By Collegebaseball360.com Editor Sean Stires
- The latest update regarding Cal baseball is this: They need a lot of money…fast. When I talked to Cal head coach Dave Esquer recently he was still in the process of trying to find out exactly how much he needed to raise and how soon (CLICK HERE to listen to the interview). It’s been an obviously fluid situation of information since the decision to ax the Cal baseball program was made in late September and Golden Bear supporters have done a great job trying to rally support to save the program. Their new web site, Savecalbaseball.com, says they have to raise $5 million by January 1, 2011. That’s a lot of money in not much time. The web site includes contact information on how anyone can pledge their support for Cal baseball.
- Former Alabama head coach Jim Wells is back in baseball, but not in the college game. Wells was recently hired as an assistant baseball coach at Calvary High School in Shreveport, LA. He retired last year after 15
years and a 625-322 record at Alabama. Wells guided the Crimson Tide to the 1997 College World Series title game. His college head coaching career began at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, LA. Calvary head coach Rodney Traweek told the Shreveport Times that Wells’ hiring gives him a “dream team” of assistant coaches and added “He’ll help us with communication with college coaches, pitching, hitting, a little bit of everything.” Calvary won Louisiana state championships in 2007 and 2008.
- Speaking of Alabama, Mitch Gaspard’s squad has announced its 2011 schedule. There’s not much in the way of “marquee” non-conference games on the slate, but with two SEC teams (Arkansas and Vanderbilt) that went to a Super Regional in 2010 and two other conference foes (South Carolina and Florida) that advanced to Omaha there’s not much incentive to toughen the non-conference schedule. Alabama (a 2010 Super Regional team itself) does get to host 2009 CWS champion LSU and 2010 champion South Carolina in its last two home SEC series of the season.
- Schools are continually releasing their 2011 baseball schedules, and we are trying to keep up with them as best we can. There were probably more than 30 that were released last week. Click Here to visit our schedule page to see the list to date. If there is a schedule that has been released that we don’t have be sure to let us know and we’ll add it.
- The Big Ten has been naming its “Big Ten Icons Top 50” over the last several weeks. Former Big Ten athletes like Jack Nicklaus (Ohio State), Super Bowl winner Drew Brees (Purdue) and Heisman winner Ron Dayne (Wisconsin) are on the list, but there are a few baseball players as well. Jim Abbott (Michigan) is #36 on the list, while multi-sport standouts Dave Winfield (Minnesota) and Otto Graham (Northwestern) and #15 and #14, respectively. Winfield played basketball and baseball for the Golden Gophers. He helped the basketball team win the 1972 Big Ten title and helped lead the ’73 baseball team to the College World Series. Graham was an All-American in both football and basketball, while hitting .300 as a centerfielder for the Wildcat baseball team. Winfield is in the baseball Hall of Fame, while Graham is in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Click Here to see the Big Ten Icon list to date.
- Construction recently began for a new stadium at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. Phase one of the project will consist of things like new a new concessions area, restrooms and entrance gate to Taylor Field. It is expected to be ready for the start of the 2011 season. Phase two will begin in June 2011. It will include a new press box, dugouts and grandstand that will seat 1,985.