Mickey Plyler's Blog for May 18

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Bring it Back

In recent weeks I have talked a lot about Clemson athletic history and I have written a lot about Clemson baseball. Today, I want to combine the two subjects.

On Wednesday, the ACC announced the next two conference baseball tournaments would be in Jacksonville, FL and in 2009 it would move to Fenway Park in Boston, MA.

I say bad idea. Sure, Fenway park is a historic venue but the people in the area do not care about college baseball. Boston College draws worse than any team in the league. There are often times less than 100 at their home games. Boston College football draws poorly because they compete for the sports interest in a town that is crazy about the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.

I say why not play the game in Fenway Park South or the new West End Stadium in Greenville, SC. No one supported the ACC baseball tournament the way Greenville did for the nine years the city hosted the event. From 1987-95
343,613 fans packed Greenville Braves Stadium for the tournament. Over that period they averaged over 38,000 fans per year. Four of the nine years drew over 40,000 fans. In the previous nine years before the tournament came to Greenville, the tournament drew 114,492 or 12,000 fans per tournament.

In the nine years after the tournament was taken out of Greenville no single year came within 11,000 fans of Greenville’s attendance record.

Last year the tournament was in Jacksonville drew 66,475 so maybe they can support it. I will wait and see what year two looks like next week.

In my opinion, Greenville is the only place to hold the tournament. People love baseball here and loved supporting the tournament. The city was big enough to host the event but small enough to where it was an important part of the community.

Boston is too big for the baseball tournament. The one time Atlanta hosted the tournament it drew only 8,954 fans for the entire tournament or 34,000 less than Greenville’s best year.

Why change from the success of Greenville? Many say FSU’s Mike Martin complained enough about Clemson’s home field advantage. The Tigers won four of the nine tournaments held in Greenville. I don’t think Martin will complain about Boston College’s home field advantage. On the subject of home field advantages, FSU won both tournaments that were held in St.
Petersburg, FL. Duke did not win the last two tournaments in Durham but Wake Forest did.

Speaking of Boston College, with only eight teams advancing to the tournament each year I doubt the host team would even be in the field. That should make the draw even better.

In summary, sure Fenway is nice but if you have a replica in a city that has been successful hosting the event that is half way between the farthest schools then give it another try. If it wasn’t broke then don’t fix it.

ACC Tournament Notes

Clemson has won more ACC baseball tournaments than any other team. Here is a breakdown of the number of each schools baseball titles:

1. Clemson 	8
2. Georgia Tech 7
3. FSU	 	4
   NCSU 	4
   UNC		4	
   Wake Forest 	4
7. Virginia	1

Clemson has won 22 more ACC tournament games than any other team.
Here is that breakdown:

1. Clemson	91
2. NCSU		69
3. Georgia Tech	60
   UNC		60

*Jack Leggett is the only first-year coach to win the tournament.

*The tournament winner is the official conference champion. The ACC will recognize the division winners officially for the regular season but the official conference champion comes from the tournament.

*Clemson has gone 0-2 in the ACC tournament just twice (1998, 2003).

*The Tigers has at least two games in every tournament except those two years and 2001 when they went 1-2.

*Clemson played in the championship game in each of the first eight years of the tournament winning four titles. The Tigers also played in the title game in 10 of the first 12 years of the tournament.

*Clemson has been a runner-up in 12 of the 32 ACC baseball tournaments.

*The Tigers have a winning record against every ACC school in the tournament except FSU (7-10).

*The Tigers have never been seeded worse than fifth. The one time they were a fifth seed they won the title.

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