Shortly after South Carolina’s Super Regional win to earn its third straight trip to the College World Series in Omaha, I wrote the following:
Michael Roth, Matt Price, Evan Marzilli, and Christian Walker have all been indispensable parts of the two National Championship teams and the current CWS team. And as those four threw their last pitches and took their last swings at Carolina Stadium, they received well-deserved standing ovations and one absolutely necessary curtain call for Roth.
Win or lose in Omaha over the next two weeks, we know there will be a statue someday for the architect of all this success, Ray Tanner.
But as we watched 29, 22, 31 and 13 participate in one final dogpile in Columbia, it got me to thinking – do they deserve more?
I’m not talking about retiring numbers, I don’t really believe in that practice except in extraordinary circumstances (see Steve Wadiak and George Rogers).
But how about a mural? What better way to honor the cornerstones of our two (and maybe three) time National Champions by permanently putting their faces at the entrance to Carolina Stadium?
Or even better, put their faces on the outfield walls. Even if you just put them up for the next 2-3 years, the fans would have a reminder of the monumental accomplishments of these guys. Plus, if you want to intimidate the competition, the steely eyed stare of Matt Price, even in mural form, couldn’t hurt.
A standing ovation and a place in the historical record is nice, but these four deserve more. They have helped make South Carolina the current gold standard in college baseball, and put us historically in the conversation with legendary programs Southern California, Texas and LSU.
They are special players, and should be remembered in a special way.
Now, today, after a tough loss to an excellent Arizona team ended the dreams of the third straight national title, I feel more strongly about this than ever.
We have heard the amazing stats and numbers over the course of the last two weeks. There are multiple records our boys set, many of which may never be broken. And the four guys mentioned above were major contributors to what is easily the greatest run of any Gamecock team in history.
Email associate AD Charles Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think Roth, Price, Walker and Marzilli deserve a permanent place at Carolina Stadium. I sure do.