Monday, June 7, 2010

Honoring John Wooden, UCLA baseball style

Every time you hear one of John Wooden's ex-players talk about their coach, the last thing that talk about is basketball...first they talk about John Wooden the man, and how the ex-UCLA coach made them men first, and basketball players later.

In honor of perhaps the greatest teacher of young student athletes in the past 50 years, we look at some of the men of UCLA baseball...form Westwood to the Big Leagues...

Marv Gudat...1924-28...the first Bruin player to make it to the Big Leagues, in 1929, with the Cincinnati Reds, were he was 1-1, with a 3.37 era

Jack Roosevelt Robinson...1940...easily the most famous Bruin baseball player of All-Time, Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, becoming the first African-American to play in the majors in baseball's modern era, debuting on April 15th. In 10 big league seasons with the Dodgers Jackie Robinson batted .311, with 137 HR's, 734 rbi. Jackie won the 1947 Rookie of the Year, won the 1949 N.L. MVP Award, and was a member of the Dodgers World Series championship team in 1955.

Dr. Bobby Brown...1944...the former American League President won 4 World Series titles with the New York Yankees, in 1947, 49, 50, 51. 

Chris Chambliss...1969...Chambliss made his debut in the majors with the Cleveland Indians in 1971, and was the first baseman for 2 World Series New York Yankee teams in 1977, 78.

Don Slaught...1977, 79,80...a terrific defensive catcher with the Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, and San Diego Padres.

Mike Gallego...1979-81... a good second baseman, Gallego played on the 1990 World Series Champion Oakland A's.

Todd 16 years Zeile played in 2,151 games at catcher, first base, 3rd base, left field, and two games as a pitcher, for the Colorado Rockies in 2002, and the Mets in 2004.

Jeff Conine...1985-86-87..."Mr. Marlin"...was the nickname given to Conine by the fans of the Florida Marlins, where Conine was loved by fans of south Florida. Conine was a member of both Marlin World Series teams, in 1997, and 2003.

Eric Karros...1986-88...Karros was the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1992 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Karros played 12 of his 14 big league season with the Dodgers.

Troy 12 big league seasons, Glaus has 1,276 hits, and was a member of the 2002 World Series Champion Anaheim Angels.

Chase Utley...1999-2000..a member of the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, Utley has 161 home runs and 585 rbi in 7 big league seasons.
So, there are just a few UCLA Bruins that have made it to the Big Leagues...pretty darn good isn't it...I'm sure Coach Wooden would agree.

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