College baseball

College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges (i.e., two-year institutions) regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most recently completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States (including schools transitioning from Division II to Division I).

As with most other U.S. intercollegiate sports, competitive college baseball is played under the auspices of either the NCAA or the NAIA. The NCAA writes the rules of play, while each sanctioning body supervises season-ending tournaments. The final rounds of the NCAA tournaments are known as the College World Series; one is held on each of the three levels of competition sanctioned by the NCAA. The College World Series for Division I takes place in Omaha, Nebraska in June, following the regular season. The playoff bracket for Division I consists of 64 teams, with four teams playing at each of 16 regional sites (in a double-elimination format). The 16 winners advance to the Super Regionals at eight sites, played head-to-head in a best-of-three series. The eight winners then advance to the College World Series, a double elimination tournament (actually two separate four-team brackets) to determine the two national finalists. The finalists play a best-of-three series to determine the Division I national champion. The most recent College World Series winner is Oregon State.

History

The first intercollegiate baseball game took place in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on July 1, 1859, between squads representing Amherst College and Williams College. Amherst won, 73–32. This game was one of the last played under an earlier version of the game known as "Massachusetts rules", which prevailed in New England until the "Knickerbocker Rules" (or "New York Rules") developed in the 1840s gradually became accepted.[1] The first ever nine-man team college baseball game under the Knickerbocker Rules still in use today was played in New York on November 3, 1859, between the Fordham Rose Hill Baseball Club of St. John's College (now Fordham University) against The College of St. Francis Xavier, now known as Xavier High School.

Recent growth

Baseball d1
A map of all NCAA Division I baseball teams, using 2012 alignments

Traditionally, college baseball has been played in the early part of the year, with a relatively short schedule and during a time when cold (and/or rainy) weather hinders the ability for games to be played, particularly in the northern and midwestern parts of the U.S. These and other factors have historically led colleges and universities across the nation to effectively consider baseball a minor sport, both in scholarships as well as money and other points of emphasis.

College baseball has grown phenomenally in popularity since the 1980s, as coaches and athletic directors in warm-weather regions of the nation began to recognize the unrealized potential appeal of the sport. These coaches went out and aggressively recruited the sport to potential athletes, as well as made various upgrades to their programs; such as bigger and better stadiums, more money for staff and support salaries, and promotions.

As these efforts resulted in better players and overall programs, more television and print media coverage began to emerge. The ESPN family of networks greatly increased television coverage of the NCAA playoffs and the College World Series since 2003.

Soon, in many warm-weather regions, baseball came to be considered a major sport, approaching the level of football and basketball. And even non-warm weather schools started to recognize baseball's potential and began to put considerably more emphasis on it. Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Oregon State are three notable examples of cold (or rainy) weather schools with very successful programs. The first two made the College World Series when warm-weather schools placed major emphasis on baseball as well as had the advantage of playing earlier and more games because of favorable climates. Oregon State won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007; at that time, archrival Oregon had been without baseball for a quarter-century, having dropped its program in 1981. Many credit the Beavers' success as a primary factor in the University of Oregon's later decision to revive baseball in 2009.

Before the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was demolished in early 2014, Minnesota took advantage of it to play the majority of their games, including hosting a prestigious preseason tournament. With the 2010 departure of the MLB Minnesota Twins for the new Target Field, the school hoped to use the Metrodome for future Big Ten tournaments and bids on the NCAA tournament. Along with that, many smaller conferences (not in Division I) played games at the Metrodome during February in order to keep up with schools in warm-weather locations. While the Metrodome's replacement, U.S. Bank Stadium, was designed mainly for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, it has movable seating banks that allow it to be configured for baseball.

For 2008 and succeeding seasons, the NCAA mandated the first ever start date for Division I baseball, thirteen weeks before the selection of the NCAA tournament field, which takes place on Memorial Day.

Collegiate rules

The rules of college baseball are similar to the Official Baseball Rules. Exceptions include the following:

  • The bat may be made of wood, or a composite material that meets NCAA standards. Since the 2011 season, composite bats have been required to pass the "Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution" (BBCOR) test.
  • The designated hitter rule is used. In addition, a player may serve as both pitcher and DH at the same time and may remain in one position when removed in the other.
  • One or both ends of a doubleheader are sometimes seven innings in length. However, the NCAA has recently tightened the interpretation of what constitutes a regulation game, encouraging schools to play as many nine-inning games as possible. Seven-inning games may be played on the final day of a conference series, or if the two teams in a non-conference match will play two games in one day, often to make up a game that could not be played earlier in the year due to inclement weather.
  • A mercy rule may be in use, which terminates play when one team is ahead by 10 or more runs after seven innings (6½ innings if the home team is winning). In games that are scheduled for seven innings the rule takes effect in the fifth. This rule is not used in NCAA tournament games. Several conferences institute this rule only on Sundays or the final day of a conference series so that the visiting team can travel early. In some conferences, the mercy rule may also be used to end such games in order to start the next tournament game sooner.
  • There is an automatic ejection for maliciously running into a defender who is trying to tag a runner or execute a force out. An automatic double play may also be called if a player slides into a base in an attempt to take out the defensive player who is trying to throw the ball to complete a double play.
  • In televised games and in tournament games, instant replay may be used to determine if a slide was malicious.

Metal versus wood bat

Though a wood bat is legal in NCAA competition, players overwhelmingly prefer and use a metal bat. The metal bat was implemented in college baseball in 1975.[2] Use of a metal bat is somewhat controversial. Supporters of an aluminum or composite bat note that it can increase offensive performance, as the speed of a ball off a metal bat is generally faster than off a wood bat. Those against metal, and for wood, argue that a metal bat is not safe to use, and that a metal bat doesn't prepare players for the next level, as professional baseball uses a wood bat exclusively. In the 2011 season the NCAA changed the requirements for a metal bat, reducing the maximum allowed exit speed in a way that is said to produce a feeling more like a wood bat.[3] As a result, in 2011 there was a drop-off in overall "long" drives or home runs relative to past years.[4]

Draft process

All players resident in the U.S. and its territories, plus Canada, are eligible to be selected in Major League Baseball's Rule 4 Draft upon graduating from high school. However, once a player enrolls in a four-year college or university, he is not allowed to be drafted (or re-drafted) until completing three years of school or reaching age 21, whichever comes first. By contrast, players who enroll in junior colleges (i.e., two-year institutions) are eligible for selection at any time. The Rule 4 Draft of eligible college and high school players consists of 40 rounds.[5] Despite MLB's draft being considerably longer than that of the NFL or NBA, only about 9.1% of all NCAA senior baseball players are drafted by an MLB team.[6]

One of the biggest controversies with the draft and these amateur athletes is the use of agents. There have been many cases of college athletes consulting or hiring an agent prematurely in direct violation of NCAA rules. The NCAA came up with the "no agent rule" as a result of this, claiming it was to benefit the amateur athletes. The rule states that "[a]n individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport".[7][8] Representation of an agent is considered to be any direct contact with the professional team during the contract negotiations. This contact can be made many different ways, whether through direct conversation, via mail or through the telephone.[9] This rule is strongly enforced by the NCAA and has harsh consequences if broken.

Recruitment process

The recruitment process is similar to that of the Major League Draft in that a high school athlete is taking the next step in his career. The NCAA places restrictions on the coaches that are trying to convince athletes to come play for them and attend their university. College baseball programs are only allowed to offer a limited number of scholarships each year, so the process of earning a scholarship is quite competitive. Baseball is classified by the NCAA as an "equivalency" sport, meaning that limits on athletic financial aid are set to the equivalent of a fixed number of full scholarships. Division I schools are allowed the equivalent of 11.7 full scholarships;[10] Division II schools, only 9.0.[11] Schools generally choose to award multiple partial scholarships rather than exclusively full scholarships.[12] In Division I, the NCAA also limits the total number of players receiving baseball-related financial aid to 27,[10] and also requires that each of these players receive athletic aid equal to at least 25% of a full scholarship.[13] The 25% rule does not apply to schools that offer aid based solely on financial need (most notably Ivy League members),[14] and also does not apply to a player in his final year of athletic eligibility who has not previously received athletically related aid in baseball at any college.[15] A long-standing official NCAA rules interpretation also allows schools to count aid that would otherwise be exempt by NCAA rule (such as purely academic awards) toward the 25% limit, as long as it also is included in the calculations for the team equivalency limit.[16]

Before September 1 of a potential college player's 11th grade year, it is illegal for a college program to give any kind of recruiting materials to the prospect. A phone call is not even permitted to the prospect until July 1 of the student's 11th grade year.[17] Once the player is committed to the school of his choice, he must sign his letter of intent during one of several signing periods. The early signing period for a Division I baseball player is between November 8 and 15; the late signing period dates for these players are April 11 to August 1.[17]

Substance policies

The substance policies for college baseball are very strict and set by the NCAA. There is a set list of substances a college baseball player is forbidden to put in his body, and there is severe punishment for those that defy it, whether it be intentional or unintentional. There is a very long list of these substances, including alcohol, marijuana, anabolic steroids, and heroin, to name just a few. These substances fit into categories such as stimulants, anabolic steroids, diuretics, street drugs, hormones, anti-estrogens, and more.[18] Failure to pass scheduled or random drug tests can result in ineligibility.[19]

UNCbaseball.JPG2017
UNC Baseball

Attendance records

Top college baseball crowds of all-time

Rank Attendance Teams Stadium City Date Note
1 40,106[20] Houston at San Diego State Petco Park San Diego, California March 11, 2004 First baseball game ever at Petco Park
2 36,056[21] Louisiana Tech at Minnesota Target Field Minneapolis, Minnesota March 27, 2010 First baseball game ever at Target Field
3 33,025[22] Missouri at Georgia SunTrust Park Atlanta, Georgia April 8, 2017 First baseball game ever at SunTrust Park
4 30,553[23] North Carolina vs. LSU Rosenblatt Stadium Omaha, Nebraska June 20, 2008 College World Series
5,6 30,355[23] North Carolina vs. Cal State Fullerton
Oregon State vs. Rice
Rosenblatt Stadium Omaha, Nebraska June 21, 2006 College World Series
7,8 29,921[23] North Carolina vs. Rice
Oregon State vs. UC Irvine
Rosenblatt Stadium Omaha, Nebraska June 21, 2006 College World Series
9,10 29,034[23] North Carolina vs. Louisville
Arizona State vs. UC Irvine
Rosenblatt Stadium Omaha, Nebraska June 19, 2007 College World Series

Top 25 on-campus college baseball crowds of all-time

Rank Attendance Teams Stadium City Date Note
1 15,586[24] Ole Miss at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 12, 2014
2 15,078[25] Texas A&M at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 16, 2016
3 14,991 Florida at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 22, 1989
4 14,562 Auburn at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 20, 2013
5 14,556 LSU at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 16, 1988
6 13,761 Arkansas at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 25, 1992
7 13,742[26] USC at Arkansas Baum Stadium Fayetteville, Arkansas March 3, 2018
8 13,715 Clemson at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi June 9, 2007 NCAA Super Regionals
9 13,691[27] Kentucky at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 8, 2017
10 13,617 Georgia at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 8, 2006
11 13,452[28] Arizona at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi June 11, 2016 NCAA Super Regionals
12 13,324 Ole Miss at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 11, 2014
13 13,123 Ole Miss at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 15, 2000
14 13,004[29] Florida at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 18, 2015
15 12,913[30] Arizona at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi June 10, 2016 NCAA Super Regionals
16 12,844 Notre Dame at LSU Alex Box Stadium Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 16, 2018
17 12,727 South Carolina at LSU Alex Box Stadium Baton Rouge, Louisiana April 27, 2013
18 12,708 Auburn at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 24, 1993
19 12,620 Clemson at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi June 8, 2007 NCAA Super Regionals
20 12,589[31] Mississippi State at Arkansas Baum Stadium Fayetteville, Arkansas April 25, 2015
21 12,472 New Orleans at LSU Alex Box Stadium Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 14, 2014
22 12,360 Georgia at Mississippi State Dudy Noble Field Starkville, Mississippi April 6, 2002
23 12,313 Alabama at LSU Alex Box Stadium Baton Rouge, Louisiana April 17, 2010
24 12,233 Notre Dame at LSU Alex Box Stadium Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 17, 2018
25 12,193 Ole Miss at LSU Alex Box Stadium Baton Rouge, Louisiana March 17, 2013

Longest game in college baseball history

The longest college baseball game was played between Texas and Boston College on May 30, 2009, during the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship regional tournament at Austin, Texas. Texas – which was designated the visiting team despite playing on its home field – won the game, 3–2, in 25 innings. The game lasted seven hours three minutes.[32][33]

Video gaming

After losing its license for Major League Baseball, EA Sports released MVP 06 NCAA Baseball, the first college baseball video game. A second game, MVP 07: NCAA Baseball, was also released before the series was discontinued due to low sales.[34]

See also

References

General
  • Arkell, Thomas J. "Agent Interference With College Athletics: What Agents Can and Cannot Do and What Institutions Should Do In Response." 4 Sports Law. J. (1997): 147–180. Web. July 21, 2010.
  • "College Baseball Teams." The Baseball Cube. n.p. n.d. Web. July 20, 2010.
  • Green, Gary A., Frank D. Uryasz, Todd A. Petr, Corey D. Bray. "NCAA Study of Substance Use and Abuse Habits of College Student-Athletes" Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 11.1 (January 2001): P.51-56. Web. July 21, 2010.
  • Greenwald, Richard M., Lori H. Penna, and Joseph J. Crisco. "Differences in Batted Ball Speeds With Wood and Aluminum Baseball Bats: A Batting Cage Study." Journal of Applied Biomechanics 17 (2001): 241–252. Web. July 20, 2010.
  • Karcher, Richard T. "The NCAA's Regulations Related to the Use of Agents in the Sport of Baseball: Are the Rules Detrimental to the Best Interest of the Amateur Athlete?" 7 Vand. J. Ent. L. & Prac. (2004–2005): 215–232. Web. July 21, 2010.
  • Newlin, Clint. "Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School Interscholastic Level." National Interscholastic Athletic Association. n.p. April 20, 2010. Web. July 22, 2010.
  • Schlegel, John. "Texas wins NCAA record 25-inning game", MLB.com (MLB Advanced Media, L.P.), May 31, 2009.
  • Traub, James. "Take Me Out to the Picket Line." WALL ST. J., A12. July 21, 2010.
  • "2009 NCAA Div. I Baseball College World Series Bracket" (in column 1 (Regionals), click on Austin box; then click on Texas–BC box), NCAA.com (NCAA).
  • A night to remember San Diego Union-Tribune (March 12, 2008)
  • BaseballAmerica.com: College
  • Minnesota-Louisiana Tech Boxscore Minnesota Athletic Communications (March 27, 2010)
  • NCAA Baseball History. Historical Facts And Information Relating To College Baseball
  • Record Crowd Watches No. 15 Georgia Tech Top No. 12 Georgia, 12–5 Georgia Tech Sports Information (May 11, 2004)
Specific
  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 9, 2004. Retrieved January 7, 2005.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "The History of the Baseball Bat." Articleclick. n.p. n.d. Web. July 27, 2010.
  3. ^ "NCAA Baseball Bat Certification". Archived from the original on February 11, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Sackmann, Jeff (April 6, 2011). "No more slugfests". insider.espn.go.com. Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.(subscription required)
  5. ^ "Official Rules." Mlb.com. n.p. n.d. Web. July 21, 2010.
  6. ^ Newlin
  7. ^ Karcher p. 215-216
  8. ^ Traub
  9. ^ Arkell p. 149
  10. ^ a b "Bylaw 15.5.4 Baseball Limitations" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  11. ^ "Bylaw 15.5.2.1 Maximum Equivalency Limits" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division II Manual. NCAA. p. 154. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  12. ^ "Baseball Scholarships What You Need to Know About College Baseball Scouting and Recruiting." College Sports Scholarships. n.p. n.d. Web. July 21, 2010.
  13. ^ "Bylaw 15.5.4.1 Minimum Equivalency Value" (PDF). 2011–12 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 207. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  14. ^ "Bylaw 15.5.4.1.1 Exception—Need-Based Athletics Aid Only" (PDF). 2015–16 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 203. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  15. ^ "Bylaw 15.5.4.1.2 Exception—Final Year of Eligibility and Not Previously Aided" (PDF). 2015–16 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 202. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Condaras, Jen (September 9, 2014). "Daily Compliance Item- 9/9/14- 15.5.4.1- Baseball Equivalencies". Daily Compliance Item. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Athletic Recruiting Regulations." College recruiting.com. n.p. n.d. Web. July 21, 2010.
  18. ^ "NCAA Banned-Drug Classes 2008–2009." Netitor.com. n.p. n.d. Web. July 21, 2010.
  19. ^ "NCAA drug testing Program." Athletics.wsu.edu. P. 110-115. Web. July 21, 2010.
  20. ^ Kenney, Kirk (March 12, 2014). "A night to remember". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009.
  21. ^ Rietmulder, Michael (March 28, 2010). "Golden Gophers open Target Field". Minnesota Daily. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "Georgia Drops its SunTrust Park Debut, 6-1 - University of Georgia". University of Georgia. Archived from the original on April 11, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d "Rosenblatt Stadium held 8 of 10 largest College World Series crowds in history". Remember Rosenblatt. June 22, 2015. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
  24. ^ Bonner, Michael (April 13, 2014). "Mississippi State rallies in 10th to steal win from Ole Miss". Jackson Clarion Ledger. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  25. ^ "No. 8 Bulldogs fall to No. 3 Texas A&M in Saturday contest". HailState.com. April 16, 2016. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  26. ^ "Trojans Even Series With Razorbacks". HailState.com. March 3, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  27. ^ MSU Baseball [@@HailStateBB] (April 8, 2017). "Just when we thought #SBW17 couldn't get any better, the best fans in the country took it to another level! #HailState" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ MSU Baseball [@@HailStateBB] (June 10, 2016). "Attendance: Today's Attendance: 13,452 2nd largest Super Regional crowd in NCAA history. Thank you, Bulldog fans! #HailState" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  29. ^ MSU Baseball [@@HailStateBB] (April 18, 2015). "Today's attendance: 13,004. The 10th-largest on-campus crowd in @NCAACWS history. The largest in 2015 so far. THANK YOU MSU FAMILY #SBW15" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ MSU Baseball [@@HailStateBB] (June 10, 2016). "Attendance: 12,913 THANK YOU, MSU family, for the 2nd largest Regional/Super Reg. crowd in MSU history! #HailState" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  31. ^ Razorback Baseball [@@RazorbackBSB] (April 25, 2015). "Attendance: THANK YOU FANS! You set a Baum Stadium record tonight with a paid attendance of 12,589!! #WPS #OmaHogs" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ * Schlegel, John. "Texas wins NCAA record 25-inning game" Archived June 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, MLB.com (MLB Advanced Media, L.P.), May 31, 2009.
  33. ^ "2009 NCAA Div. I Baseball College World Series Bracket" (in column 1 (Regionals), click on Austin box; then click on Texas–BC box) Archived September 6, 2012, at Archive.today, NCAA.com (NCAA).
  34. ^ Acevedo, Jay. "EA Sports Drops MVP NCAA Baseball Series". GameFocus.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.

External links

American Baseball Coaches Association

The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) is the world's largest amateur baseball coaching organization. It was founded in 1945 as the American Association of College Baseball Coaches. Now, the ABCA is composed of over 10,000 baseball coaches from all levels of amateur baseball, including youth, high school, travel ball, NJCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA, and NCAA Divisions I, II and III, among others.

B. J. Surhoff

William James "B. J." Surhoff (born August 4, 1964) is a former catcher, outfielder, first baseman, third baseman, and designated hitter in Major League Baseball. Over his 18-year major league career, he played every position except pitcher. After playing for the Orioles from 1996 to 2000, he rejoined the team in 2003 and played through the 2005 season. He started his career with the Milwaukee Brewers (1987–1995) and also played for the Atlanta Braves (2000–2002). Surhoff began his career as a catcher, and after playing third base in the mid-1990s, shifted to become primarily a left fielder.

Barry Larkin

Barry Louis Larkin (born April 28, 1964) is a retired Major League Baseball (MLB) player who played shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds from 1986 to 2004.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Larkin attended the University of Michigan, where he played college baseball. He briefly played in the minor leagues before making his MLB debut in 1986. He quickly won the starting shortstop role for the Reds and enjoyed a long run of strong seasons with the team. Larkin struggled with a string of injuries between 1997 and 2003, limiting his playing time in several seasons.

Larkin retired after the 2004 season and worked in a front office position for the Washington Nationals for several years until he joined ESPN as a baseball analyst. He served as a coach for the American team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and managed the Brazilian national team in the qualifiers for the same event in 2013.

Larkin is considered one of the top players of his era, winning nine Silver Slugger awards, three Gold Glove awards, and the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He was selected to the Major League All-Star Game twelve times, and was one of the pivotal players on the 1990 Reds' World Series championship team. Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2012 and was inducted on July 22, 2012.

Ben McDonald

Larry Benard McDonald (born November 24, 1967) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.

Bob Horner

James Robert Horner (born August 6, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman/first baseman and right-handed batter who played for the Atlanta Braves (1978–86) and St. Louis Cardinals (1988). Horner was hampered by injuries for most of his major league career, and his career was cut short by collusion by team owners to drive down salaries by agreeing to not make offers to veteran stars like Horner.

Boston College Eagles baseball

The Boston College Eagles baseball team represents Boston College in NCAA Division I college baseball. The team participates in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The head coach of the Eagles is Mike Gambino, a 2000 alumnus of Boston College, and the team plays its home games at the newly constructed Brighton Field after having played at Shea Field from 1961 to 2017.

Coaches Poll

The Coaches Poll is a weekly ranking of the top 25 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college football, Division I college basketball, and Division I college baseball teams. The football version of the poll has been known officially as the Amway Coaches Poll since 2014.

The football rankings are compiled by the Amway Board of Coaches which is made up of 62 head coaches at Division I FBS institutions. All coaches are members of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The basketball rankings are compiled by the USA Today Sports Board of Coaches which is made up of 32 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The baseball rankings are compiled by the USA Today Sports Board of Coaches which is made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

The football Coaches Poll was an element of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings, a voting system used from 1998 to 2013 to determine the teams to play in the BCS National Championship Game.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (also known as Collegiate Baseball Magazine and Collegiate Baseball) is an American publication based in Arizona that considers itself the "voice of amateur baseball" which has been published for over 40 years. It is most noted for handing out the following awards: Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Coach of the Year, and Collegiate Baseball All-Americans.It is published twice a month from January until June, and then once each in September and October.The "Collegiate Baseball" newspaper poll is college sports' oldest baseball poll. A ranking of the top 30 teams is released prior to the season, weekly throughout the season, and after the conclusion of the College World Series. It started with the 1957 college baseball season.

Collegiate summer baseball

Collegiate summer baseball leagues are amateur baseball leagues in the United States featuring players who have attended at least one year of college and have at least one year of athletic eligibility remaining. Generally, they operate from early June to early August. Players use wooden baseball bats, hence the common nickname of these leagues as "wood bat leagues".

To find a collegiate summer team, players work with their college coaches and prospective teams' general managers. They report to summer leagues after completing their spring collegiate season with their NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA teams. Some players arrive late due to their college team's postseason play, which sometimes runs into early June. In some cases, players are drafted during the collegiate summer season. These draftees can remain with their collegiate summer team until they sign a professional contract. During the season, players are housed by volunteer host families and bussed to and from road games.The leagues vary greatly in their attendances, quality of play, and ability to attract scouts. The Cape Cod League is considered the premier collegiate summer league. In 2011, Baseball America scouted and ranked Top 10 prospects from 19 leagues, indicated below with (BA). Ballpark Digest tracks attendance for 14 leagues, indicated below with (BD). Many collegiate summer teams occupy cities and ballparks where a minor league team has left a city.

Dick Groat

Richard Morrow Groat (born November 4, 1930) is a former two-sport athlete best known as a shortstop in Major League Baseball. He played for four National League teams, mainly the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, and was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 1960 after winning the batting title with a .325 average for the champion Pirates. From 1956 to 1962 he teamed with second baseman Bill Mazeroski to give Pittsburgh one of the game's strongest middle infields.

Groat led the NL in double plays a record five times, in putouts four times and in assists twice. At the end of his career he ranked ninth in major league history in games at shortstop (1,877) and fourth in double plays (1,237), and was among the NL career leaders in putouts (10th, 3,505), assists (8th, 5,811) and total chances (9th, 9,690).

Also an excellent basketball player, Groat attended Duke University and is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was twice an All-American at Duke and was voted as the Helms National Player of the Year in 1952 after averaging 25.2 points per game. He played one season as a guard in the National Basketball Association. In 2011 Groat was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the first man ever inducted into both the college basketball and college baseball halls of fame. From 1969 to 2019 he was the color commentator for Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball radio broadcasts.

Fiscalini Field

Fiscalini Field is a stadium in San Bernardino, California, USA. Over the years, the stadium was the spring training homes of the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles) and was the home field for the San Bernardino Stars and the San Bernardino Pioneers. Today, Fiscalini Field is used for NCAA Division II college baseball games hosted by California State University, San Bernardino. Community college baseball games featuring San Bernardino Valley College are also played there plus San Bernardino Youth Baseball Pony league the rest of the year.

Fred Lynn

Fredric Michael Lynn (born February 3, 1952) is an American former professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1974 through 1990 as a center fielder with the Boston Red Sox, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres. He is best known for being the first player to win MLB's Rookie of the Year Award and Most Valuable Player Award in the same year, which he accomplished in 1975 with the Red Sox.

Lynn was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002 and to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Golden Spikes Award

The Golden Spikes Award is bestowed annually to the best amateur baseball player in the United States. The award, created by USA Baseball and sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Association, was first presented in 1978. It is given to an amateur player who best exhibits and combines "exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship." The award is considered the most prestigious in amateur baseball.Ten winners of the Golden Spikes Award are members of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, including Bob Horner, the inaugural winner in 1978. In that same year, he was the first overall MLB draft pick and proceeded to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Seven Golden Spikes Award winners went on to become the first overall draft pick. Only Horner achieved the Rookie of the Year Award in the same year (although Jason Jennings and Buster Posey were voted the top rookies of the National League several years after winning the Golden Spikes Award). Jim Abbott, Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum are the only award winners to pitch a no-hitter, while Horner is the only one to hit four home runs in one game. Furthermore, 17 players won the Dick Howser Trophy (considered to be the Heisman Trophy of college baseball) alongside the Golden Spikes Award. No player has won the award more than once.

Since 2014, the winner has been announced during a live broadcast of ESPN's SportsCenter. Immediately following the announcement, the award winner and the other finalists are honored at a banquet in Los Angeles. Although it can be given to any amateur player, the award has always been given to a college baseball player. In addition, only two winners were not attending NCAA Division I institutions when they won the award—junior college players Alex Fernández in 1990 and Bryce Harper in 2010. The most recent recipient of the award is Andrew Vaughn of the California Golden Bears.

John Olerud

John Garrett Olerud (; born August 5, 1968), nicknamed Johnny O and Big Rude, is a left-handed American former Major League Baseball first baseman. Olerud played with the Toronto Blue Jays (1989–96), New York Mets (1997–99), Seattle Mariners (2000–04), New York Yankees (2004), and Boston Red Sox (2005).

A patient, productive hitter throughout his career, Olerud won the American League batting title in 1993 and was runner-up for the National League batting title in 1998. Also a three-time Gold Glove winner, he was an excellent defensive first baseman and part of Sports Illustrated's "The Best Infield Ever?" cover in 1999 with Edgardo Alfonzo, Rey Ordóñez, and Robin Ventura, when he played for the Mets.

Keston Hiura

Keston Wee Hing Natsuo Hiura (born August 2, 1996) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB).

NCAA Division I Baseball Championship

The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship is held each year from May through June and features 64 college baseball teams in the United States, culminating in the eight-team College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. Oregon State is the 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament champion, defeating runner-up Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 to win the 2018 College World Series championship finals.

The tournament is unique in that it features four tiers of competition, alternating between double-elimination brackets and best-of-three series. In fact, throughout the entire 64-team tournament, a team can lose a total of four games and still be crowned champions.

During team selection, sixteen teams are given "national seeds". The top eight of these teams automatically host a super regional if they advance past the regional round, assuming they have the facilities to do so. Only 2 times has a national seed not hosted due to lack of proper facilities. As in other NCAA tournaments, conference champions (usually determined by a tournament) receive automatic bids, and the selection committee fills the remaining spots.

The first tier, called Regionals, consists of 16 locations that include four teams, seeded 1 through 4, competing in a double-elimination bracket. The 16 host sites are determined mostly by merit – most No. 1 seeds host – but are also contested by bids from schools guaranteeing the NCAA a certain amount of revenue from that regional. Host teams traditionally have a large advantage, although the home team for each game is determined by rule, so the host school sometimes plays as the visiting team. The winner of each regional moves on to the second tier, the Super Regionals.

Super Regionals are played at eight locations throughout the country and consist of the 16 surviving teams, matched up by predetermined regional pairings. National seeds 1-8 cannot meet each other in the super regional and are guaranteed to host. If the higher national seed in the bracket is eliminated in the regional stage, but the lower national seed advances, the super regional will be played at the national seeded team's field. If the two seeds are not national seeds, the Super Regional will be bid upon by the two competing teams. If the national seed wins the regional but is unable to host, the Super Regional is awarded to the other regional winner in its bracket. This scenario played out in 2015 when national seed Missouri State could not host a Super Regional because the minor league Springfield Cardinals, which have scheduling priority at the stadium where both teams play, were playing a home series at that time. The Super Regional was thus awarded to Arkansas. The two teams play a best-of-three series to determine who moves on to the College World Series. Although one school hosts all three games, the teams split home-team status in the first two games, with the host school batting last in the opening game and first in game 2. If a third game is needed, a coin toss determines home-team status. Ole Miss is the only school to host three Super Regionals without advancing to the College World Series under the current format. Florida State has lost five Super Regionals as host, but has also advanced to the College World Series five times under the current format.

The final eight teams meet in Omaha, Nebraska in the College World Series. The CWS mimics the earlier rounds, consisting of two double-elimination brackets of four teams each. Thereafter, the winners of each bracket meet in a best-of-three final. The winner of this final series wins the College World Series and is crowned the national champion.

National College Baseball Hall of Fame

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame is an institution operated by the College Baseball Foundation serving as the central point for the study of the history of college baseball in the United States. In partnership with the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library located on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, the Hall of Fame inducts former collegiate players and coaches who have met selection criteria of distinction.

Tim Wallach

Timothy Charles Wallach (born September 14, 1957), nicknamed "Eli", is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1980 to 1996 for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, and California Angels. He is the bench coach for the Miami Marlins.

Wallach played college baseball for the Cal State Fullerton Titans, and won the Golden Spikes Award in 1979. He made his MLB debut with the Expos in 1980 and played for them through 1992, before playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and California Angels, retiring in 1996. During his career, Wallach was a five-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

Will Clark

William Nuschler Clark, Jr. (born March 13, 1964) is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball best known for his years with the San Francisco Giants from 1986 to 1993. Clark was known by the nickname of "Will the Thrill." The nickname has often been truncated to simply, "The Thrill."After a sensational career at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, Clark attended Mississippi State University, where he continued to flourish. Clark was inducted into the Mississippi State University Hall of Fame in 2003. Clark was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on April 26, 2007 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on August 1, 2008.He currently works in the San Francisco Giants front office after spending five seasons as an advisor for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

NCAA
Division I
Division II
Division III
Single-division sports
and championships
NAIA
Sports
and
championships

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