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Found 351 results

  1. For 2018, the NCAA has changed how they'll do the seeding for the CWS Tournament. See the article below from Kendall Rogers at www.D1Baseball.com ************************************************************************** Top Seeding Changes Coming To Tourney News Kendall Rogers - October 6, 2017 For years, college baseball coaches and fans alike have asked the same question about how the NCAA tournament field is assembled. “If softball can seed the top teams in the tournament 1-16, why can’t baseball?”. That’s the question that has been on everyone’s mind for at least the past decade. It was guaranteed to come up at every State of Baseball press conference in Omaha, and it has always been a topic of discussion at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention as well. That question no longer needs to be asked, as the NCAA baseball postseason format will include seeding the Top 16 teams and regional hosts in the field of 64 as opposed to just the Top 8 teams that we’re accustomed to, a measure that was approved this past week by the Division I Baseball Committee and subsequently by the NCAA Competition Oversight Committee. “This is a big deal for our sport. We have to continue making the tournament better and by going 1-16 with the top seeds, it makes our tournament more equal to all areas,” Sidwell said. “The committee felt strongly that this was something we should do. There were times when there were particular restrictions on travel, mileage and things like that, but we wanted to grow the game and make the tourney better. “So, now we’re at 1-16, and I think we get more of a true field,” he continued. “We will have true matchups in super regionals for the teams in the Top 16. My biggest thing is looking at our great sport and find ways that we can grow the game and make everything better, whether it’s pace of play or simply tweaking some things in regards to the postseason.” The best news? It’ll start in 2018 and the format will call for 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, and so on in the super regional round. Should one of those seeds get upset in the regional round, the winner of the regional would replace them as that seed and there would not be a reseeding process, a potential future change that many coaches are still in favor of. “This is a great step forward for our sport and long overdue,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “College baseball has grown to the point that regionalization of the NCAA tournament should be an afterthought to putting the best possible tournament structure together."Committee chairman Scott Sidwell has been a strong proponent of seeding 1-16. For the most part, the feeling from the NCAA had always been that it wants to help grow and promote the sport in different parts of the country, while also hoping to present supers that will be buzzy for television ratings and attractive matchups. Therefore, we have consistently ended up with outstanding super regionals such as Florida-Florida State, Florida-Miami, of course TCU-Texas A&M, and out on the West Coast, it was a virtual guarantee that some of those teams would be paired in the supers round. While exciting, it left a salty taste in the mouths of several coaches over the years. “I just think it’s going to be a different angle on the postseason. Instead of making it more regionalized like the past, it’s going to be much more national in scope,” Cal State Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. “This was a good day for the California schools, and frankly, other teams like Florida, Florida State and Miami, along with TCU and Texas A&M. Now, you’ll have multiple teams from multiple areas paired up in supers, which is good for the game. It makes this a national thing.” But the idea of shifting away from ranking the traditional 1-8 national seeds and moving to a 1-16 seeding format began to gain more traction this past summer in Omaha, thanks to NCAA Division I Committee chairman Scott Sidwell, the athletic director at the University of San Francisco, and others. Sidwell never budged when asked about the possibility of seeding 1-16. He would always say “absolutely”, and by the end of his trip to Omaha, he made it clear it was his mission to make sure that change occurred before his tenure was up. He and other members of the committee didn’t waste any time and college baseball will now see a much-needed change take place With the premier teams and regional hosts being seeded 1-16, the next question from many around the sport will be about potentially seeding 1-64. Though you can’t say never after today’s news, the likelihood of that occurring in the near future is small. There are some serious obstacles against seeding all 64 teams in the postseason. Unlike basketball, which has almost every game televised on some sort of platform, there are still some conferences where viewing games is a challenge. Of course, there are regional advisory committees, but I doubt the committee will want to rely solely on that and metrics to make those tough decisions in the 50-64 range. “Going to 64 at some point would be challenging because there are so many championships and the way we do our championship would in theory affect other championships,” Sidwell said. “There are some financial concerns with going to a 1-64 seeding, and some other items that we’d need to look at.” For now, consider it a win for Sidwell and the sport. We finally got 1-16.
  2. After adding HS commit RHP Bryce Elder last night, Piece & Co add JUCO OF Duke Ellis tonight. Look for this to be popping up on Twitter often.
  3. Cantu

    Cantu is getting a change of scenery. Wish him the best. He has always been a fine representative of UT, especially off the field. Hopefully this fresh start helps him find his groove again.
  4. LSU and Texas

    Texas and LSU have agree to play at Alex Box the 2nd weekend next year!
  5. Per Kendall Rogers, looks like Sosa will be transferring to a JC.
  6. I'll just leave this right here
  7. Texas had 11 drafted in the MLB Draft, tied with Michigan for most players taken Texas signees so far:
  8. Good for Skip. He will get the opportunity to coach Oklahoma.
  9. The MLB Draft is now underway. Current UT Players to Watch (Draft position & team in blue) Morgan Cooper RHP #62 LA Dodgers Nick Kennedy LHP #146 CO Rockies Kyle Johnston RHP #193 WA Nationals Brett Boswell INF #236 CO Rockies Beau Ridgeway RHP Tyler Schimpf RHP Patrick Mathis OF Travis Jones OF Michael Cantu C Kody Clemens INF Graduating Longhorns to watch Kacy Clemens IF #249 TOR Blue Jays Zane Gurwitz OF/INF Jon Malmin LHP Longhorn Commits to watch Tristen Lutz OF (HS)-Likely gone #34 MIL Brewers Landon Leach RHP (HS)-Likely gone #37 MIN Twins Kamron Fields OF/RHP (HS) Donny Diaz RHP (JUCO) Blake Pflughaupt LHP (JUCO) Matteo Bocchi RHP (JUCO) Chris Fearon RHP (JUCO) Brandon Ivey LHP (JUCO) Cole Quintanilla RHP (HS) Tristan Stevens RHP (JUCO) Turner Gaunt INF (HS) Masen Hibbeler INF (JUCO) Bennett Inoff INF (HS)
  10. Happy Post-Season, Seamheads. Here we go, what you've all been waiting for; Texas Baseball back to a Regional on the Road to Omaha. Horn Sports will be on site, as I'll be there for the series. ********************************************* Here are some series notes from a few different websites: First up, the quick preview from Texas Sports 05.29.2017 Baseball to open NCAA regional play in Long Beach vs. UCLA The Longhorns enter the tournament as a No. 2 seed and will open at 6 p.m. Central on Friday against the Bruins. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— The NCAA announced the full field of 64 teams for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championships on Monday morning, with Texas Baseball earning a No. 2 seed in the Long Beach regional. This marks the 58th time the Longhorns have reached the NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns (37-22) are joined by their Friday opponent and No. 3 seed UCLA, No. 4 seed San Diego State and top-seeded host Long Beach State. Texas will open the Long Beach Regional on Friday at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) against UCLA (30-25). this season, the Longhorns swept the Bruins in a three-game series at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Long Beach State (37-17-1) and San Diego State (41-19) will face off in the nightcap, with both opening night games scheduled to air on ESPN2. Texas finished the season 37-22 after making a run to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship this past weekend. The Longhorns, who currently hold the No. 16 RPI in the nation, finished tops in the Big 12 in ERA (3.20) and boast the second-best fielding percentage in the country (.983). All-session tickets are currently available at LongBeachState.com/baseballregionals. or via the Long Beach State ticket office. Single-game tickets will be available Wednesday morning, starting at 9 a.m. online and 10 a.m. via the ticket office. ***************************************** Here are some notes from D1Baseball: The Long Beach Regional may be the toughest region in the tournament. Long Beach State, while compiling a 19-4 record at home this season, has also gone 0-2 vs UCLA and 0-2 vs San Diego St. UCLA was one of the last four teams in the tournament UCLA has one of the best starters in the nation in Canning, but their bullpen has been a major weakness for them this season. UCLA has a .226 avg vs non-conference opponents this year San Diego State went 2-0 v both UCLA and Long Beach State this season SDSU has 10 batters over .300 This is SDSU's 4th regional in 5 years, so they're experienced. D1 Baseball's Kendall Rogers named Texas his Omaha Sleeper: "I wrote this a couple of weeks ago after the TCU series, but in terms of sheer talent, few teams actually best the Longhorns in the starting rotation with Nolan Kingham, Morgan Cooper and Kyle Johnston leading the charge. The Longhorns are good enough offensively, too, to make a run, while the bullpen is the one thing for me that remains a concern." I personally don't think anything that Kendall stated is ground breaking; it's what we have been discussing all season long. The bullpen has to perform at an elite level for this team to make any noise in the tournament. That said, Kendall knows college baseball probably better than just about anyone I know, and his comments are high praise. Additionally, Aaron Fitt from D1 Baseball had this to say about the Long Beach regional being the toughest regional: "Texas is one of the most dangerous 2-seeds in the tournament, UCLA is a young but talented No. 3 with a premier ace in Griffin Canning, and San Diego State gets my vote for most dangerous 4-seed in the tournament — the Aztecs should have been a 3." And, "Texas is the non-No. 1 seed that has the best shot to get to Omaha thanks to its enviable collection of power arms and an offense that is clicking at the right time — the Longhorns are well suited to win on the pitcher-friendly West Coast." As a matter of fact, D1 Baseball had six writers/contributors name their toughest regional, and half of them picked the Long Beach regional as the toughest. ********************************************************* The Horns have their work cut out for them, but I have to say, it feels good to be back in the post season. ********************************************************* Texas plays on Friday at 4 PM vs UCLA; Kingham vs Canning: Battle on the Bump HookEm!!
  11. The Longhorns begin post-season play on Friday in the Long Beach, California regional against the UCLA Bruins at 6:00 pm. Texas enters the Regional is the #2 seed with UCLA holding the #3 seed. Host team, #1 Long Beach State faces #4 seed San Diego State later on Friday evening. Stay up-to-date on the Regional action in our weekend game thread (click on the link below). LONG BEACH REGIONAL - WEEKEND THREAD
  12. Here are the 16 Regional Sites Baton Rouge, Louisiana – LSU (43-17) Chapel Hill, North Carolina – North Carolina (47-12) Clemson, South Carolina – Clemson (39-19) Corvallis, Oregon – Oregon State (49-4) Fayetteville, Arkansas – Arkansas (42-17) Fort Worth, Texas – TCU (42-16) Gainesville, Florida – Florida (42-16) Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Southern Mississippi (48-14) Houston, Texas – Houston (40-19) Lexington, Kentucky – Kentucky (39-20) Long Beach, California – Long Beach State (37-17-1) Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville (47-10) Lubbock, Texas – Texas Tech (43-15) Stanford, California – Stanford (40-14) Tallahassee, Florida – Florida State (39-20) Winston-Salem, North Carolina – Wake Forest (39-18)
  13. Austin's own St. Edwards University Hilltoppers will be playing in the post-season tomorrow. The Hilltoppers entered the Heartland Conference Tournament last weekend at the #4 seed out of 4 teams. They went undefeated and earned an automatic berth in the NCAA DII Baseball Tournament. They have won 11 of their last 12, including the last 8 straight. Three of the players were named to the All Tournament Team. In DII, there are 56 teams making up 8 regions. The regional brackets are double elimination. The winners of the 8 regions advance to the NCAA DII CWS, in Grand Prairie, TX May 27-June 3. St. Eds will open play tomorrow at 3:25 CDT in San Angelo against Colorado Mesa. You can watch it live via stream here: http://www.angelosports.com/watch/?Live=945&type=Live Here's the Region Preview from St. Ed's website: SAN ANGELO, Texas – St. Edward's baseball opens its sixth-straight NCAA South Central Regional Tournament Thursday at 3:30 p.m. against second-seeded Colorado Mesa at Foster Field inside 1st Community Credit Union Stadium. Head coach Rob Penders and his squad look to make their first NCAA DII World Series appearance since 2013. St. Edward's is the No. 5 seed in the tournament after going 33-18 overall and winning its fifth-straight Heartland Conference Tournament. The Hilltoppers head into the tourney with three South Central All-Region Selections. ROMEO CORTINA and GABLE WHITACRE earned first-team honors while STUART SPRINGER was named to the second team. Live audio will be provided by Mason Robinson at GoHilltoppers.com, with links to live stats and video of the tournament as well. Exclusive content of the Hilltoppers' trip to San Angelo, Texas will be available on social media at @SEUBaseball. Below is a preview of SEU and the tournament with full game notes HERE. LAST TIME OUT: St. Edward's last game was a 3-1 victory over UA Fort Smith in the Heartland Conference Championship...TANNER LAWSON got the win with 7.2 innings of four-hit, one-run work...the Lions scored first but SEU came back with three unanswered runs...GABLE WHITACRE tied the game with a one-run double in the sixth inning...TJ GISELBACH drove in Whitacre to put the Hilltoppers ahead...JACOB VASQUEZ recorded the four-out save. SERIES HISTORY: The Hilltoppers and Mavericks have faced a total of three times, all in the NCAA Regional tournament...the team's last meeting was in '15...CMU ended SEU's season with an 8-6 win in 10 innings...St. Edward's tied the game 6-6 in the ninth...Colorado Mesa scored two unanswered runs in the 10th. COMIN' IN HOT: The Hilltoppers eight-game winning streak is the second-longest, active winning streak in the nation...SEU has won 11 of its last 12 games, scoring 106 runs on 145 hits with 10 home runs...St. Edward's came into the '16 NCAA Tournament on a 12-game winning streak. BOMBS AWAY: Earlier this season, at LCU, HUNTER COURSON, belted two home runs in one inning...SEU finished the game with six home runs...this season, 10 Hilltoppers have combined to hit 48 home runs. WINNING WITH PITCHING: The St. Edward's pitching staff currently boasts the fourth-best ERA in the nation...the Hilltoppers finished third in the nation in ERA in '16, and sixth in '14...under pitching coach Jonathan Burns, the '16 Hilltopper staff posted the second-best, single-season ERA in program history. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY: Over SEU's last five games, HUNTER COURSON is batting .471 with eight hits including one double...TJ GISELBACH has hit two home runs and recorded 11 RBI...TANNER LAWSON is 1-0 in two appearances and has a 0.84 ERA with seven strikeouts. GOING STREAKIN': A total of four Hilltoppers are riding reached-base streaks of 10 games or more...ROMEO CORTINA leads the way with his 33-game streak while HUNTER COURSON has reached in 21 straight games...GABLE WHITACRE has recorded a hit in 14-straight games and TJ GISELBACH has a base knock in 12 staight. MR. HILLTOPPER: GABLE WHITACRE is one of three Hilltoppers who has played all four years at St. Edward's...he was named to the conference all-tournament team in '15, and the regional all-tournament team in '16...in '17 he has been named first-team all-conference and first-team all-region...Whitacre has appeared in 203 games and made 197 starts...he holds eight top-10 marks in St. Edward's record book, including the record for career doubles with 58. THE PENDERS EFFECT: St. Edward's head coach Rob Penders earned the 400th win of his career earlier this season in a 9-1 victory at Newman...Penders has guided the Hilltoppers to six-straight 30-win seasons...under his guidance, St. Edward's has won seven Heartland Conference titles and made six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. UTILITY BELT LINEUP: St. Edward's lineup features five Hilltoppers who have made starts at multiple positions...CARSON COX has made starts at 1B, 3B, SS, and DH...GABLE WHITACRE has appeared at C, LF, and DH...WILLIAM HAIRSTON and HUNTER COURSON has appeared in the outfield, across the infield, at catcher, and pitcher...TROY ANDERSON has also caught, pitched, and appeared at DH.
  14. What do these two High School teams have in common and why I would post this on the inside board. For Two 4A High School baseball programs, they both have elite level arms and will be facing each other in the 2nd round of the UIL State Baseball Playoffs(Area Round). If you can make it out to Texas Lutheran College(Seguin, Texas) on Thursday night(7:00PM), you will see the newest Longhorn Baseball Commit Justin Eckhardt(Sealy Tigers Class of 2018) and Riggs Threadgill(LSU Commit Class of 2018)(Fredericksburg High School) go toe to toe.
  15. Pretty interesting article for those interested. Long read. Enjoy. ****************************************************** Bull Durham, starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon, was filmed at the Durham Athletic Park and in and around Durham and Raleigh. The movie helped propel the Durham Bulls baseball team into the national spotlight. Baseball May 04, 2017 12:30 PM The making of ‘Bull Durham’ – Excerpt from an upcoming book about the Durham Bulls By Ron Morris Excerpts from the upcoming book, “NO BULL: The Real Story of the Rebirth of a Team and a City” by Ron Morris Lights, Camera, Action! When the Major League Baseball Players Association went on strike prior to the 1972 season, the result was the cancellation of spring training. The strike extended 13 days into the regular season, costing the major leagues 86 games. The strike also cost at least one minor-league player his dream of one day playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Ron Shelton was a mid-level prospect in the Baltimore organization, having advanced to Triple-A Rochester for the 1971 season. He batted a respectable .260 that season as a dependable backup to regular second baseman Donato Fazio. Shelton was realistic about his standing with the Orioles. Davey Johnson was cemented at second base with the big club. Bobby Grich was a budding star in the system, and Bob Bailor was on the way. So when spring training was cancelled in ’72, Shelton evaluated his future in the game and determined it was time to go back to school. If nothing else during his five seasons of professional baseball, Shelton took away a new-found affection for motion pictures. When you are stationed in such minor-league outposts as Bluefield, West Virginia, and Stockton, California, there often is no better way to wile away time than by attending matinee shows at the local theater. “I could go to a movie every day and get out of the lousy motel or hotel, and often it was the only air-conditioned place in town,” Shelton said. “I sort of started going to movies indiscriminately and I fell in love with movies.” Shelton also began to romanticize about writing his own movie manuscript, one with minor-league baseball as the backdrop to a story about life in the game. He certainly was not the first to recognize that nearly every sports-themed movie to that point carried a similar story line and rarely, if ever, strayed from the field of play. Essentially, there were no sports movies about the lives surrounding the games, and all seemed to focus on the cheerful endings of a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, clinching touchdown in the final seconds or come-from-behind victory in basketball. Shelton had other ideas because he believed there was more to sports than what was being portrayed in motion pictures. He could write about a world in sports that he knew better than anyone else in the movie business because he had experienced it. But breaking into the film-writing business proved to be more challenging to Shelton than climbing minor-league baseball’s ladder to the major leagues. Shelton was selected in the 39th round of the 1966 Major League Baseball Draft by the Orioles out of Westmont (California) College. A year later, he returned to school to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature. Then, upon leaving pro baseball, Shelton returned to graduate school at the University of Arizona where he earned a master’s of fine arts degree in visual arts. Afterward, he moved back to Southern California where he pursued a career as a painter/sculptor and worked a variety of jobs — house painter, carpenter, handyman, landscape flunky — for nearly a decade. He dabbled in screenwriting in his off hours. By the mid-1980s, Shelton had the shell of a manuscript titled “The Player To Be Named Later” and was ready to present it to a film studio — namely to Thom Mount, then the young director of Universal Studies. Over the years, Shelton had developed a friendship with Mount, and Shelton was aware of Mount’s interest in baseball through minority ownership in several minor-league teams. Shelton’s pitch to Mount was simple: The movie was Lysistrata in the minor leagues. Lysistrata was an ancient Greek play in which the title character convinces the women of her country to withhold sexual favors to their husbands until they negotiate peace to end the Peloponnesian War. Shelton said his story would be told by a woman who is wooed by both the pitcher and catcher on the team. It had to be the team’s battery because they are the only players on a baseball team who actually talk to each other. Mount liked the premise, and told Shelton to develop the story further. “It wasn’t very good, but it spoke to me,” Mount said of the original script and how it made him recall his days attending minor-league games while growing up in Durham. “Watching those guys, with the young guys on the way up and the old guys trying to stay in the game on the way down. You see that as a kid and it’s very affecting, or it was for me anyway, very affecting. I thought there was an emotional center in this. It would have resonance to people.” Mount was born to Lillard and Bonnie Mount while his father was attending law school at Duke University. His father later became a successful and prominent attorney in Durham with an unabashed love of minor-league baseball, more specifically the Durham Bulls. Heaven on earth for the young Mount was sipping a Coca-Cola and eating a hot dog at Durham Athletic Park with his father and his father’s friends. Not only did Mount have fond memories of running free in the old ballpark, but also watching the likes of budding stars such as Dick McAuliffe in 1959, and Gates Brown in 1961, when the Bulls were a Detroit Tigers affiliate, and Rusty Staub in 1962 when Durham was a farm club of the Houston Colt .45s. Mount left Durham at age 16, months before his scheduled graduation from Durham High School. He earned an undergraduate degree from Bard College in upstate New York, then accepted a painting scholarship to attend graduate school at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles during its first year of operation in 1970. While in graduate school, Mount began working in the movie business under the legendary Roger Corman, who was known as the Pope of Pop Cinema because of his work on independent films. Like anyone attempting to break into Hollywood, Mount had his turn at reading scripts, including some for actress Jane Fonda. In early 1973, he was a reader at Universal Studios and an assistant to one of its mid-range vice presidents, who turned many projects over to Mount. He also had support from the highly respected Lew Wasserman, chairman of MCA/Universal. Wasserman saw Mount as a future executive and put the aspiring star in charge of studio relationships with such luminaries as Edith Head, Alfred Hitchcock and Paul Newman. Along the way, Mount worked on such films as “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” and “Car Wash.” The former movie told the story of a Negro League barnstorming team, and the latter proved to be a box office hit about the day in the life of minority employees at a car wash. Mount became known early on as a white man producing black movies. More importantly, he was on the cutting edge of infusing black talent into every aspect—from screen writing to acting to producing—of what previously was a nearly lily-white motion picture business. That the movies were making money as well made Mount somewhat of a young sensation. “Hollywood respects nothing so much as cash coming in over the transom,” Mount said. “If that happens, they think they know what you’re doing.” Mount knew enough of what he was doing to be named director of Universal Studios in 1974 at the tender age of 26, earning the tag “baby mogul” by Time magazine. A couple of years later, Mount fielded a telephone call from an old friend and baseball fanatic, Van Schley. “Listen, I think we should buy a baseball team,” Schley told Mount. “Like what?” Mount, a bit perplexed, responded. “Well, there is a C League team in Texas called the Texas City Stars,” Schley said. “They need $10,000 in cash and we need to take on $10,000 to $12,000 in debt.” Each of five investors, including Mount, put up $5,000. Texas City competed in the Class A Lone Star League, which was composed of six teams independent of major-league affiliations. The 1977 season proved to be Schley’s foray into independently operated baseball leagues and teams, and he later became the pioneer of teams operating outside the boundaries of organized professional baseball. The Texas City Stars were not exactly a smashing success in their only year of operation. Al Gallagher, 31 years old and just four years removed from his final days in the major leagues, both played and managed the club to a 35-41 record and last-place finish in the three-team North Division. Fewer than 350 fans on average attended the home games. At the time, Mount had Willie Nelson under contract to develop movies based on his albums and coerced the great country singer and songwriter to sing the national anthem at one of Texas City’s home games. Even that did not help the gate and the Stars’ final season attendance figure reached a meager 12,305. In the end, the entire league folded when the Corpus Christi Seagulls refused to compete in the playoffs for financial reasons. That inauspicious debut into baseball ownership did not deter Mount from future investments in the game with Schley, who later on also roped movie star Bill Murray into part ownership of several teams from Utica, New York, to Amarillo, Texas, to Anderson, South Carolina, to Bellingham, Washington. In 1979, Mount received another phone call from Schley about investment in a minor-league club. Schley explained that an aspiring writer from North Carolina had recently left the Atlanta Braves and needed investors in the rejuvenation of the Durham Bulls. Schley and Mount each agreed to be minority stock holders in Miles Wolff’s club by again contributing $5,000 each. Mount could not possibly turn down an opportunity to obtain part-ownership of his hometown club. As a youngster hanging out at Durham Athletic Park, Mount learned an appreciation for the struggles of minor-leaguers attempting to realize their dream of one day playing in the big leagues. His father also taught him the nuances of the game, from situations and strategies to the drama that often builds from the first inning to the last. So, anytime over the years that Shelton or Schley or Wolff pitched the game of baseball to Mount, it was sweet, sweet music to the movie director’s ears. “The thing about baseball that struck Ron and me and Van and Miles is that it’s not a sport, and it’s not a game, it is in fact a kind of crucible, an X-ray for the totality of the human experience,” Mount said during a 2015 interview in what amounted to an unrehearsed soliloquy on the game. “It speaks to all of the decisions we all have to make, everywhere in our lives, over and over again, even inside every game, and it’s filled with ethics and quandaries and opportunities and failures. “All of that weaves together an educational wheel, which is the genius of baseball. It has none of the cut-and-dried brutality of football. It has none of the testosterone nonsense of ice hockey. It has very little of the complex strategy of tennis, for instance. But, somebody used to say to me when I’d say I work in Hollywood, and these people who are disparaging of Hollywood—and there are many of those—well, ‘It’s not brain surgery.’ “I would say, ‘Yes, you’re right, it’s not brain surgery. It’s heart surgery.’ It’s much more fundamental to the human condition than brain surgery. That’s the way I feel about baseball. Of all the sports, I think baseball is heart surgery. I think it touches the heart. It eliminates the dark for us and gives us something we can hold onto that’s memorable over multiple generations.” All of that allure of baseball began to shine through with each of the re-writings of Shelton’s original screenplay that he presented to Mount earlier. Sometime in late 1985 or early 1986, Shelton telephoned Mount, who was in France working on Roman Polanski’s film “Frantic.” “I got it figured out,” Shelton told Mount. “What does that mean?” Mount responded. “Well, here’s the thing, it’s not just young guys on the way up and old guys on the way down. It’s a girl in the middle who is sleeping with both of our guys and trying to make up her mind. “OK, great. Deal. Done. Now you’re talking.” Mount knew the movie project was a huge gamble in Hollywood. First, it was about baseball, which nobody in the motion picture business at the time believed was worth producing. It also was about minor-league baseball, which had even less appeal to Hollywood producers. Finally, Shelton’s script was counter to the traditional sports story line where everyone lived happily ever after. “He jumped off the cliff,” Shelton said of Mount’s belief in the script, “and we jumped off it together.” Mount first needed a director for the still unnamed movie. Then came selection of actors and a site to begin filming. Shelton had done second-unit directing on occasion, but had never been in charge of a film. No matter, Mount determined that no one could interpolate the script better than the man who wrote it. Shelton would be the director, and Mount sent him on a scouting mission of minor-league cities in the Class A Carolina League and South Atlantic League. Shelton flew to Raleigh-Durham, rented a car and roamed around North and South Carolina with stops in Anderson, Asheville, Charleston, Columbia, Durham, Kinston, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. “My big concern was had the minor leagues changed since I had played in them because the major leagues had changed dramatically,” Shelton said. “The major leagues had become big money. Guys had become very distant, had agents and publicists. Major league baseball players used to be regular guys, and suddenly they had become celebrities and had become off-putting in many cases. “I discovered, immediately, the minor leagues hadn’t change a bit. They made no money. It was unglamorous. You could still talk to the girls you were trying to get a date with in the stands. You could send notes. Everybody was real close. You knew people in the town. All of that stuff hadn’t changed. The stork kind of hung over everybody, so you could get released at any second. Everybody was a dreamer and most of the dreams didn’t come true.” Mount swore to himself not to unduly influence Shelton in his decision about where the movie would be filmed. Shelton needed no input. He found everything he wanted in Durham. He liked the idea that Durham was rundown with vacated tobacco warehouses and boarded up downtown storefronts. He found a down-and-out, minor-league town that represented his story well. Shelton also liked that fans could still walk to games from nearby neighborhoods. Vacant warehouses could be converted to studios, thus eliminating the cost of transporting sets around the city during filming. Durham Athletic Park was perfect, a cozy ballpark with surrounding buildings tight to the outfield fences. It personified a small-town atmosphere. Mount could then work on a name for the movie. He liked an indirect link from the movie to its title. So, he would not name a movie about a meteor crashing to earth, “Meteor.” He had just named a soon-to-be-released movie about the drug-dealing community, “Tequila Sunrise.” He wanted a title name that suggested a context that was more memorable than obvious. “Bull Durham” it would be. “What I liked about Bull Durham is they are the Durham Bulls,” Mount said. “Bull Durham chewing tobacco — for those who remember — conjures up another era, another time, and Bull Durham is the city, and it’s as much about the city as it is about the ballgame.” Mount and Shelton wanted a young, up-and-comer as the lead character, and Kevin Costner was on their A list. Hollywood already had recognized Costner as a rising star, even though he had been cut out of the film “The Big Chill.” Costner’s credits included “Silverado,” but not in a lead role. He had two movies in the can: “No Way Out,” and “The Untouchables.” Shelton knew Costner’s agent, J.J. Harris, and presented her with the script. Harris loved it and turned it over to Costner. When Costner read it, he wanted to show off his athletic skills to Shelton and the two met at a batting cage. Costner wanted the role of “Crash Davis,” the aging career minor-leaguer who was on his last legs as a pro baseball player, and Shelton was impressed by how Costner could hit a baseball. Despite stories over the years that several other big-name actors, such as Kurt Russell and Harrison Ford, were approached about the lead role, Shelton said Costner was the only actor who was ever considered. In need of financial backing, Mount and Shelton pitched the movie to Fox, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Universal, Tri-Star and Disney. Every studio turned down the movie. One studio director said he might accept the movie if Mount dumped Costner and put someone else in the lead role. Fox’s director said the proposed budget needed to be slashed in half, because “no one would ever see this movie,” according to Mount. Generally, Mount was told the movie lacked commercial appeal, and it could not attract a foreign audience, which was a prerequisite at the time. Finally, Mount took the script to Orion, which had taken a liking to Costner, and three years earlier had produced “Under Fire,” which was co-written by Shelton and Clayton Frohman. Orion allocated a rather paltry $9 million for producing the movie, and allowed only an eight-week shooting schedule. The studio did grant Shelton much creative freedom in producing the movie. The movie now had a start date and enough financing to begin making offers and start auditioning. The story of how Shelton landed Susan Sarandon as “Annie Savoy,” the beautiful girl who was wooing both the player on his way up and the player on his way down, has taken on a life of its own over the years. It has been reported numerous times that several actresses, including Kay Lenz, Ellen Barkin and Kim Bassinger, turned down offers for the lead role. Several actresses did audition, and Shelton was impressed by their performances. But the studio kept changing the list of “acceptable actresses for lead role,” and Shelton believed he was dealing with a moving goalpost. The final casting decision was made by committee, and Sarandon was not on the original list. Finally, the studio added Sarandon, and she agreed to fly from Italy to California with her young daughter to audition. She won over the audience and, according to Shelton, was the only actress offered the lead role. Next, the movie needed an actor to play the role of a young, budding star on his way to the big leagues. This proved to be a most difficult task because not just any young actor would do. Shelton wanted someone very different from Costner in every way. His reasoning was that if the script had two players going after the same girl, he did not want them to be carbon copies of each other. They had to be different physically as well as in style and tone. Tim Robbins fit the bill as “Nuke LaLoosh.” He stood 6-foot-5. Costner was 6-foot-1. Robbins was much more out-going than the reserved Costner. Robbins, at least in the movie, comes across as knee-jerk in his reactions on and off the field. Costner, in his role, is the wiser, more cautious decision-maker. Costner’s character was named after Lawrence Columbus “Crash” Davis who played 148 games as a utility infielder for the Philadelphia Athletics over three seasons from 1940 to 1942. He was drafted into the Navy during World War II. Upon being discharged from the Navy in 1946, Davis returned to graduate school at Duke, his alma mater. Over the next seven seasons, Davis played 636 minor-league games in a failed attempt to get back to the big leagues. Shelton met Davis when the director was scouting for cities to locate the film, and liked the name. The two later became friends. Annie Savoy was named in deference to women who hang around ballparks and are called “Baseball Annies” by the players. One day while Shelton was writing at his desk, he picked up a matchbook from “Savoy Bar,” which could have come from a famous hotel bar in London or perhaps a bar and restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Either way, it stuck as Annie’s last name. For Nuke LaLoosh’s name, Shelton had to travel to Columbia, South Carolina, where he was preparing one evening to dine at the Radisson Hotel. As he sat down for a cocktail, the waiter greeted him. “Hello, sir, my name is Ebby Calvin LaRouche, and I’ll be your server tonight,” the waiter said, “but you can just call me ‘Nuke.’ ” Shelton jotted the name down on a napkin, wondering whether “Nuke” was spelled like a nuclear meltdown or like the nickname “Newk,” as in the former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe. He went with the former, then altered the last name because he did not want it associated with the radical leftwing LaRouche Movement authored in the 1970s and 1980s by Lyndon LaRouche. Shelton worried ever after that the waiter would one day demand royalty fees from the movie for using his name as Robbins’ character. He never got the call. Wolff was one of the few who got a sneak preview of the script, and he was intrigued. Like most who were curious about the filming of a movie at Durham Athletic Park, Wolff believed the interest would pass. He never believed the film would have any impact on his franchise, one way or the other. “Once they started filming, I was less than enthused,” Wolff said. “Shoots kept being changed and in my minor-league heart, I felt they were spending stupid money.” When he purchased the Bulls franchise from the Carolina League prior to the 1980 season, Wolff immediately changed the Durham Athletic Park color scheme, painting over the traditional staid green that characterized most minor-league parks since forever. By painting the park a shiny blue, Wolff had essentially spruced up the park. Movie producers wanted the old color, so before shooting began, the entire stadium and surrounding buildings were painted green. When filming was completed, the production company returned the stadium and all buildings back to Wolff’s blue color scheme. Because filming was conducted in the dead of winter, the park’s Bermuda-grass playing surface had deteriorated from green to brown and was painted green. The frosty breath of several of the actors could be seen against the cold air in several scenes as temperatures occasionally dropped to the freezing mark. Extras acting as fans occasionally had to remove their winter jackets to make scenes look like summer nights. To ensure the grandstands were filled for one scene, producers passed out pamphlets at a Pink Floyd concert in nearby Chapel Hill asking patrons to be part of a movie by coming to Durham Athletic Park afterward. In one movie scene, several fans are noticeable wearing Pink Floyd T-shirts. Producers wanted a big crowd, in particular, for an afternoon scene and went to Wolff for help. He agreed to send a letter to all season-ticket holders, essentially advertising the film, but also offering a free hot dog to all those in attendance. Once the crowd of maybe 2,000 fans was in the park and ready to go, producers had a change of heart and decided it might be better if the filming was done at night. Wolff was told not to give away the hot dogs until that night, so the crowd might stay. He refused. In one scene, Annie Savoy gives pitching instructions to Nuke LaLoosh. Originally, the scene was to be shot at the ballpark, but then Shelton decided it was best to shoot it at Savoy’s home, so in quick order, Bulls groundskeeper Bill Miller had a truck of dirt shipped to the nearby house and he constructed a pitching mound in the backyard. Most of the Bulls involvement in the movie’s filming centered on Pete Bock, who had left the club as its general manager five seasons earlier to serve as the GM of the Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League. He returned to the Durham area to form, along with Wolff, a baseball management company that consulted with minor-league operators on how to successfully run their clubs. Mount knew of Bock through Wolff. So, the movie’s producer hired the former minor-league umpire and general manager as a baseball consultant. Bock’s charge was to make certain actors and ballplayers looked the part, that baseball scenes looked as realistic as possible, and that there would be no left-handed catchers or shortstops. If a scene called for a baserunner to be thrown out at third base, Bock would make sure he had the proper players in position to make the play occur, and appear realistic. Prior to filming, Bock set up what essentially was a spring training complex for tryouts. Most of the 84 “actors” he hired were professional baseball players who had time on their hands during the offseason, when the movie was filmed. He needed that many players because some scenes were filmed in other North Carolina locales such as Asheville, Greensboro and Rocky Mount. Essentially, he needed about four teams of players, including those who were the “extras” among the Durham Bulls. One such player hired was Paul Devlin, whose eligibility as a player at the University of North Carolina had expired. He was set to debut the following spring for the New York Mets Class A affiliate in the Carolina League. In one of the movie’s classic scenes, Devlin was tipped off by the catcher — Crash Davis — that the next pitch from Nuke LaLoosh would be a fastball. After Devlin crushed that pitch for a home run, Davis visited his pitcher on the mound and told him that any pitch hit that far should have “a stewardess on it.” One night — actually, it was around 2 in the morning — during filming, Shelton was looking for an actor he had hired to be the preacher for a wedding scene at home plate between a Durham Bulls player and an avid fan. Nowhere to be found, Shelton turned to Bock and said, “You can do it.” Bock was wearing gloves and a couple of sweat suits to help him deal with the cold of the late night. He went to a trailer to try on a suit for the scene, but the suit was a size 38, several notches below what Bock wore at the time. “Well, that rules me out,” Bock said. “No, no, no,” an assistant in the trailer replied. “We’ll take care of it.” Bock arrived for the scene in the suit, which had the back of the jacket and pants ripped out so it would fit. The adjustments could not be detected with straight-on shots of Bock from the film crew. Thus, Bock played the role of the preacher. Back in California, during the cutting and re-editing of the film, Mount and Shelton were battling over compromises in changes to the film, not all of which met Shelton’s approval. At about the same time, Mount was in conversations with Charles Glenn, then the executive vice president of advertising for Orion, about ways to promote the movie. Among other things, Glenn decided to produce a poster depicting a sultry Annie Savoy with her arm draped around Crash Davis as they sat atop the hood of a car outside a baseball stadium. “It really made the movie,” Mount said. “The idea was that it was both about baseball and sex, which we couldn’t talk about very openly in newspapers at that time, but it really worked.” The picture was taken at a ballpark in California at sunset. The movie is pitched on the poster as “Bull Durham: A Major League Love Story in a Minor League Town,” with the additional subtext: “Romance is a lot like baseball. It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.” The movie’s premiere was held in June of 1988 at the Carolina Theater in downtown Durham, a few blocks from Durham Athletic Park. Shelton and Mount were there to introduce the movie to city dignitaries, Bulls employees, friends and family. Before the showing, Mount took the stage with his mother, Bonnie, sitting in the front row. “I want you to know,” Mount told the audience, “if there are any cuss words in here, my mother made me put them in.” The crowd howled. Bonnie Mount never forgave her son for the comments. Unlike today, movies then did not have to open in massive numbers of theaters or produce outrageous earnings on the first weekend of showings. To be successful then, a movie could open modestly and hold for several months. That is what happened with “Bull Durham.” It did about $5 million in ticket sales the first weekend in 1,238 theaters, and continued to produce a similar dollar figure every week through the entire summer of 1988. It represented how successful movies worked in those days, mostly by word of mouth, and eventually grossed $50 million. Interestingly enough, the Durham Morning Herald panned the movie after the premier showing. The local newspaper was virtually alone in its criticism. Nationally, the movie picked up steam as review after review was glowing in its praise. Perhaps the best representative of the national reviews was written by David Ansen for Newsweek magazine. Ansen wrote that “Bull Durham” “works equally as a love story, a baseball fable and a comedy, while ignoring the clichés of each genre.” As much steam as the movie gained throughout theater showings in the summer of 1988, it really was only the beginning of a lasting impact on baseball. No other baseball movie, before or since, has resonated so powerfully with fans and players quite like “Bull Durham.” Some would argue otherwise, but most agree that the movie remains the greatest ever produced about baseball, and among the best sports films of all-time. The movie landed in Durham because of Mount’s association with the Bulls, and because Shelton believed the city and Durham Athletic Park best represented what minor-league baseball was all about at the time. In the years following the movie, attendance spiked at the old ball park as fans from all over the country wanted to get a glimpse of the park and somehow again connect with what they saw in the movie. Even today, nearly three decades after the movie was released and after the Durham Bulls long since moved into a new stadium, baseball fans still park their cars and walk around the exterior of Durham Athletic Park. Or, they just park their car down the third-base line and reminisce about what minor-league baseball must have been like in the 1980s. Excerpted from “NO BULL: The Real Story of the Rebirth of a Team and a City” by Ron Morris, on Sale June 6 in bookstores or available for preorder from Baseball America: https://store.baseballamerica.com/c...am-bulls-and-the-rebirth-of-a-team-and-a-city Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/mlb/article148572539.html#storylink=cpy
  16. The Longhorn baseball team jumps back into the Top 25 this week according to www.D1Baseball.com Additionally, the RPI jumped 10 points after the weekend sweep in Stillwater. Horns sit at 26 RPI and 33 SOS. All good news but Texas cannot afford to take any games off in this final two week stretch.
  17. UR Kansas St takes 2/3 from #21 West Virginia UR Oklahoma St takes 2/3 from #5 Texas Tech UR Kansas takes 2/3 from UR Oklahoma #6 TCU takes 2/3 from UR Baylor Conference Standings (RPI in parenthesis) TCU 11-4 (11) Tech 9-6 (3) WVU 9-6 (6) KU 8-7 (68) OU 6-6 (39) UT 7-8 (34) Bay 6-9 (14) OSU 6-9 (49) KSt 4-11 (102) Conf Series Remaining UT: @OSU, @TCU & vs. WVU TCU: @TT, vs. UT & @OU TT: vs. TCU, @WVU & vs. KU WVU: vs. OU, vs. TT & @Texas KU: vs. Baylor, vs. KSt & @Tech OU: @WVU, @KSt, vs. TCU & vs. OSU Bay: @KU, @OSU & vs. KSt OSU: vs. UT, vs. Bay & @OU KSt: vs. OU, @KU & @Bay
  18. David Pierce & the Longhorns got a new commit this morning. 2018 3B Peter Geib out of Episcopal HS in the Houston area. Good size, bat and athletic. Here's his video from Donald Boyles. https://youtu.be/TRYD0CDdBxk
  19. Good afternoon Seamheads. Another Saturday with some baseball for y'all. Let's see if the Horns can bounce back from a couple of disappointing losses in Waco. TV Fox Sports Southwest Radio 104.9 FM Audio Stream www. TexasSports.com PBP Twitter https://twitter.com/joeywa_44 Kyle Johnston with the reins today for Texas.
  20. Texas Baseball has an RPI of 34 after taking 2/3 from Oklahoma, (RPI 13) The Horns jumped from 53 to 34 this week. That's how impressive this weekend's performance was from an RPI standpoint. Now the real test begins. Horns go on the road vs Baylor (RPI 10,) Ok St (RPI 43,) and TCU (RPI 9,) over the next four weekends. Show well, and we are in a great spot come tournament time.
  21. From UT: University of Texas pitcher Kevin Roliard is dealing with personal issues and is not with the Longhorns Baseball team at this time, head coach David Pierce said on Friday. A freshman from Spring, Texas (Klein HS), Roliard has played in five games this season. Statement from Kevin Roliard’s parents Brenda and Larry: “Our son has been dealing with some personal issues, and on Sunday night was hospitalized with an injury. We truly appreciate those who came to his aid and are thankful that Kevin is on the road to recovery. We appreciate the many well wishes we’ve received, and we hope you’ll continue to keep Kevin in your thoughts and prayers. We also ask that everyone recognizes this is a very difficult time for our family and will continue to respect our privacy.” Statement from Texas Baseball Head Coach David Pierce: “Kevin has been a big part of the 2017 team since his arrival on campus back in the fall. We’ve been in constant contact with his family this week and have been to the hospital to visit Kevin. The Roliards are all members of our Longhorn Baseball family, and we will do everything we can to support all of them during this difficult time. Our coaches, players and support staff are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers, and I hope everyone will do the same.” Statement from Texas Men’s Athletics Director Mike Perrin: “We were made aware of the injury involving our baseball student-athlete Kevin Roliard on Sundaynight, and it’s a very unfortunate situation. Coach Pierce and I have visited the hospital and talked with his family. Our baseball team was made aware, and they and any other members of our athletics community are being provided with access to counseling and support. Our thoughts are with Kevin, his health and well-being and his family as he recovers. Out of respect for them, we won’t be able to say anything further at this time and hope everyone will honor their wishes of privacy.”
  22. First off, HUGE congrats to Nolan Kingham. Additionally, Nick Kennedy gets the nod on the bump. See y'all tomorrow night! HookEm!
  23. Work calls so I'll be out of pocket for the games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week. Y'all are either on your own to get threads going or perhaps Will will get 'em going. Prob won't pop in unless I have some free time. Hook Em! 🤘🏻🐂⚾️
  24. This says it all! Game 3 will begin in about 30 minutes. These guys really need to pull one out. Lineups forthcoming.
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