When you think of Georgia Tech, you think of academics. When you think of Georgia Tech sports, you think of the football team or the promising years that the men’s basketball team once had.
But very few think of Georgia Tech baseball, and that isn’t the way it should be.
Georgia Tech baseball has produced some excellent talent that has gone on to succeed at the next level and become stars on the biggest stage of them all. Most notably, Mark Teixeira, the two-time MLB All-Star and member of the 1990 World Series champion New York Yankees, graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Other notable MLB stars to make their way from Tech include Nomar Garciaparra, Matt Murton, Jay Payton, Matt Wieters, and Jason Varitek, whose number 33 is the only number retired at Georgia Tech.
But the Yellow Jackets haven’t only produced some of this generations best sluggers, they’ve managed to send some guys to the majors who can sling the ball from the hill as well. One pitcher from Georgia Tech that made it big and was successful in his career was Kevin Brown, who attended Georgia Tech for three years and went on to be drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1986.
Brown had solid career stats he played from 1986 all the way until 2005 posting a career 3.28 ERA with 211 wins just 144 loses over a span of 3,256+ IP. Brown won an impressive 21 games in 1992 with the Texas Rangers which was a career high for wins in a season for him.
James Richard “Jim” Poole could make a case for best left-hander to ever come out of Tech’s program. Poole was drafted in 1988 by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 9th round of the draft. Poole was able to play for nine teams throughout his 11 year career, appearing as a relief pitcher for his entire career, never making a start. In 431 games Poole went 22-12, with a career 4.31 ERA in 363 IP.
A lot of the success for both the Georgia Tech baseball program and some of the stars it has produced can go to coach Danny Hall, who has led the Diamond Jackets since 1994.
Since coming to Tech, Ford has led the Yellow Jackets to 579 wins, 13 years of NCAA regional play and three College World Series appearances in 1994, 2002, and 2006. Under Ford, the Jackets have regularly been in contention for the regular season and tournament ACC titles, winning each four and three times respectively.
While football and basketball seem to always be the money draws at a large university, the success that Tech’s baseball program has had cannot be overlooked.