January 21, 1997
California Baseball Team Holds Annual Alumni Day
The California baseball team will start off the 1997 season with the annual Alumni Day, Saturday, January 25 at Evans Diamond in Berkeley. The festivities begin at 12 p.m. with a two-hour (or six innings) Papa Bear game (named after George Wolfman, Cal baseball coach from 1955-73). Following the Papa Bear game, there will be a seven-inning game between active (professional) alumni and the 1997 Golden Bears, beginning at 2:15 p.m. There is no charge for the games.
The Cal baseball Alumni Day was first started by former Bear coaching great Clint Evans in 1946. This year's Alumni Game will feature several minor league players, with the possibility of current major leaguers Darren Lewis (1988) of the Chicago White Sox, Kevin Maas (1984-86) of the New York Yankees and Jerry Goff (1984-86) of the Houston Astros, among others.
The Bears open the regular season Monday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. at the University of San Francisco's Benedetti Diamond. Cal will then travel to Hawaii for a three-game series versus the Rainbows, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
The '97 Bears, ranked 25th in Baseball America and 30th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason rankings, will be trying to make a return appearance in NCAA postseason play this season after making it to the championship game of the Midwest Regional in Wichita, Kansas in 1991, to the College World Series in 1992 (East Regional champs) and the Mideast Regional in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1995. Cal returns six starters from last season, including two preseason All-Americans--sophomore right-hander Ryan Drese, a first team preseason All-American in Baseball America, and sophomore shortstop Brian Oliver, a third team preseason All-American in Collegiate Baseball and the school's first ever Freshman All-American last season (in both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball).
Cal is coached by Bob Milano, who has a 618-543-4 record in 19 seasons as the Bears coach and is the winningest all-time coach at Cal in terms of total victories. Milano has led the Bears to the College World Series in 1980 (third), 1988 (seventh) and 1992 (seventh), and was named Pacific-10 Conference Co-Coach of the Year in '80 and '92. He was selected to serve as head coach of the 1997 USA Baseball Team that will compete at the Intercontinental Cup, Aug. 1-10 in Barcelona, Spain.