The views of the author are not necessarily the views of AllOnGeorgia.
College baseball doesn’t get the attention that college football and college basketball do.
In the last several years, it has gained more attention than it did back in the 1980s and 1990s from the television folks with so many channels nowadays dedicated to sports coverage all the time.
But there was once a time when the only college baseball games that were on television were the ones that occurred in Omaha at the College World Series when ESPN broadcast the tournament.
It was really the TV coverage of the CWS that introduced me to the college game.
This is how I learned about national powers such as Florida State in their all-yellow uniforms, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Miami, Cal-State Fullerton, Arizona and Stanford to name just a few.
The CWS was where I first heard of college stars who eventually became major leaguers such as Robin Ventura, Pete Incaviglia, Will Clark and Oddibe McDowell.
The CWS also introduced me to some of the game’s legendary coaches including Rod Dedeaux, Ron Frasier, Mark Martin, Ron Polk and Augie Garrido.
Of course, I still remember some of the legendary moments in CWS history such as the Warren Morris walk-off home run that sent LSU to an 8-7 national title-clinching victory over Miami in 1996.
In 1990, I watched the Georgia Bulldogs’ win over almighty Oklahoma State as Stan Payne and Dave Fleming pitched the Dogs to a 2-1 victory over the explosive Cowboys for the national championship.
All of these memories were made at old Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha which held the CWS until it was moved to the new TD Ameritrade Park which opened in 2011.
This weekend, another College World Series will start to unfold in Omaha. This edition will include three SEC teams – defending national champion Florida, Arkansas and the upstart Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Unfortunately, the Georgia Bulldogs won’t be there as the Dawgs were bounced from their home regional by Duke two weeks ago, despite being a top eight national seed.
Each June, all these memories of the CWS come to mind. It’s one of my favorite sporting events on the summer calendar.
It used to be on my bucket list also, but I scratched it off the list back in 2002 when a group of us made the trip to Omaha and took in every game played that year.
It was a really fun week as we ate plenty of steak, tailgated with some locals that we met and made the short trip into Iowa to do a little gambling at one of the local casinos.
We also befriended a security guard who patrolled the outfielder bleachers and paid him for his Rosenblatt secuity T-shirts and ballcaps after the final game.
The only disappointing thing, really, was that the Georgia Bulldogs lost their first two games and were eliminated before we really knew our way around town.
It was just ironic that Georgia was even there as we were going that summer regardless.
It was also just ironic that one guy in our travelling party liked Miami and the Hurricanes toppled Stanford in the championship game that season so he was happy about that.
Miami won’t be there this year nor will Stanford which like Georgia was beaten in its own home regional on the NCAA tournament’s opening weekend.
North Carolina will be there to represent the ACC. Washington, which will be in Omaha for the first time, will be there from the Pac-12 along with Oregon State. Texas will be there from the Big 12 along with Texas Tech.
And again, ESPN will be there to cover it.
Should be a good time.