At the first baseball dinner of the year Coach Graham said it was going to be a very interesting year. He wasn't kidding. This year has been a cardiac stress test for Rice baseball fans. We've had no idea what we were going to see when we got to the ballpark. If anyone had told us when the team was 8-7 we would be going to Omaha for the College World Series for the third time in three years, we wouldn't have believed them.
If you've guessed by now the Owls won their super regional against Texas A&M you'd be correct -- by the skin of their teeth.
Because Rice is a small university, baseball season ticket holders are like an extended family. You know the names of the fans sitting around you in your section and usually something about them and their family. You exchange email addresses and telephone numbers to keep in touch during the off season because you really do miss them when baseball season is over. You meet the players. You realize that Rice has successfully combined the student with the athlete. Listening to the team last night at the after game celebration was a joy. These are articulate young men who are a pleasure to be around no matter how much stress they've put us through.
Fans always have their favorite players. One player everyone has been rooting for is Jimmy Comerota. He started the year as our utility infielder. If someone needed a day off, Jimmy got to play. Our second baseman suffered a season ending injury and suddenly Jimmy became the starting second baseman. The fans watched Jimmy mature as a defensive and offensive player and (even Coach Graham agrees) one of the best second basemen in college baseball. To put the icing on the cake, Jimmy is also an excellent student. Go Jimmy Baseball!
No matter what may happen in Omaha in 2008, we are proud of our Owls. GO OWLS!