College Baseball 360 Fall Notebook #9

November 8, 2010

By Editor Sean Stires

The Ring Is The Thing…

As of this posting we are just a little more than three months away from the start of the 2011 college baseball season, so it’s fitting that we start this week’s Notebook with the 2010 champions. Ray Tanner and his South Carolina

South Carolina players received their CWS rings Saturday (courtesy South Carolina athletics).

Gamecocks received their 2010 national championship rings over the weekend. The presentation came at halftime of the South Carolina-Arkansas football game Saturday night (11/6) at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC. Tanner, his assistants and team received their CWS rings at the 50-yard line. Fireworks and balloons punctuated the ceremony.

Honoring “The Voice”…

Before that same South Carolina-Arkansas football game the Gamecocks paid tribute to longtime South Carolina play-by-play announcer Bob Fulton. The 89-year-old died last Wednesday at his Lexington home. Fulton retired in 1995 after 43 years calling South Carolina football, basketball and baseball. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Wonderdogs Or Torture?

Fresno State radio play-by-play man Paul Loeffler is also a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan. Just a few years ago it might have seemed that fans like Loeffler would go a lifetime without seeing a championship for either team, but all that has changed. Loeffler called FSU’s 2008 “Wonderdog” run to the CWS Championship, and now he has seen his beloved Giants win a World Series title. He has also written a good piece comparing the improbable title runs of both teams. Here’s one of his observations:  “The most powerful parallel is that the team is so much more potent than the sum of its parts. Turn these Giants into your fantasy league entry, and you’ll fall to dead last. It’s not about the eye-popping stats, it’s about the power of we over me.”  The entire piece is posted on Fresno State’s web site. CLICK HERE to read the whole thing.

The Beard Not Feared…

No doubt, San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson (formerly of LSU) and his beard garnered about as much attention as anyone (or anything) during the Giants’ World Series run. “Fear The Beard” signs were everywhere, as were San Francisco fans with faux beards in the stands. Wilson now has a group of college players who are using him (and his beard) for motivation. The University of Northern Colorado pitching staff has plastered Wilson’s mug on the back of their staff t-shirts. They read “Baseball NC P-Staff” on the front and “Mental Assassins” along with a screen print of Wilson’s face on the back of the shirts (pictured left, click-on photo to enlarge). There might be an influx of facial hair coming soon in Greeley, CO.

Molitor Out Front…

MLB Hall of Famer, Paul Molitor, has been enlisted to help the University of Minnesota raise funds to build a new baseball stadium. Prior to his 21-year Big League career, Molitor starred for three years as a Golden Gopher in the 1970s. He is now the chairman of  The Siebert Field Legacy Campaign, which hopes to raise $7.5 million to build a new stadium on the site of the current Siebert Field. The stadium, built in 1971, has split Minnesota home games with the Metrodome over the years, but it was not used in 2010 and all of the Gophers’ 2011 home games are slated for the

Golden Gopher great Paul Molitor is now helping raise funds for a new stadium (courtesy Minnesota Athletics).

Metrodome as well. The university says the new facility would be a “multi-use venue that will accommodate the needs of Gopher baseball, provide benefits to sports using adjacent facilities, enhance the experience of fans and visitors and serve as an important resource for amateur baseball in Minnesota.”

A New Stony Stadium…

Stony Brook is in the process of renovating it’s Joe Nathan Stadium. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by March 2011. It includes a new FieldTurf surface, new dugouts, new bullpen, and new fences. Fundraising is currently underway for phase two of the project, which would include a new scoreboard, lights, stadium seating, and a press box. Joe Nathan Field is named for former Seawolves and current Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Nathan. He contributed the lead gift for the facility. Stony Brook has won three America East Tournament championships since its elevation to Division One status in 2002.

Say What?

Just for some perspective, a non-BCS Conference school, Stony Brook, is building a new stadium in the northeastern part of the country in the village of Stony Brook, NY. Another cold weather school, Minnesota, is spending millions to build a new stadium as well. Meanwhile, Cal-a school that receives BCS revenue and has the benefit of great weather…not to mention the fact that it had more alums on MLB rosters than any other school at the start of last season, is eliminating its baseball program. Does that make sense?

Red Sox For Rams…

Boston Red Sox season tickets are hard to come by, but the Rhode Island baseball team has a pair. URI is raffling off a pair of Red Sox season tickets for the 2011 season. The tickets (Section 24, Seats 17 and 18) have a face value of more than $8,000. Raffle tickets for a chance to win the season tix can be purchased for $100, with no limit on the number of raffle tickets an individual can buy. Proceeds will help Rhody baseball offset the costs of travel, equipment and facility upgrades. CLICK HERE for more information.

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