HOW TO BE – Mississippi State Bulldogs Baseball Fan

We’re in “Stark Vegas” in today’s episode. Time to “take me out to the ballgame”,
Hail State style! Come on, I NEED SOME MORE COWBELL! Hey welcome to Lurks Lessons, a monthly channel where I explain what you need to to know in becoming a sports fan of a professional or a collegiate team. So if you’re new here, please consider subscribing by clicking the button below. So you find yourself taking a break from reading
your favorite John Grisham novel and you discover that the author is a graduate from Mississippi State. You also discover that he is a fan of baseball and as a proud alum, attends
a game every year when he can. Low and behold, you’re hooked just like any great Grisham story, and you now want to “ring true” as well. My name is Jeff Loehrke and here’s what
you need to know in How To Be a Mississippi State Bulldogs Fan. Located in Starkville, MS, the Bulldogs play in the South Eastern Conference,
or the SEC along with 13 other teams. Their division is the West Division and their colors are maroon and white. Playing ball since 1885, the school’s team has achieved quite
a bit of accomplishments. 10 College World Series appearances, 17 Conference Championships which 11 of those are in the SEC. 6 SEC Tournament Crowns and 36 NCAA Tournament appearances. For the student athletes, 61 All-Americans, 14 1st round draft picks going to the Big Leagues backed with 58 Alumni having played in the MLB! Fun fact: Ever wondered why the schools Texas
A&M and MSU look similar? Mississippi State used to be known as Mississippi
A&M, when the school was founded in 1878 two years after Texas A&M, hence why the school’s
colors are maroon and white. Also known as the Aggies, Mississippi A&M,
changed their name to the “Maroons” in 1932 when they became Mississippi State College. The school wasn’t granted university status
until 1958 on when they officially became known as the Bulldogs. Even with all those achievements, the “Diamond Dawgs” came so close in becoming
College World Series Champions in 2013. Sadly we ended up in second. However one thing we State fans know
we have over everybody else and that is our ball field,
the Carnegie Hall of College Baseball. The most popular and favorite past time that State fans enjoy is the Left Field Lounge at Dudy Noble Field
in Polk-Dement Stadium. These highly prized-seats that were originally
parking spots where fans drove their pickup trucks, motor homes or trailers and tailgated
just beyond the fence, grilling pork shoulder, catfish and spareribs throughout the game. Today, in the newly renovated stadium, they
are box seats that have places for grills and electrical sockets to have a prime tailgating
experience inside the ballpark. Truly an awesome and unique feature. Now that I got you salivating over freshly
cooked smoked sausage with a side of kumbac sauce, let’s look at some all-star players
and managers that carved their name in Bulldogs history! Playing since 1885, there’s plenty of names
to know in being a Bulldog fan, however we narrowed it down to these four. At number four we got Clarke Randolph Noble. Nicknamed “Dudy”, hey that sounds familiar right? Clarke was first a player for Mississippi
A&M earning 14 varsity letters in 4 different sports. He became the Bulldogs skipper in 1920 and
was all the way to 1947. He won 3 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic
Association championships with a total coaching record of over 260 wins. After coaching, he became the school’s Athletic
Director from 1938 to ’59. The baseball field was named in his honor
in 1949 and he was later inducted in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1961. At number 3 we got Ron Polk. Managing the Dogs for a collective 29 years
beginning in 1976, Polk had an overall record of 1,139-590-2. With a winning percentage of .659, Polk earned
the title of National Coach of the Year twice and was a 4x SEC Coach of the Year. During his time, he managed the team to
5 SEC regular season titles and 5 SEC Tournament crowns. In 2009, he was inducted to the College Baseball
Hall of Fame and you guessed right, the stadium was co-named after him in 1997. Now our last two spots are easily interchangeable
because both were phenomenal athletes that as teammates, arguably put Hail State on the map. So, we flipped a coin to see who’s going at
number 2 and that is slugger #6 Rafael Palmeiro. Outfielder with the team from ’83-’85, the
Cuban native still holds the school record of career HR’s with 67. This Bulldog was drafted 22nd overall in the
1985 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs and later became a 4x All-Star and a 3x Golden Glove
Award winner. In 2012, Palmeiro was given the honor of being
inducted to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. The other side of that coin is our number 1
Diamond Dawg, #23 Will Clark. This 1st baseman still holds Hail State’s record of
batting average and slugging percentage. Also playing from 1983-’85, Clark had 61 HR’s
and 199 RBI’s in his time at Starkville. The New Orleans native was drafted 2nd overall
in the 1985 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants and later became a 6x All-Star. Without a question, he holds a spot in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Locals knew these two juggernauts as
“Thunder and Lightning” that as teammates, they combined to win 137 games, dominating the SEC in the early eighties. Or was it “Lightning and Thunder”? because you know, physics says… eh, moving on. Alright, the last thing you need to know and this is the most important information in today’s lesson. Who do we dislike in pulling for Mississippi State?! Our in-state rivals, the University of Mississippi
Rebels, or “Ole Miss” for short. With just over 75 miles separating from Starkville
and Oxford, MS, the teams have played against each other since 1893, with the first game
going to the Bulldogs on a 6-3 final score. Currently, the overall record between the two
schools is 253-207-5, favoring Mississippi State. Come on, was it even a question? The two teams play a three-game series every
year counting towards conference play in the regular season, but they also play a one non-conference,
neutral site game ever since 1980. Formally known as the Mayor’s Trophy, the
Governor’s Cup is played in Pearl, MS at the Atlanta Braves minor-league affiliate team’s
stadium, the Mississippi Braves. To really sell this point home, when the Rebels
came to Polk-Dement Stadium on April 12th, 2014 it became an NCAA record for the largest
single, on-campus baseball attendance at 15,586. That game was decided in extra innings with
a score of 6-5, favoring the Bulldogs. Another way of looking at it is this, anytime
Hotty Toddy is beaten, a Hail State fan celebrates in pure jubilation! COME ON! Alright, lets recap. The Bulldogs play in the SEC,
they have 17 Conference Titles, Polk-Dement Stadium is
the Carnegie Hall of College Baseball, “Thunder and Lightning” are legendary, and you really dislike the Ole Miss Rebels! So, take it all in when you support the Diamond
Dawgs at your next ball game. The sights of the billowing charcoal smoke from
Left Field Lounge to the ringing of the cowbells, the taste of victory with a side of boiled shrimp will have you keep coming back for more. Hail State! Hey guys thanks for watching today’s Lurks
Lessons episode. Please subscribe to my channel and also leave comments on what other cool things Mississippi State fans need to know. Also leave some suggestions on what other cool fanbases I need to showcase next. Alright! We’ll see you guys next time.

2 thoughts on “HOW TO BE – Mississippi State Bulldogs Baseball Fan”

  1. What was your favorite memory attending a game at the Carnegie Hall of College Baseball? Who was #HailState playing and why was it so special? #NewDude!

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