can isu baseball ever get back to the dominance it had in the 1980s and 1990s?

WANTED: Passionate Sycamore Fanatics. That You?

Register NOW to join our community of die-hard Sycamore fans.

TJames

The JSW Level
just wondering. as a former indiana state baseball sports information director who left town before bob warn retired, does anybody think the program can ever get back to challenging wichita state for league dominance? i was there the last time isu went to the ncaa tournament. we won the mvc tournament that was played in springfield, illinois that year. i was there when we went to the college world series in 1986.

i've got my college world series ring safely put away.
 
B

BlueSycamore

Guest
I was in Springfield IL for that tourney also; remember the Sycamores had to beat SOUTHWEST Missouri State twice to advance and they did. Who was the pitcher that pitched the first game and then finished the 2nd one...........my memory fails me but it was a hell of an effort? Also was at Ann Arbor when the Sycamores advanced to the CWS although I never got to Omaha. Getting back...........................Meggs seems to be bringing in a lot of talent but not sure he is a "cold weather coach yet"?
 

IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
I remember when I was in school, the year that Wichita State won the NCAA Championship, and we beat them something like six times that year. It was ridiculous. Of course, I'd trade all those wins for the CWS trophy!!!

And yes, I think we can get back there. It won't be easy, and being a cold weather team we have difficulties that teams like Arizona can't even dream about, but it can be done. Get the right people in place, recruit the right players, and get the right resource commitment from the University, and we can make it go.

I've always thought that Sycamore Field has to be more a hinderance than a help when it comes to recruiting. Am I wrong on that???
 

True Blue

The All-MVC Level
Supporter
Meggs said on the Brian Dorsett show a month or so ago, that he feels at this time, confident enough to say that the bulldozers and wrecking balls will be coming into Sycamore Field after this season.
 

IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
Meggs said on the Brian Dorsett show a month or so ago, that he feels at this time, confident enough to say that the bulldozers and wrecking balls will be coming into Sycamore Field after this season.

That's great, but remember - this is ISU we're talking about. Once the bulldozers and wrecking balls get done, will they actually be replacing the old "stadium" (and I use that term loosely) with anything?:imslow:

I also remember the architect's model of the "new" ISU baseball stadium that Warn had in a coffee table in his office. If I recall correctly, wasn't that one of the inducements they used to keep him from going to Illinois back in the late 80's? (the actual stadium, not just the model...) As they say in Hollywood - GET IT IN WRITING!!!:beat:
 
B

Beav89

Guest
And yes, I think we can get back there. It won't be easy, and being a cold weather team we have difficulties that teams like Arizona can't even dream about, but it can be done. Get the right people in place, recruit the right players, and get the right resource commitment from the University, and we can make it go.

I would agree with Indy Tree Fan on this. I think my alma mater, Oregon State, and ISU have a lot in common where athletics are involved. When I started there in '84, it was the twilight tour of our basketball greatness and that was about it. And it was like that for another 15 years until the football team finally made a bowl game. There's the argument about "aren't we here for academics, not athletics?" And I could see that point back then. But, as OSU's athletic programs have turned themselves around and are recognized at a national level across multiple sports (e.g., football, baseball, gymnastics), I've taken the stance that it helps the university overall when you have success on the field and in the gym. Alumni donate more money due to pride, the school gets more PR (and hopefully more TV $$) and the resulting attention/funding help raise the academic stature at the same time. It's a great symbiotic relationship.

From the outside looking it, it appears that ISU is struggling with these issues now. In my opinion, the keys to turning around OSU's athletic programs were:

1. Hiring the right University President - OSU finally landed one in 1996 that understood how success in sports can contribute to the overall wellness of the school (thanks, Dr. Risser!). Our current president, Dr. Ray, came from Ohio State and has continued his strong support of the athletic programs .

2. Hiring the right Athletic Director - This person needs to have the long-term vision to find the right coaches and be an ace at fundraising for new facilities. (Yes, facilities DO help land the great recruits--we had to learn this the hard way after Uncle Phil came swooping in to UO to give them all of his Nike dollars.). Mitch Barnhart started off well enough that Kentucky hired him away in 2002, then Dr. Risser had the smarts to promote Bob De Carolis into his place. He's done a fantastic job in the last 6.5 years and, IMHO, Indiana had a HUGE brain fart in not hiring this guy for themselves this last summer. The entire Beaver Nation breathed a sigh of relief we didn't lose him.

3. Hire the RIGHT coaches and BE PATIENT - And they're not all the big name ones, either (yes, we had our Dennis Erickson and we got into the Fiesta Bowl, but we are now one of many of his former dates). To use the baseball program as an example, most of the nation may have thought that the Beavs had this meteoric rise out of nowhere to win back-to-back CWS titles in 2006 and 2007. Truth be told, Coach Casey had been at the helm 9 years by the time OSU made their first appearance since 1952 in 2005 (and promptly were eliminated 0-2). Casey came in and made the team competive in the Pac-10, but it still took nearly 10 years to get to Omaha.

4. Facilities DO make a difference. Obviously, with the football program's success, Reser Stadium is now competitive in the Pac-10. Goss Stadium (baseball) has also been nicely expanded and upgraded--but I wouldn't put it on the level as a Witchita State. Cold weather schools benefit greatly from excellent indoor facilities to practice during inclement weather (obviously).

5. Lastly, get the right student athletes. It would be great to constantly attract the 4-5 star recruits, but it is possible to build on strong in-state recruiting for players that have great base skills and are coachable. Plus, if you can find a few with that "x-factor" for leadership, all the better. That's what Coach Casey has done to build OSU's program and I feel the results speak for themselves.​

I'm hoping that Coach Meggs works out for ISU's baseball program. I see some things that he's doing that give me hope. Hopefully this mix of coaching staff will help give him some better results as well. A less difficult non-conference schedule may help build the confidence level of the guys that they can win and will carry that through to the MVC portion and on. Believe me, there would be nothing I would love to see more than ISU get into the regionals and the CWS. Once you'd had that taste, you want nothing more than to get back there the next year.

And if they were to end up playing the Beavers? Well, I'm already planning on how to try to support both, but I think ISU may have to win out. Blood is thicker than alumni associations, after all.

:sycamores::sycamores:
 
Top