30 years in the Springfield School District; but could still be seen season after season up in the stands cheering on the Wildcats! (It was said his blood was blue and gold.)
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Patricia (Hutchens) Baker; his daughter who was the light of his life, Suzanne (Baker) Antonaros; his son-in-law, Richard Antonaros; and his granddaughters, Isabella, Avamarie and Vivianna Antonaros.