Jan. 27, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Not even a rainout at the alumni game could ruin the fun that was had by all at the Bronco Baseball Alumni Weekend. New head coach Mark O'Brien and his entire staff spent months planning the weekend full of events that resulted in a good time for all.
"It was great to be back here at Buck Shaw Stadium," said former player and coach Jeff Perry. "All of the alumni are really excited about Mark O'Brien and the direction he is taking this program."
The weekend began Friday morning at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Course where 145 golfers gathered for the Bronco Baseball Alumni golf tournament. A day full of golf, food, silent and live auctions was wrapped up by former Bronco great and current ESPN baseball analyst Mike McFarlane who spoke of the excitement that surrounding Santa Clara baseball.
"I have always been proud to promote Santa Clara baseball," said McFarlane. "Now, with Mark (O'Brien) at the helm, I think his enthusiasm and dedication will bring Santa Clara baseball back to national prominence."
Most alumni had not met O'Brien prior to the golf tournament, but after seeing his effort and meeting the man himself, all were sold by the time the alumni game rolled around Saturday morning.
"I am real excited about Mark O'Brien taking over here," said former player Hank Mott. "Coming back here is really fun. I try to come back every year to see all of the former players and see the new players and it is really fun to come back under these circumstances."
Former player Jeff Frankel echoed the sentiments of McFarlane, Mott and Perry, saying, "It is really exciting to see what is happening here with Mark O'Brien. You can tell how much time he put into this weekend and into getting the players ready for the season. We all are enthusiastic about the direction that Santa Clara baseball is headed."
Unfortunately due to inclement weather, Saturday's game was rained out, but judging from the atmosphere and feelings of those alumni on the field, it was more important to just see one another again and share the stories of days gone by.
"I am glad that we had such a good turnout for this weekend," said O'Brien. "These guys are the ones who have been there in the past and it is important for our young guys to see for themselves the history of Bronco Baseball. I have a responsibility to these former players to continue what they have started and to make sure that their playing days are not forgotten. I hope this weekend is becomes one that they look forward to every year."
The 2002 Broncos will begin making their own memories Friday, February 1, when they host No. 11 Fresno State at 3 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium to open their season. The season-opener against the Bulldogs will be the first of the three-game set that will take place over the weekend.
Santa Clara will play their first eight games at home to open the season.