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Baseball fever in the air

When it comes to Fresno State sports, there hasn’t been a whole lot to be excited about of late.

It’s not exactly a great vibe setter, but make no mistake, this is a glass half-full kind story. Most people don’t realize that perhaps the most prestigious, tradition-filled program on campus is the Fresno State baseball team.

Juan Villa / The Collegian
The 2007 Fresno State baseball team will officially take the field for the first time this season against the Fresno State Alumni team. World Series winner Jeff Weaver is among the guests for the game.

That my friends, is exciting.

And those who do know and appreciate the history of the team will be given yet another treat this Saturday for the annual Fresno State Alumni game, which features former Bulldogs players who are either in the major or minor leagues. Yes, that includes Jeff Weaver, Matt Garza and many of the remaining greats whose presence was appreciated during their Bulldogs tenure — excluding the ones whose age has become an excuse for a lack of athleticism.

Either that or the ol’ beer belly is preventing the glove from scooping up a routine ground ball. It happens more often than you’d think.

That’s why they have the old timers game, which preempts the feature presentation. Of course, that is only in the event you feel like watching some aging “ball players,” if you can call them that anymore,
But perhaps the most persuasive aspect for the appeal of the game is amount of pride and love for the Bulldogs that is displayed by all who attend.

There are many standing ovations to be had and many high-fives to be exchanged between all who attend, fans included. Even fans who are still frowning from the after-effects of a 4-8 football season can find some relief in watching the 2007 Diamond Dogs take the field against all of the legends that have graced Beiden Field in years past.

Three of those greats will be honored prior to the game. Former Bulldogs Truman “Tex” Clevenger, Jimy Williams and Terry Pendleton will all be recognized by the university prior to the alumni game.

Last but not least, there is the opportunity to see the defending WAC champion Bulldogs, who are led by preseason player of the year Ozzie Lewis, who joins another talented group headed by coach Mike Batesole.

You’ll have to excuse the love fest for the wonderful event that is Fresno State baseball, but it is after all the greatest sport around, and what better way to watch it than to have Bulldogs on all sides.