Spanning the country once again for college baseball nuggets during the off-season…
By Collegebaseball360.com Editor Sean Stires
- Some sad news to start the Notebook this week. San Diego State head coach and MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has been diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland. Gwynn’s cancer, which is located beneath his
tongue, is said to have been diagnosed early. He will begin radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
- A much needed shot in the arm for college baseball out of Lincoln, NE. The University of Nebraska announced it plans to spend $4.75 million to build an indoor baseball/softball practice facility that would be located at Haymarket Park, where the Cornhuskers play their home baseball games inside Hawks Field. The proposed 22,000 square foot facility would include indoor batting cages and pitchers mounds. It will also give Nebraska a big leg-up when it heads to the Big Ten. The news also comes just more than a week after Cal-Berkley announced it will eliminate baseball, which has been in existence since 1892, after the upcoming 2011 season. Cal is currently in the process of an estimated $321 million renovation of its football stadium. Nebraska also plans to renovated its football stadium. That proposed project will cost about $55.5 million. Both Nebraska projects are still subject to final approval by its Board of Regents.
- Former MLB great Steve Garvey was recently inducted into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame. Garvey was a football and baseball player at MSU from 1966-1968. In those days freshmen were not eligible to play, so Garvey served as head coach Duffy Daugherty’s scout team quarterback the week before the epic 10-10 tie with #1 Notre Dame. Garvey recorded 30 tackles on the gridiron the next fall as a defensive back and then earned All-American honors on the diamond in the spring of 1968 with a .376 average, nine home runs and 38 RBIs. He belted a grand slam in his first career at-bat at MSU. Garvey left Michigan State after the LA Dodgers took him with the 13th overall pick in the 1968 draft. He went on to play in five World Series and earned 1974 NL MVP honors.
- Speaking of two sport athletes, we released our second Two-Sport Report of the fall last week. Among the notable recent performances noted there is Jacksonville State quarterback Coty Blanchard. The freshman earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors last week for his efforts in the Gamecock’s win over Murray State. Jacksonville St. is ranked 4th in the most recent FCS national rankings. Blanchard was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school this June and plans to play shortstop at JSU next spring. The Two-Sport Report also includes updates on the likes of Clemson’s Kyle Parker, NC State’s Russell Wilson, Taiwan Easterling of Florida State, and many others.
- South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner has received a contract extension. Tanner earned the extension after leading the Gamecocks to the program’s first national championship earlier this year. The new deal runs through 2015 and will pay him $510, 000 annually.
- We also recently released a list of former college baseball players who are on the rosters of MLB Playoff teams. San Franciso Giants rookie Buster Posey is among those on the list. Each of the eight playoff teams has at least 16 former college guys on their active roster. Would you believe Kent State is tied with two other schools for the most players on the list? Click Here to see the full rundown.
- Florida and Ole Miss each released their schedules last week. The Rebels don’t have any eye-popping non-conference games, but the Gators host three games with Miami and also play four games against Florida State. The series is split with single games in Gainesville, Talahassee, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Florida and Ole Miss will also each host defending national champion South Carolina in SEC action.
- The UCLA baseball team was recently honored at Dodger Stadium for its runner-up finish at the College World Series. The Bruins finished the 2010 season with the best record in school history at 51-17 before falling to South Carolina in the best-of-three CWS Championship Series. The Dodgers also announced the 2011 Dodgertown Classic, which will take place March 11-13 at Dodger Stadium. UCLA, USC, Georgia, and St. Mary’s (CA) will all participate.
- LSU has long been one of the most popular college baseball teams in the country, and it’s showing as well in the world of social media. According to sportsfangraph.com, LSU baseball ranks 29th in baseball social media followers. The Tiger’s combined Facebook and Twitter numbers total roughly 109,00o. The #29 ranking is tops among college baseball programs and comes in ahead of three MLB teams: the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals. Sports Fan Graph tracks more than 84-million fans who follow teams on Facebook and more than 17-million who track teams on Twitter. The New York Yankees are the most followed baseball team with more than 4.5 million social media fans.
- Texas scrimmaged Texas State Sunday, and there were both old and new faces on the diamond for Augie Garrido’s Longhorns. Texas lost 9-0 in the 12-inning fall exhibition, but next season’s potential starting rotation pitched well. junior Taylor Jungmann, senior Cole Green and sophomore Hoby Miner combined to surrender just one hit and one walk over the first 6.0 innings. Jungmann fired two perfect innings, while Green gave-up the hit. Sophomore Keifer Nuncio and freshman Nathan Thornhill combined to give-up seven runs in the 10th and 11th innings. It is the fall, and the Longhorns had trouble trying to turn double plays in both of those innings that would have limited the Bobcat damage.