May 1, 2008
Clemson, SC – Clemson’s 1958 College World Series team will celebrate its 50-year anniversary on Saturday prior to the Clemson vs. Florida State. The 7:00 PM game will be the first of a three-game series between the Tigers and Seminoles. Tickets are available for all three games at Kingsmore Stadium. The games on Saturday and Sunday will be played at 7:00 PM, and the Monday contest will start at 4:00 PM.
Clemson’s 1958 team was the first in school history to reach the College World Series. The Tigers had finished 6-12 overall and just 3-11 in the ACC the previous year. Bill Wilhelm, took over for the 1958 season and led the squad to a 22-8 overall record and a 12-3 mark in ACC play. The 1958 team not only won the NCAA District Tournament in Gastonia in thrilling fashion with two wins over Florida on the final day, it also won the ACC Championship in a one-game playoff victory against North Carolina.
Clemson took 20 players, coaches and administrators to Omaha that year and 16 are still alive. All 16 of those men are scheduled to be at Clemson on Saturday for the reunion. The players and coaches will be introduced prior to the game and will then go to the positions they played in 1958 to stand with current Clemson team members for the playing of the National Anthem.
Among the players who will be on hand are top pitcher Harold Stowe and leading hitters Bailey Hendley and Bud Spiers. Stowe won 14 of Clemson’s 22 team victories that year, still the highest percentage of victories by one pitcher in school history. He led the nation in wins and strikeouts that year. Hendley batted .333 and Spiers hit .325 to lead the Tiger position players that season. Spiers son Bill went on to be an All-American at Clemson, and his son Michael was the MVP of the ACC Tournament in 1991.
“This is a group of men who played such a big part in the heritage of this program,” said Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett. “We talk about our tradition of going to Omaha 11 times when we are selling our program to prospects. This team set the standard, they were the first Clemson team to go to the College World Series and it will be an honor to have them at Clemson this weekend.”
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