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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Vanderbilt wins College World Series

Party at David Price’s house. Don’t forget to bring some kibble for Astro.

Gamingboy Posted: June 26, 2014 at 12:08 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college, college world series, vanderbilt

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   1. bjhanke Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:47 AM (#4735967)
YES! VANDERBILT WINS something. The NCAA Division I National Championship in baseball (aka the College World Series). For those of you who are not Vandy alumni, this is unprecedented. It's the first national championship Vandy's men's teams have ever won in any sport (one women's team did win, but the talking heads didn't even say what sport it was, much less when).

And they did it the Vandy way - no hot collection of superstars, we're the SEC's brains school. Our plan is to keep close until our one or two stars can make the difference. The final game was 2-2 in the ninth, when Jordan, Vandy's only real CWS hitter (he hit over .800, the rest of the whole team hit .133; I have no idea why Virginia didn't walk him) got a 97 mph fastball up and in, and cremated it. Fortunately, it didn't hook foul. Also fortunately, the one thing Vandy did have this year was a great bullpen. To give you an idea, in the whole CWS - not just the finals, the whole tourney - Vandy's starters did not turn in even one quality start. That, too, is probably unprecedented for a winner. The final game was typical. Vandy was up 2-0 going into the Virginia 6th (Virginia was ranked 3rd in the country; Vandy was not in the top 25). Vandy's starter gave up a couple of hits and a walk, leading to a run scored and two men on with, IIRC, one out. The coach pulled him (wouldn't you?), so he didn't pitch 6 innings. The reliever gave up a run on a E6 and walked a man, loading the bases. The next batter hit one right back to the pitcher, who threw home for one out. However, the catcher had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and his throw to first was way too late. Bases loaded again. NO problem. The reliever got the next Virginia batter out. And Virginia didn't mount any serious offense in the ninth, ending the game on a strikeout swing against what looked like a weak curve at the belt line (might have been a slider). I have no idea how the batter missed it, but he did.

Sorry to geek out, but this is my alma mater: Vanderbilt. We never win. NEVER. We're in the SEC; we never even win our conference, except in SAT scores, where we are probably unbeaten. The closest we've come to winning was one ridiculous year when Vandy met St. Louis University (I'm from STL) in the finals of the NIT basketball tourney. Well, one of them had to win, so I watched. But this was the NIT, not the NCAA. Neither team was invited to the BIG tourney. But THIS time it WAS the Big Time. I'll be dead before it happens again. So I claim geeking privileges just this once. With a last-minute dollop of sympathy for Virginia fans. - Brock Hanke
   2. Dale Sams Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:57 AM (#4735968)
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 26, 2014 at 02:12 AM (#4735973)
Women's bowling, 2007.
   4. bjhanke Posted: June 26, 2014 at 03:45 AM (#4735980)
vortex - Thanks. I had no idea there was anyone here who had any idea that Vandy even had sports programs, much less women's bowling. - Brock (And I do mean the sympathy for Virginia fans. I've never had to respond to Vandy even finishing second in a national title. I have no idea what you're going through. But I can at least muster up some sympathy.)
   5. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4736053)
I enjoyed pulling for them. I've always enjoyed my visits to Nashville, and to Vandy's campus and surrounding curtilage.
   6. Moe Greene Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4736208)
Hey, Brock! It's great to see another Vandy alum. I did my grad school work there not too long ago. I went to a lot of VU baseball games while I was there and had the chance to see David Price & Pedro Alvarez (and a few other MLB'ers).

This is only the 2nd time in my life that a team that I support has won a championship in any sport, and the first time since I was a kid, so it's been a long time since I've felt this way. I'm will savor this.
   7. Bote Man Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4736264)
Although I was enjoying an O.P. porter at Funky Buddha brewery, I was still pretty lucid and I'm pretty sure Vandy hit that home run in the 8th inning. This gave the Cavaliers a chance in the bottom of the 8th and the 9th to tie it up at least, but they didn't. I grew up in the Virginia suburbs of our Nation's Crapital and watched Ryan Zimmerman come up with the Nationals from UVa, so guess who I was rooting for. Still, I had no idea of Vandy's history in these matters, so thanks for that history. Congratulations.
   8. bjhanke Posted: June 27, 2014 at 02:03 AM (#4737219)
boteman - Thanks for the correction. I was a little excited when I wrote the first comment, as you can tell by the number of things I did not look up first. Yeah, it was the 8th. Sorry your guys didn't win, but obviously, not too sorry. Vandy has had the extreme disadvantage of being in the SEC since, possibly, it formed. So it's always had to compete with the Big State Schools. Before this, the biggest contribution that Vandy made to college sports was probably getting the SEC integrated, in 1967, with Perry Wallace in basketball. Either that, or the women's bowling champs.

Actually, getting the SEC integrated, while it would have happened sometime somehow, was probably a bigger thing than winning the CWS. And every ounce as viscerally satisfying, at least for me. There's nothing like having a conversation with some basketball fans from a Big State School, in Nashville for a road game, asking, "So, this guy Wallace. Is he majoring in Phys. Ed. or Basket Weaving?" Because you got to reply, "Electrical Engineering. And, just because we're on the subject, how many of YOUR basketball players do you think could major in Electrical Engineering? At Vanderbilt." A lot of payback for those 47-21 football scores we suffered.

Actually, or so I was told by older people than me, there was a time in NCAA sports where a significant number of private schools were big time players. Notre Dame and Stanford are the main leftovers from that; the Ivy League is like a ghost. There's a legend at Vandy that, in 1945 or 46, the football team was actually ranked #1 in the country coming into the season, based on who they had coming back from the Army. Unfortunately, they had changed coaches during the war, and the new coach shared almost nothing in common with the approaches of the prior coach. The team never did figure out how to run the new system, and didn't win anything. But, like I say, that USED to happen. Nowadays. it's the numbers. The more alumni you have, the more millionaires will be in there, and so the bigger your endowment will be. Vandy is just outnumbered in the SEC. We may be the brains school, and our graduates may make more money on the average than the state school guys do, but we're small. Millionaires are rare. We don't get huge endowments. We got that from the old Commodore, just to set up the university at all. - Brock
   9. rlc Posted: June 27, 2014 at 02:34 AM (#4737225)
I was told by older people than me, there was a time in NCAA sports where a significant number of private schools were big time players. Notre Dame and Stanford are the main leftovers from that;

Rumor has it that Duke still fields a basketball team...
   10. Belfry Bob Posted: June 27, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4737270)
Rumor has it that Duke still fields a basketball team..

...and a lacrosse team, too!
   11. bjhanke Posted: June 27, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4737272)
I should have remembered basketball. Hell, Vandy has a decent basketball team. The reason, of course, is that you only have to scare up 12 guys who can play hoops and pass Vandy's classes than you can scare up 60 or so guys to play football. So, yeah, that point mostly is for football, with baseball as a side dish. Thanks for the correction. - Brock

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