Jan. 23, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -
In just over three weeks, the first pitch of Stanford's 2013 baseball campaign will be thrown at Rice on Feb. 15. This will be the program's 119th season as head coach Mark Marquess enters his 37th season at the Cardinal helm.
Stanford will hold its Cardinal & White Intersquad Scrimmage at Sunken Diamond at 1 p.m. (PT) on Saturday, Feb. 9. Fans will get a sneak peek at the 2013 squad and will have first dibs on a number of free giveaways including schedule posters, cards and magnets. Admission to the event is free.
The 29th annual Hot Stove Banquet returned to the San Jose Elks Club last night to honor Santa Clara County baseball players from the youth level to the professional ranks, as well as other individuals from the area who have contributed to the game.
Master of ceremonies Ted Robinson, who for 13 years was the radio voice of Stanford football, began the evening with a quick Q-and-A with each of the head coaches from San Jose State, Santa Clara and Stanford. When introducing Marquess, Robinson simply said "And next, the man who needs no introduction."
Marquess gave a quick preview of the upcoming season and gave note to the rising parity in the college game. "There used to be only a few teams you'd expect to compete for the national championship every season," Marquess said. "Now there can be 40 or 50 teams you can't write off."
Marquess spoke highly of longtime San Jose State head coach Sam Piraro, who was presented by the Hot Stove committee its Lifetime Achievement Award. "If I had a son, I'd want him to play baseball for Sam Piraro," Marquess told the crowd.
Topping the list of award winners was Los Gatos native Kevin Frandsen of the Philadelphia Phillies, who took home the Major League Player of the Year award.
Mark Appel was named College Player of the Year. Former Cardinals Eric Davis (Minor League Pitcher of the Year) and Eric Smith (Minor League Catcher of the Year) also copped hardware.
Standing before a packed house of players, fans and baseball executives, the well-spoken Appel genuinely thanked his family and gave praise to the Cardinal coaching staff in attendance after accepting his award.
A number of people with Stanford connections filled the crowd at the Hot Stove Banquet, including Tom Dunton (former Stanford pitching coach) and Bob Rose (Stanford baseball sports information director from 1979-82 and current director of media relations for the Oakland Athletics).
We knew you wanted more Hot Stove news. But this nugget comes from across the country.
The Seacoast Mavericks will hold its inaugural Hot Stove Banquet more than a few miles down the road from the Bay Area in Portsmouth, N.H.
Scratching your head?
Two-time Stanford All-American and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld will be one of the guests of honor at Friday's banquet. Fuld starred during his prep years at New Hampshire's Phillips Exeter Academy.
The Durham, N.C., native will be joined on the dais by Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The two players share an agent - Durham native Jim Munsey - and both recently signed one-year contracts with their respective clubs.
"We started to kick around the idea of hosting our own Hot Stove dinner," Seacoast Mavericks president Mike Daboul said. "Part of the process was always to include Sam Fuld. That's always been a no-brainer."
Stanford was ranked by Perfect Game in its preseason top 25 poll as the nation's No. 4 squad. North Carolina was the poll's top-ranked team in front of Arkansas, Vanderbilt and the Cardinal. LSU rounded out the top five.
Perfect Game's poll featured eight Southeastern Conference teams and six squads from the Pac-12.
Perfect Game rolled out its list of preseason All-Americans which included a trio of Cardinal on its first team, the most of any school in the nation. Appel was joined on the first team by first baseman Brian Ragira and outfielder Austin Wilson.
A dozen Pac-12 baseball players were named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America Team, including Appel (first team), Wilson (second team), Ragira (third team) and Alex Blandino (third team).
Of the seven pitchers on the first team, four hailed from Pac-12 schools. The league's five first-team selections overall were the most of any conference. Stanford led the Pac-12 with four preseason All-Americans.
Appel earned similar preseason praise from the Nation College Baseball Writers Association.
Six Pac-12 baseball teams were ranked in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 Division I preseason poll with four schools cracking the top 10. The Pac-12's six representatives in the top 20 are tied with the SEC for the most by any conference.
UCLA, the Pac-12 co-champion and College World Series participant in 2012, checked in at No. 5 in the poll, followed by No. 6 Oregon and No. 9 Stanford.
Is the Appel family planning a reunion for the season-opening series at Rice? A number of Mark Appel's family members attended Rice, including his uncle, John Casbarian, who is the dean of Rice's architecture school.
Appel was born and raised in Houston but moved to the Bay Area when he was 12.
Stanford landed the nation's sixth-best recruiting class, according to Collegiate Baseball's annual evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes.
Vanderbilt topped the poll with No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Clemson ranked ahead of the Cardinal.
The rankings are based on players who enroll at school each fall. Athletes who initially signed with a school and then signed a pro contract after being drafted do not count in the overall evaluation.
Senior pitcher Sahil Bloom has plenty on his plate this spring as he wraps up his collegiate career on The Farm. Always striving to be an ace in the classroom as well, Bloom is a double major in sociology and economics. The pursuit of academic excellence has been part of Bloom's upbringing, as his father, David, is a professor at Harvard.
Last summer, Bloom worked on a private consulting project for Nike while examining obesity trends in the United States.
P.S. Bloom is also pursuing a master's degree in public policy.
P.P.S. Bloom's public policy advisor is former U.S. Secretary of State and current Stanford professor Condoleezza Rice.
"In baseball, you hit your home run over the right field fence, the left field fence and the center field fence. Nobody cares. In golf, everything has to be over second base."
- Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken Harrelson
You could say that former Stanford player John Navarro ('89) is pretty good at hitting over second base.
Good enough for a hole-in-one.
All in a stretch of 75 days.
The Edmond, Okla., anesthesiologist had carried a low handicap since he got serious about golf in his early 20s, but had never experienced the thrill of a hole-in-one.
That is, until last Sept. 23.
Then again 57 days later.
Then for a third time on Dec. 7, 18 days from his second and 75 from the first.
Navarro played most of his golf at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond since moving from California in 2003.
However, Navarro has followed each ace with a double bogey.
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