If you’re a fan of college baseball, chances are you’ve heard of Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have a rich history in the sport, with numerous conference titles and a trip to the College World Series in 2013. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Mississippi State baseball program, from its early beginnings to its current success.
Early History of Mississippi State Baseball
Mississippi State University, located in Starkville, Mississippi, first fielded a baseball team in 1885. The team was originally called the Maroons and played its first game on May 1, 1885, against the University of Mississippi. The Maroons won the game 12-2.
Building a Winning Tradition
Over the next several decades, the Mississippi State baseball program grew and improved, culminating in the hiring of head coach Ron Polk in 1976. Polk is widely considered one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all time, and during his tenure at Mississippi State, he led the Bulldogs to five College World Series appearances and numerous conference titles.
After a brief downturn in the early 2000s, the Mississippi State baseball program has experienced a resurgence in recent years. In 2013, the Bulldogs made their first College World Series appearance since 2007, finishing as the runner-up to UCLA. The following year, Mississippi State won the SEC regular-season championship and advanced to the super regionals.
Over the years, Mississippi State has produced numerous standout players who have gone on to successful careers in professional baseball. Some of the most notable include:
A first baseman who played at Mississippi State from 1983-1985, Will Clark was a two-time All-American and finished his college career with a .391 batting average. He went on to play 15 seasons in the major leagues, earning six All-Star selections and finishing in the top five in MVP voting twice.
Another Mississippi State first baseman, Rafael Palmeiro played for the Bulldogs from 1983-1985. He was a three-time All-American and finished his college career with a .415 batting average. Palmeiro went on to have a successful 20-year career in the major leagues, earning four All-Star selections and hitting over 500 home runs.
A right-handed pitcher who played at Mississippi State from 2001-2003, Jonathan Papelbon was a standout closer for the Bulldogs. He recorded 13 saves in 2003 and finished his college career with a 2.14 ERA. Papelbon went on to have a successful career in the major leagues, earning four All-Star selections and winning a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2007.
The Future of Mississippi State Baseball
With a talented roster and a top-notch coaching staff led by head coach Chris Lemonis, the future looks bright for Mississippi State baseball. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA tournament in each of the last four seasons and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Mississippi State baseball has a long and storied history, with numerous conference titles, College World Series appearances, and standout players. With a talented roster and a top-notch coaching staff, the future looks bright for the Bulldogs.
- When did Mississippi State first field a baseball team?
Mississippi State first fielded a baseball team in 1885.
Who is considered one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all time?
Ron Polk is widely considered one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all time.
Who are some notable Mississippi State baseball alumni?
Notable Mississippi State baseball alumni include Will Clark, Rafael
Palmeiro, and Jonathan Papelbon.
When was Mississippi State’s most recent College World Series appearance?
Mississippi State’s most recent College World Series appearance was in 2013, where they finished as the runner-up to UCLA.
Who is currently the head coach of Mississippi State baseball?
Chris Lemonis is currently the head coach of Mississippi State baseball.
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