A good day for Wichita State fans, and one of KU's own joins the Hall. The Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame announced their 2008 inductees:
Joe Carter (Wichita State alumni, MLB 1983-1998)
Phil Stephenson (Maybe the single greatest player in Wichita State history.)
Brian Holman (MLB Pitcher, 1988-91, 1st round draft choice out of Wichita North H.S.)
Bill James (GO LAWRENCE! GO KU! James helped shape the field of sabermetrics.)
The induction ceremony will be on Saturday, February 16th. Here is a link to the KBHOF site with more information: link.
Bill James attended KU for four years but left without a degree to join the army in 1971. I'd love it if the university awarded him an honorary degree (if they haven't already). James is certainly one of the most influential baseball writers of all time. In the 1970's he almost single-handedly started a movement that allowed fans of the game to follow their hobby into even deeper layers of unhealthy obsession.
Over the last few years KU has fielded teams roughly equal to those of Wichita State. Historically this has not been the case. The Shockers have a tradition of great college baseball now stretching back generations. Year in and year out they compete for the national championship and produce widely sought-after professional talent. Wichita State has a special program and we are lucky to have such a strong in-state rival.
I am very optimistic about KU this year. KSU also looks strong coming into 2008. There is a very good chance that three Kansas schools will make the NCAA tournament in June.