Jan. 3, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The West Coast Conference announced its 40th Anniversary Baseball Team Wednesday afternoon, and four Broncos were named to the 40-man squad. Rich Troedson (1969-72), Troy Buckley (1987-89), Bob Pailthorpe (1992-95), and Mike Frank (1994-97) were all honored for their achievements on the diamond.
"The West Coast Conference is proud to announce the selection of the WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team," said Commissioner Michael Gilleran. "The west is traditionally one of the strongest regions in the nation for baseball, and our conference has competed successfully at a national level since 1968, which is a testament to the league's baseball coaches and the administrations that support our eight programs. I would like to recognize and commend the 40 individuals that were selected, and would like to thank Rawlings for their role in honoring these outstanding student athletes."
"Rawlings is proud of its long standing relationship with the West Coast Conference and is honored to be a part of this project," said Rawlings Western Regional Sales Manager Dave Bracci. "Rawlings hopes to continue its support of collegiate baseball nationwide."
The WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team features an impressive collection of past collegiate standouts from the conference's eight member institutions. Included on the list of honorees are 24 players that received WCC Player or Pitcher of the Year recognition during their collegiate careers, 27 All-Americans, 11 Freshman All-Americans, and two Academic All-Americans. Highlighting the compilation are 23 players that have played baseball at the Major League level, including Pepperdine alum and 1986 National League Cy Young Award winner Mike Scott, as well as former Gonzaga standout and 2004 National League Rookie of the Year Jason Bay. WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team athletes have combined to make seven Major League Baseball All-Star Game appearances, and seven players that participated in MLB games during the 2006 season are included on the list.
Troedson, a lefty hurler, helped Santa Clara dominate the league during the first few seasons of West Coast Conference play, and led the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four years on the Mission Campus. He garnered WCC Player of the Year honors in 1972 after posting 13 victories on the mound, the 10th-highest single-season total in WCC history. Troedson was a four-time All-WCC first team selection, and set an all-time WCC record with 445 career strikeouts, and also set the WCC single-season strikeout mark by fanning 167 batters in 1971. He holds the Santa Clara career records in wins (40), games started (58), innings pitched (437.0), complete games (33), and strikeouts (445). His 40 career victories and 437 career innings also rank second in the WCC record book. Troedson pitched two seasons with the San Diego Padres (1973-74).
Pailthorpe, a right-hander, remains one of only two hurlers in conference history to have earned back-to-back WCC Pitcher of the Year awards (1994 & '95). As a three-time All-WCC selection, he compiled 388 career strikeouts during his career on the Mission Campus, the second highest total in Bronco program history and the third most in WCC history ... Pailthorpe helped lead Santa Clara to the WCC title and an appearance in the 1994 NCAA Tournament, and following his senior year was selected in the 10th round of the 1995 Major League draft by the Florida Marlins.
Catcher Troy Buckley enjoyed one of the top offensive seasons in WCC history in 1988, earning the WCC Player of the Year award and being named an All-American after batting .442, the top single-season mark in WCC history, with 16 home runs, 21 doubles and 82 RBIs. Buckley's banner year also helped lead Santa Clara to the 1988 NCAA Tournament. He remains SCU's all-time leader with 188 career RBIs, and is tied for second all-time at SCU with a .364 career batting average and 35 career home runs.
Outfielder Mike Frank was an instrumental part of the last Santa Clara squads to reach the NCAA Tournament. A four-time All-WCC first team selection and two-time All-American ('94 & '97), Frank helped lead the Broncos to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994, '95, and '97. In 1997, he was named WCC Player of the Year after putting together one of the most outstanding offensive seasons in league history, batting .405 with an SCU single-season record 98 hits, 64 runs scored, 12 home runs, 25 doubles, 80 RBIs, and an SCU single-season record 169 total bases. Frank is currently SCU's all-time career leader in at-bats (902), runs (202), hits (301), doubles (60), total bases (455), and extra-base hits (96-T-1st), and second on the career lists with 35 home runs, 185 RBIs, and 14 triples.
Pepperdine leads all WCC programs with 13 former standouts earning selection to the WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team. Seven former LMU players also earned a spot, while Bay Area rivals Saint Mary's and San Francisco each placed five players on the team. Santa Clara is not far behind with four honorees, followed by Gonzaga with three, San Diego with two, and Portland with one former player recognized.
Baseball was originally established as a WCC sport in 1968, and five conference institutions (LMU, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, and Santa Clara) were charter members of the league along with three associates. The conference temporarily split from 1977-84, as WCC teams competed in the Northern California Baseball Association (NCBA) and the Southern California Baseball Association (SCBA) before resuming WCC play in 1985 along with San Diego and Nevada. The Wolf Pack left the conference in 1991, creating a six-team loop until 1996 when long time conference members Gonzaga and Portland joined the circuit for baseball, bringing the league to its full compliment of teams. West Coast Conference teams have combined to earn 57 selections to the NCAA Tournament, with teams making four appearances at the College World Series. Pepperdine earned the league's first-ever national championship in baseball, claiming the College World Series crown in 1992.