Major League Baseball’s ‘Home Run King’, Barry Bonds, is one of four former ASU baseball players voted onto the College World Series Legends Team.
The selection of the Legends Team is part of the commemoration of the final College World Series games to be played in Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The CWS has been held at that venue for the past 60 years.
The ‘Blatt’, as the stadium is called by the localites, is scheduled to be razed and another larger, more modern stadium built to be able to continuing hosting the CWS and serving as home to Omaha’s AAA baseball team. The Blatt, which seats 24,000, was built in 1947 and has been the home of the CWS since 1950. The latest 5-year contract with the NCAA expires this year.
The NCAA, working with College World Series Inc., sifted through a list of 95 nominees to select the final 28 members of the commemorative team. Fans, college baseball writers, and D-I head coaches cast more than 100,000 votes to arrive at the final selections.
In addition to Bonds, who played at ASU from 1983-85, there were three other former ASU players included in the final roster. They included Eddie Bane, Sal Bando, and Bob Horner.
Voting for the team was based solely on the player’s performance during CWS games, which means they had to have played for a nationally-prominent program just to get to the World Series. ASU has been there 21 times and won five national championships.
And recruiting players of this caliber is what got the Sun Devils to Omaha so many times.
Bonds played in the CWS in 1983 and 1984, setting a Series record by getting a hit in seven consecutive at-bats. He earned All-Team honors both years and had his number retired by the school in 1993.
Bando’s ASU career stretches back further into the archives, as he went to the CWS both years he played at ASU, 1964 and 1965. He was the Most Outstanding Player in ’65, which was the first year ASU won a national championship. His number was also retired, three years after Bonds’ ceremony.
Bane and Horner played at ASU during the seventies. Bane pitched in the 1972 and 1973 CWS and is ASU’s all-time strike-out leader – and the only Sun Devil pitcher to throw a perfect game. Horner got three trips to Omaha and one of those culminated in the 1977 national title. He is the first-ever Golden Spikes Award winner (1978) and had his number retired in 1996, the same year as Bando.
The members of the Legends Team have been invited to attend the final series at Rosenblatt and will be formally honored during the June 18 opening ceremonies.
The NCAA has gone the extra mile on this one. A mock baseball card has been designed for each of the 28 players, using their collegiate photos.
Want one? They’ll be posted at NCAA.com/cws.