Ray Uriarte
Ray Uriarte

Event:
Baseball, 1952-53, 1957-58

Hall of Fame Class:
2000



A first-team all-American third baseman in 1958 who came to Mizzou from nearby Mexico, Mo. Uriarte walked on at MU in 1952, but was cut by legendary Coach John "Hi" Simmons. He later returned to ask "Why?" and Simmons told him he could try again when the team began outdoor workouts. He did, made the team, and went on to play four games as a freshman. He lettered in 1953, but his career was interrupted by military service, and as a paratrooper made 18 jumps in two years, and played baseball for the post team in Fayetteville, N.C. He returned to Mizzou, and in his junior year of 1957, was elected team captain. In 1958, Uriarte led the Tigers to the Big Seven championship, the District V title and to second place in the College World Series (MU lost in 14 innings in the title game to USC). That season, he led the team with 17 stolen bases, 39 runs scored, 36 walks and an on-base percentage of .662, which still stands as the MU single-season record some 43 years later. In addition to his all-American recognition in 1958, Uriarte also received all-Big Eight and all-District V honors that season. Called by Coach Simmons "the best leadoff man I ever had at the University," Uriarte later served as an assistant coach for Simmons in 1959 and 1960.

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