Former major league stars Paul Molitor and Joe Carter served as honorary hitting coaches at the College Home Run Derby on Saturday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
Both played a part in one of the most famous home runs in baseball history — Carter's three-run, walk-off homer to win the 1993 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Molitor, a Hall of Fame member who had joined Toronto that season, was on first base when Carter homered off Philadelphia's Mitch Williams. The blast delivered an 8-6 win in Game 6 as Toronto won its second straight championship.
“I kid Joe that I hit only a single, so I gave him the opportunity,” Molitor said. “Plus, there's the fact that his run really didn't matter. I was the winning run.”
Molitor wasn't completely overlooked in the Jays' win. He was named World Series MVP after hitting .500 with eight RBIs.
2010 champion's roommate hits three
Dylan Pratt didn't get any home run magic to rub off from last year's winner, who happens to be his former roommate.
Pratt, a junior outfielder from East Tennessee State, lived with 2010 champion Paul Hoilman. Pratt hit three home runs in the first two rounds and did not make the finals.
Plunking doesn't help Shribman
Doug Shribman's struggles called for desperate measures from his pitcher, Bucknell teammate Robb Scott.
Late in the second round, Shribman had not hit a homer, so Scott used some tough love to try to snap his teammate out of the funk. One of Scott's inside pitches softly tagged a surprised Shribman on the shoulder.
“He was struggling, and I thought if I hit him, it might help him out,” Scott said. “If he'd started hitting them out, it would've been a great move.”
But Shribman did not hit a homer.
Molitor praises new stadium
Carter and Molitor had All-America careers, with Molitor helping Minnesota advance to the College World Series in 1977.
Molitor's playing days in Omaha came at Rosenblatt Stadium. He said he agreed with the decision to build a new ballpark. He praised the aesthetics of TD Ameritrade Park.
“It makes a lot of sense,” Molitor said. “Rosenblatt had its place for a lot of years, but it's time to build new traditions in a beautiful new park.”
Carter missed the CWS by one year at Wichita State. He left WSU after his junior season in 1981, when he was the national player of the year and was the second overall draft pick by the Chicago Cubs.
The following season, the Shockers made it to Omaha, losing in the final to the Miami Hurricanes.
“They came in second in 1982, the year after I left, so I was the reason for holding them back,” Carter said, joking. “This is the epitome of all college baseball — to come here and play in the College World Series.”
Biggest action: engagement scene
With only 27 homers, one of the night's loudest cheers came when a couple got engaged during a proposal shown on the videoboard.
— Jeff Sheldon