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Baseball
Kelly Whiteside
June 20, 1994
A '50s Flavor
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June 20, 1994

Baseball

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He had 22 winning seasons in a 23-year career at Arizona State, compiling a 1,100-440 record. His teams made 13 trips to the College World Series, advanced to the title game six times and won two national championships. He is the only coach with national titles on the Division I, junior college and American Legion levels.

This year, in which the Sun Devils went 43-16 during the regular season, a blue-cushioned theater chair was installed in the dugout at Packard Stadium to help ease Brock's discomfort. On the road he coached from a lawn chair. After Brock returned to Tempe from Omaha, the Sun Devils set up his lawn chair in the dugout for each game.

One day at practice last month Brock told a reporter from The Arizona Republic, "The thing that scares the living hell out of me is what will happen to me if I can't coach." He stopped talking in the middle of the emotional interview when he noticed two Sun Devil players lollygagging when they were supposed to be running laps. He sent the two players home. Typical Brock.

Ask any of his 64 players who went on to play in the major leagues—ask Barry Bonds or Hubie Brooks or Pat Listach—or any of the hundreds of other players he coached, and the stories will be the same. There was the time he got so mad after one loss that he walked home, a four-mile trip, still in his uniform. And the time at practice when he stood on home plate with a scowl and a stopwatch, ready to run his team after a disappointing game the day before.

"Baseball is what kept him going," said Delnoce.

Short Hops

In the sixth inning of Saturday's title game, Oklahoma DH Damon Minor, the twin brother of Sooner first baseman Ryan Minor, hit a home run that cleared Rosenblatt's rightfield bleachers. Just beyond the bleachers is the Henry Doorly Zoo, and unreliable sources said the 400-foot shot landed between the cages of the pygmy hippos and the spider monkeys. "I think I might have killed a gorilla," quipped D. Minor of his King Kong blast....

Fourteen of the 22 runs Georgia Tech scored in Omaha came on home runs, with Nomar Garciaparra's game-winner against Fullerton being the most notable. Nomar also had the most notable name of the series, with Oklahoma reliever Bucky Buckles running a close second. Why Nomar? "It's my dad's name spelled backwards," he said....

If you're hanging on the edge of a cliff by a rope, whom would you want holding the other end? That's what Oklahoma coaches asked their players on the first day of the season. The correct answer: Any player on the team. "Twenty-five guys pulling on the same rope" became the Sooners' motto, and they kept a white rope with a splash of red paint in the middle in their dugout all season....

Just as a few coaches stole the spotlight from their players during the NCAA basketball tournament this spring, Florida State coach Mike Martin spoke out once too often at the series. "Nobody in Nebraska has ever yelled for us," Martin said after the Seminoles' first game. "I thought this was supposed to be a neutral site." After that comment the site was anything but neutral for FSU. Martin was roundly booed, and fans held up signs like the one that read WIN A FREE SHOPPING TRIP AT FOOT LOCKER, with a bull's-eye painted underneath. The sign referred to recent revelations that Seminole football players enjoyed a free shopping spree at a Tallahassee Foot Locker (SI, May 16), in violation of NCAA rules....

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