2010 College World Series: Each School’s Most Famous Active Alumni
So, which remaining College World Series teams have the most famous baseball alums?
Only eight teams remain (actually, now officially seven due to Florida falling to Florida State on June 21 in Omaha), and today we’re going to take a look at the best—at least in my opinion—former college athlete who excelled in America’s Pastime upon being drafted to play in the pros.
Keep in mind that I will only be doing power ranking for MLB players who are still active in the majors.
Let’s begin at No. 8 with Texas Christian University…
8. TCU—Lance Broadway
Texas Christian University is absolutely No. 8 on this College World Series Famous Baseball Alums piece.
And that’s nothing against TCU.
I also understand if you’ve never heard of Lance Broadway.
However, TCU alum Broadway is an active pitcher currently playing in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
The right-handed pitcher has career numbers of a 5.24 ERA with 39 strikeout through three years (27 games) in the majors.
Spending time with the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets, Broadway—who was born in Bryan, Texas and graduated from Grand Prairie High School—had a 6.75 ERA, a 1-1 overall record, and two strikeouts in Spring Training with the Blue Jays.
Currently playing with Toronto’s Triple-A team, Broadway holds a 2-6 record with a 6.69 ERA through 15 games (11 starts).
7. South Carolina—Adam Everett
South Carolina alum Adam Everett, currently playing with the Detroit Tigers, has a career batting average of .243—with his best season coming in 2004 with the Houston Astros when he had a .273 batting average—through 10 seasons and counting.
Everett, who originally went to North Carolina for college before transferring to South Carolina, is batting .185 in 2010 with the Tigers.
His highest hits total in the majors came in 2005 with the Astros—the same season Houston made their first ever World Series trip—when Everett belted 136 hits, with 54 runs batted in, 27 doubles, 11 home runs, and two triples (along with 26 walks and 21 stolen bases).
6. Clemson—Kris Benson
Kris Benson, a Clemson University alum, is entering his ninth year in Major League Baseball.
And with a career ERA of 4.42, 806 strikeouts, and an overall record of 70-75, Benson has had some solid seasons in the majors.
Benson’s best numbers—in terms of earned runs—came in 2000 when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, garnering a 3.85 ERA in 32 games (all starts).
Currently, Benson holds a 5.14 ERA with a 1-1 record (through three games started) with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
5. Oklahoma—Greg Dobbs
Oklahoma alum Greg Dobbs, currently playing with the Philadelphia Phillies, has a career batting average of .263 through seven seasons and counting.
Dobbs’ most productive season came in 2007 and 2008 with Philadelphia—batting .272 with 55 runs batted in, 20 doubles, 10 home runs, and four triples in 2007, to batting .301 with 40 RBIs, 14 doubles, nine homers, and one triple in 2008.
In 2010, Dobbs has garnered a .152 batting average (through 42 games) with the Phillies.
But he’s still worthy of a No. 5 selection—at least in my opinion—on this list.
4. Florida State—J.D. Drew
J.D. Drew, a Florida State alum, is currently in his 13th season in the majors.
And he has every right to claim a spot in the top four of this list, boasting a career batting average of .283 with 1,322 hits, 260 doubles, and 224 home runs—and counting—as a right fielder on his fourth MLB team.
Drew’s most productive season came in 2004 when he was playing with the Atlanta Braves—a team he spent only one year with—batting .305 with 118 walks, 93 runs batted in, 31 home runs, 28 doubles, and eight triples.
An All-Star selection in 2008 with the Red Sox, Drew is batting .276 with 37 RBIs, 30 walks, 17 doubles, and eight home runs (through 65 games) in 2010 with Boston.
3. Florida—David Eckstein
After dropping an 8-5 decision to the intrastate rival Florida State Seminoles, the Florida Gators have taken an early exit from Omaha.
But that doesn’t mean they’re No. 8 on this list.
In fact, the Gators rank No. 3 on my personal list of the eight remaining team’s famous baseball alums.
David Eckstein, a Florida alum, holds a career batting average of .282 through 10 seasons and counting in the majors.
Eckstein also has 1,368 hits and 227 doubles in a career that spans five teams—and both the American and National League.
A two-time All-Star, Eckstein’s most productive season came in 2005 with the St. Louis Cardinals—with the shortstop batting .294 with 61 RBIs, 26 doubles, eight home runs, and seven triples (along with 58 walks and 11 stolen bases).
In 2010 as a member of the San Diego Padres, Eckstein is batting .279 with 20 RBIs, 18 doubles, and a homer.
2. Arizona State—Ian Kinsler
Arizona State Sun Devils alum Ian Kinsler (yes, I know Barry Bonds attended there as well—but he also used steroids and is no longer an active player) holds a career batting average of .279 as he enters his fifth season in the majors.
Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 17th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, Kinsler appears to be a diamond-in-the-ruff selection.
Kinsler’s most productive seasons came in 2008 (selected as an All-Star) and 2009—with the Rangers second baseman batting .319 with 71 runs batted in, 41 doubles, 18 home runs, and four triples in 2008, followed by batting .253 with 86 RBIs, 32 doubles, 31 homers, 31 stolen bases, and four triples in 2009.
In 2010, Kinsler is batting .273 with 17 RBIs, 10 doubles, and a home run (through 46 games) with the Texas Rangers.
But he’s also only a 28-year-old athlete with many, many years left in the tank.
1. UCLA—Chase Utley
UCLA alum Chase Utley is my personal No. 1 on the all-time list of famous baseball players who are actively playing in the majors.
Utley, entering his eighth straight season with the Philadelphia Phillies, has a career batting average of .294 with 1,042 hits and 230 doubles.
A four-time All-Star, Utley’s most productive seasons came from 2005 through 2008—with the infielder driving in over 100 runs every year during that stretch—and his best season, in terms of batting average, came in 2007 when he batted .332 (through 132 games).
Consistently taking care of business both offensively and defensively—and arguably one of the toughest players in MLB—Utley is an absolute stud.
In 2010, Utley is batting .267 with 38 walks, 33 RBIs, 13 doubles, 11 home runs, and two triples with the Phillies.
And with a foursome of All-Star selections along with Silver Slugger awards, Utley is definitely the No. 1 in terms of famous college alums making it big-time in the majors.
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org