While former Boston Red Sox great Jim Rice and all-time stolen base and run scoring leader Ricky Henderson were the star attractions this past weekend when they were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Mount Olive College baseball team beat Rice and Henderson to Cooperstown.
A Mount Olive baseball cap and a photo of the players posing with the 2008 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship trophy are on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. The Trojans’ display is part of the Hall of Fame’s Amateur Baseball Exhibit, which recognizes annual champions in 13 amateur categories, including NCAA, junior college, American Legion and Little League levels.
Mount Olive’s display, along with those of the other 2008 national champions, went on exhibit in the Hall of Fame in May. They will remain on exhibit until early 2010.
“We’re excited to honor the Trojans as the 2008 NCAA Division II champions in our Amateur Baseball exhibit case,” said John O’Dell, curator of history and research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Over 330,000 baseball fans will be able to view Mount Olive’s impressive accomplishment.”
Mount Olive posted a 58-6 record in 2008 and captured the school’s first national championship in any sport. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the national polls for the final three months of the season. Mount Olive won the Conference Carolinas championship and then claimed the Division II South Atlantic Regional title to earn its first trip to the national finals. A five-run first inning set the tone as Mount Olive defeated Ouachita Baptist, 6-2, to claim the Division II title.
“It is an honor to have Mount Olive College baseball represented in the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Mount Olive AD Jeff Eisen. “Having our national championship team’s achievements being celebrated alongside the baseball greats of all-time is a quite a tribute to our team’s accomplishments.”
-Mount Olive Sports Information Director David Shulimson
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association