June 20, 2005
LET THE CORN HUSK ITSELF FOR A WEEK:
The CWS from A to Z (RICH KAIPUST, 6/17/05, Omaha WORLD-HERALD)
A -Arizona State. So you're a Sun Devils fan. You'll be in the minority during a first-round game against Nebraska.
B -Big 12. When the super regional dust settled, the Big 12 had three teams going to Omaha (Nebraska, Baylor, Texas). The SEC and Pac-10 each accounted for two.
C -Cable television is a must if you're not at the ballpark. ESPN or ESPN2 carries every CWS game. The two also expanded their regional and super regional coverage this season. Anybody miss the Stanley Cup playoffs? [...]
W -Remember when George W. popped in a few years back? No presidential visits are scheduled for this weekend, as far as we know.
He'll show up next year. As a fan of America's pastime and a self-admitted follower of one of the greatest amateur baseball tournaments in America, Bush surely knows that we're coming up on the tenth anniversary of a sadly-overlooked Great Baseball Moment. To wit: LSU's Warren Morris, who couldn't swing a bat a week earlier and whose team was down to its final out and final strike in the '96 national championship game, blasting a two-run homer into the right field stands to strike down the evil, godless Miami Hurricanes in front of 24,000 delighted Nebraskans.
It was Morris's first home run of the season.
Posted by Matt Murphy at June 20, 2005 8:22 AM
I am pulling for the Huskers (even though they beat Creighton two weeks ago). It was nice to see NU beat ASU on Friday; however, they lost yesterday to Florida. NU plays ASU again on Tuesday and one of them goes home for good.
Go Bears! I can't believe we lost to Texas after going undefeated to them all season. Well, we can look for a rematch in game 12.
I am, of course, rooting for the Big Red Machine. My dad and I might go down tomorrow to see them play ASU. Loser goes home. The Huskers would have to beat ASU and then a hot Florida team twice to advance to the championship game, but they have the pitching to pull it off.
By the way, here's a great quote from the aforementioned Warren Morris: "I wasn't trying to hit it out. I hit it on the good part of the bat, and it took everybody on the team blowing to get it over the wall."
Baylor wins in the 10th. Sic 'em Bears!
Just beat Texas.
A few more random thoughts:
-- The NHL lockout has really been great because it has given a go-ahead to ESPN to show much more college baseball. The game is making enough money that ESPN balked at the idea of signing a contract with the NHL without an assurance of an actual season next year. I was in a "party area" of downtown Louisville a few months ago and many of the big outdoor TVs were tuned to the Michigan-OSU baseball game. I wouldn't have seen anything like that in previous years.
I just hope it doesn't get so popular that some rich s.o.b. bribes the NCAA to move the Series out of Omaha.
-- T-shirt seen last year at the CWS: Above an upside-down Longhorn symbol, the words "Beat Texas, AND the steer they rode in on."
-- Okay, it's freaky how all the ads to the left are about CWS stuff. Does Google read what I'm writing about and post appropriate ads?
-- I confess: The actual attendance at the '96 championship game wasn't 24,000 but only 23,905. And at least 20 of them weren't rabidly rooting against Miami.
-- Here's the article about Baylor's 10th inning win, referenced by Shelton. Note that Baylor's Mike Pankratz (who'd been batting .193) blooped an RBI single over the first baseman's head to win the game. That's one way to do it.
-- If Nebraska doesn't reach the championship series, the terrorists will have won.
Great game, though -- Tom Shatel from the Omaha World-Herald says it was the greatest CWS game he's ever seen. I was there and the place was rocking when Andy Gerch hit an 8th inning home run and NU took the lead. Gerch's dad just learned he has cancer, and that would've been a great story if only the Huskers had hung on...