Archive for the 'World of Sports' Category

Off Topic – Great MLB Story On Baseball’s Unwritten Rules


This has nothing to do with College Baseball or the NSIC Tournament but this is a great article on ESPN about baseball’s “unwritten rules” and how 3 different old school pitchers handled different situations – Unwritten Rules Violations

Kind of makes me think my pitcher/son should plunk someone next time the guy on 2nd is signaling signs to the batter.

UNI Baseball Officially Folds Amid Controversy

The University of Northern Iowa’s Division 1 college baseball team will officially end it’s 103 year run as a school supported team at the end of 2009.

The school had made this announcement back in February (UNI Drops Baseball) but a grass roots group emerged, Support UNI Baseball, which was given an opportunity to save the sport if they could raise $1.2M in a little over a month from private donations.  Last week it was announced that the campaign failed to reach its goal and fund raising ended.

This result came amid a number of heated and controversial meetings between the group (which included UNI’s baseball head coach) on one side and the school President and Athletic Director on the other side.  The Support UNI Baseball group had received commitments for $250,000 and was asking that the school contribute $100,000.  The group then committed to keep fund raising the same amount each year until it reached the fully sustaining amount needed.

The grassroots group came away disappointed by the process and wrote a scathing summary of their failure here – Committee Criticizes UNI Decision to Drop Baseball

It’s an interesting read and goes into the behind the scenes efforts and negotiations that took place in order to try and save the team.

Northern State Basketball – Don Meyer ESPN Story

northern state

I was making dinner tonight and had ESPN’s E:60 program on. 

There was a very moving story about Northern State’s head basketball coach, Don Meyer, and the aftermath of his car accident on September 5, 2008.  The accident may have saved his life as doctor’s discovered he had liver cancer while patching him up.  Meyer ended up in the hospital for weeks to repair his broken body – he ended up with a partially amputated leg in the process.

All along it was Meyer’s love of coaching that drove his recovery and his passion to be with his team.  He coached the season from a wheel chair and ended up breaking the record for most wins by any men’s college basketball coach – his record now stands at 910 wins.

You can read the story and watch the story preview here – ESPN Story on Don Meyer

NCAA Championship Success for NSIC Teams


While this blog is dedicated to college baseball in the Northern Sun Conference, it is a great day to celebrate the success of Northern Sun teams in other sports as well.

Yesterday, the Minnesota State Maverick’s Women’s Basketball team won the NCAA Division 2 basketball national championship.  Heather Johnson led the way as she scored 29 points to lead the team to a 103-94 victory in San Antonio, TX.  The Maverick’s finished the season at 32-2 and won their first school championship of any kind since 1988 when the men’s cross country team won a title.  Stories about their win can be found here –

School Website – Minnesota State Claims National Championship

ESPN – Johnson’s 29 Fuel Mavericks’ Victory

Mankato Free Press – Maverick’s Win National Title


This title is the 3rd national championship to be won by Northern Sun teams this year.  In the fall, Minnesota Duluth had a perfect 15-0 season leading to the NCAA Division 2 football championship – Simply The Best.   In addition, the Concordia Golden Bears NCAA D2 women’s volleyball team (38-1) won their 2nd consecutive national championship – 2008 Concordia Volleyball.  Last year, Minnesota Duluth won the 2008 NCAA Division 1 national championship in women’s hockey for the 4th time in the 8 years of the the championship’s history.


Not only was yesterday a huge day for Minnesota State but the title hopes of another Northern Sun school were kept alive by a miraculous comeback.  In the NCAA Division 1 hockey tournament, Minnesota Duluth faced off against Princeton.  The Bulldogs were down 4-2 with less than 40 seconds to go in regulation.  They ended up tying the score in a wild finish with .8 seconds on the clock and went on to win in OT to keep their national title hopes alive.  This ended up as the #5 play in ESPN’s top plays.  Here’s the last minute of regulation –



It should be noted the Minnesota Duluth’s hockey teams are not a part of the NSIC (they are in the WCHA) but the vast majority of their teams do play in the NSIC.

College Baseball News of Note

Night Gathering

Here are some of the college baseball stories that have caught my eye over recent days that I thought you might like to take a look at –

  • As reported back in late February, the University of Northern Iowa announced that they were dropping college baseball (UNI Drops Baseball).  Now the University is holding out hope that they can fund raise enough donations to keep the program alive.  They are looking to raise $1.2 Million dollars in pledges by April 5th in order to save baseball which has been played at the school for the past 103 years.  You can view their progress or make a donation here – Support UNI Baseball
  • Rivals does a very good job of covering college baseball.  They recently published their Top 100 High School Prospects.  It’s interesting that all but 1 of them is already committed to a school for next year (of course this is before MLB could draft and sign them).  I was struck by how few of the Top 100 came from northern schools.  I counted 1 kid each from IL, IA, MI, KS and IN but the rest of them all come from the south.  It’s no wonder that northern schools struggle to compete as both the weather and talent pool gives the south a decided advantage.  Rivals Top 100 High School Prospects
  • The Minnesota High School baseball season kicks off in 2 short weeks.  A large number of Northern Sun players come out of Minnesota so it’s worth keeping track of the top teams.  The MN Coaches Association has published their pre-season rankings for 2009.  Minnesota Preseason High School Rankings

D2’s St. Augustine – 1 Doubleheader, 2 No-Hitters


St. Augustine College of Cary, NC made big news in college baseball yesterday as the Falcons won both ends of a doubleheader with no-hitters!

The Falcons squared off against a Division 3 team, Lincoln University, and won 10-1 and 25-2.  Lincoln’s only runs came on a couple walks and infield ground out that scored a run in game 1 and a couple free passes along with a couple errors in the 2nd game. 

Now admittedly, Lincoln is not very good.  The team is 0-9 on the season and finished last year 1-22-1.  The Falcon’s had 20 stolen bases on the day to give you an idea of the difference in play between the teams.  Even with these impressive wins, St. Augustine only improved their record to 4-8 on the season.

That said, it seems like this is a pretty exceptional feat no matter what the level of competition.  The only other reference to this happening I could find was in reference to a community college team – 3 No-hitters in 2 days  I hardly think that counts as the same.

Here are some of the stories on the accomplishment –

Mascots, Road Games & Life

National Anthem

Every week or so I go looking for stories that might take us beyond the Northern Sun Conference and even Division 2 College Baseball to look for content that I find interesting.  This week’s stories are about mascots, road games and treating baseball players as human beings.

  • This first story appeared in the USA Today a couple days ago and applies to a Division 2 school, Newberry College, in Newberry, SC.  The team was caught up in the middle of the “nicknaming debate” surrounding the usage of offensive names as their previous mascot/nickname was the Indians.  For the time being, the school has chosen to go with NO nickname.  The debate at the school continues but however it turns out there will be bad feelings.  Newberry No-Names
  • The NY Times ran a story a few days ago about the University of Maine – Presque Isle and their Division 3 baseball team.  I’ve talked quite a bit on this blog about the challenges that northern teams face with the weather in the north but no Northern Sun school has the same challenges as Presque Isle.  The school plays its entire 37 game schedule on the road!  The team has not played a home game since 2005 (total of 2).  It’s interesting to read about the lengths the team has gone to be able to “play ball”.  College Baseball Team Always On The Road
  • Finally, you may have heard about the minor league baseball player who was traded for 10 wooden bats last year.  That story has taken a tragic turn as the player in question, John C. Odom, is now dead.  How much the trade played in driving his life into the ground will certainly be debated but the story raises good questions that we should all ask ourselves about personality issues and how we treat people as human beings. A Tragic End for Minor Leaguer Traded For Bats 

A Story of Sportsmanship


Well this story is a little off topic to the world of college baseball but it’s my blog and I saw a story I liked.

In the world of sports there’s a lot of debate over what makes for good sportsmanship.  Are we are becoming a world that is too politically correct or should show mercy for our opponents?  There was a great example just last month when 2 girls high school basketball programs in Dallas met and Covenant School beat Dallas Academy 100-0.  The firestorm that grew from that game eventually got the Covenant coach fired but also led to a lot of acrimony on both sides of the argument over what is “running up the score” and what’s right or wrong.  The Dallas Morning News carried lots of details on this story and the comments section is quite interesting to gauge people’s reaction and opinion – Dallas Coach Fired – Chronology of Events

Therefore, while there may be debate about what is and isn’t right it may be easier to find stories where we can see that sportsmanship was displayed and that it can make a difference.  Many of you may remember the story last year from the state of Washington.  In that college softball game 2 opposing players carried their opponent around the bases for the winning run when she tore her ACL rounding first (picture above).  That earned the girls lots of notoriety and eventually they won an ESPY.

Finally, I will get to the point of writing this piece.  Yesterday, a story was posted on Yahoo that really drew my attention.  It’s about 2 high school boys teams and how they did the right thing to honor their opponent whose mother had just died.  It was interesting that it went beyond what they did in the game and that these teams actually shared meals after the game together.  I think the most telling thing for me was this quote from one of the coaches –

“This is something our kids will hold for a lifetime,” Rohlman said. “They may not remember our record 20 years from now, but they’ll remember what happened in that gym that night.”

It’s a moving story.  I hope you might enjoy it as much as I did – Amid the Grieving – A Rare Act of Sportsmanship

Daily Posts

September 2021