Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Baseball

Winter 2011

A Coug’s Numbers, A Hollywood Story

By traditional baseball standards, Scott Hatteberg’s big league days were numbered.

He had been a Cougar standout, team captain, Most Valuable Player, and catcher for future All-Star Aaron Sele, with whom he went to the Red Sox in 1991. But in his fifth year in the majors he ruptured a nerve in his elbow. An operation left him unable to hold a baseball. In the words of Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, he was “a second string, washed up catcher.”

“I couldn’t throw as hard,” Hatteberg x’91 recalls. “My accuracy had gone. As a catcher, you lose … » More …

Fall 2010

Tools for training

Early one afternoon in June, former head football coach Jim Walden drops by the newly-renovated WSU Athletics weight room to check in on the project.

Just a few students are working out. However, Walden observes, the relative tranquility belies how active the room usually is in the fall when scores of athletes from a variety of sports are in for training.

When he ran the football program between 1978 and 1986, getting his team quality time in the weight room was a regular challenge. “Having coached my entire career, and college especially, time is of the importance to athletes,” said Walden. “They spend so … » More …

Fall 2003

Brayton has his day in the sun, as WSU retires his number

Dan Wodrich couldn’t attend Bobo Brayton’s banquet. He wanted to be there when Washington State University honored its winningest coach May 24 by retiring baseball jersey  no. 14. He played second base for Brayton in 1977-80, fulfilling a dream he had growing up in Kennewick. But on the day of the banquet, Wodrich, his wife, and three daughters were attending the funeral of a 13-year-old girl, a friend of the family.

Sometimes life throws you a curve.

Not one to let Brayton’s milestone pass without comment, Wodrich (’81 Mech. Engr., ’83 M.S. Mech. Engr.) sent a letter. Brayton shared parts of it with the 225 … » More …

Packin'

An Associated Press story published July 30, 2006, reproduced here by permission of the author.

SAN FRANCISCO—Shawn Green brings his own soap on every road trip. Mike Cameron never forgets his lavender linen spray and orange-scented spray for the room. Ichiro Suzuki depends on an electric massager that takes up nearly half his suitcase.

And then there’s Detroit closer Todd Jones, who wears only one pair of underwear when the Tigers leave town.

“I don’t pack any underwear,” he said. “I wear it into the park, it gets washed every day and I wear it out of the park. I guess that’s weird. I’m … » More …

Summer 2007

Baseball's my game

“Bobo’s my name, baseball’s my game,” says Frederick Charles “Bobo” Brayton as he sits down across from me. His face crinkles into a grin. “That’s what I tell everybody.”

At age 81, Brayton doesn’t appear intimidating–former Washington State University catcher Scott Hatteberg describes him as “a Yogi-Berra-type guy”–but Bobo’s career overwhelms me. Brayton won 1,162 games in his 33 years at WSU and was honored as the co-namesake of WSU’s baseball field.

Brayton played baseball with his father in Birdsview, Washington (near Mount Vernon), from the time he was eight years old–and not your everyday father-son game of catch. Dad pitched for a local team … » More …

Winter 2001

Mariner Mania

“You kinda have to pinch yourself every day.” —Alex Wood

EVERYONE LOVES A WINNER. Home attendance at Seattle’s 47,116-seat Safeco Field exceeded three million in 2001. Baseball fans arrived early. They came to watch batting practice, seek player autographs, and purchase souvenirs.

Mariner victories came at a pace seldom seen in the history of America’s pastime. Fifteen wins in a row at one stretch. Into September, the Mariners hadn’t lost more than two games in succession. A new hero surfaced every game. Ichiro, Bell, Boone, Martinez, McLemore, Olerud, Cameron, Garcia, Sele, and Sasaki.

Baseball All-Americans Aaron Sele and John Olerud were Washington State University … » More …

Spring 2006

Kelly Smith

You don’t want to be around him when he loses…

Kelly Smith harbors such desire to win, that the coach gets testy for days before an ordinary baseball game. From the first pitch to the last, he’s usually demonstrative, typically pessimistic, and occasionally combative. Along the baseline, his eyes seem to radiate heat while his mouth hurls verbal spears.

If you only encountered Smith at the ballpark, you might see why he playfully describes his diamond demeanor with a term that won’t appear in this article.

“I think ‘intense’ is a nicer term,” offered Smith (’80 Ed., Soc. Stud.), a former Cougar star who became … » More …

Fall 2008

Dave Edler – “A real tough kid”

During his years as a Cougar baseball player, Dave Edler got chewed out many times by Bobo Brayton for his wild and headstrong ways. Once, Brayton caught his young star using marijuana. Edler told the coach that his father didn’t mind.

“We’ll see,” Brayton said, and phoned Edler’s father in Yakima. That resulted in “the fastest trip a guy ever took to Pullman from Yakima,” Brayton recently recalled with a laugh.

Edler left WSU in 1978, a few credits short of graduation, when he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners. He says he learned lots of lessons from the legendary coach, among them that “the … » More …

Spring 2002

Mooney banking on improved pitching

Good pitching is like money in the bank. It’s there when you need it, and it can carry you over the rough spots.

That’s the philosophy of Washington State University baseball coach Tim Mooney.

Last season, Mooney’s first at WSU, quality pitching was thin, particularly in the tough Pacific-10 Conference where teams typically play three games in three days. Too often, he was forced to remove his starting pitcher as early as the second, third, or fourth inning of a game and bring in a succession of other arms. That’s no way to succeed, he says. If a starting pitcher can go seven innings “that’s … » More …