Missouri Baseball History

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Herb Bunker • 1923
Class of 1990

A native of Nevada, Mo., Bunker is one of only two four-sport letterwinners in Missouri athletic history. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track and field, between 1920-23. In basketball, Bunker earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a guard in 1921 and 1922, and was an All-American in 1921 and 1923. A tackle/center in football, he captained the Tigers in 1922. He was a catcher/outfielder in baseball, and threw the shot put on the track team. A Phi Beta Kappa student who earned a Ph.D. in sociology, Bunker headed Mizzou's department of physical education for many years before retiring in 1965. He spent nine years as football coach and athletics director at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., and also coached at Missouri, Auburn and Florida and at Paseo High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Phil Bradley • 1979-81
Class of 1990

One of the most decorated athletes in Missouri annals, Bradley lettered in football at Missouri from 1977-81, and in baseball in 1979-81. A native of Macomb, Ill., Bradley quarterbacked the Tigers to three bowl games (1978 and 1980 Liberties and the 1979 Hall of Fame). He was a three-time Big Eight Conference "Offensive Player of the Year" and set the conference total offense record with 6,459 yards. He holds Missouri records for passing and total offense, and played in two all-star games, the Hula and Japan Bowls, after his senior season. In baseball, he stared as an outfielder on Missouri teams which won the 1980 Big Eight championship and advanced to the 1980 and 1981 NCAA Tournaments. Bradley was All-Big Eight, All-District and All-America in 1981, when he hit .457. Bradley was also the 1980 Big Eight Tournament MVP when Mizzou won the championship. He held school records for career walks and on-base percentage and held five school records when he graduated. Bradley was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and played with them through 1987. He was named to the 1985 American League All-Star Team and hit a career-high 26 home runs that season. He also played with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. He also played briefly in Japan.

John "Hi" Simmons • 1937-73
Class of 1990

A native of Lancaster in the northeast part of Missouri, Simmons had a long decorated career at Missouri, as head baseball coach and a trusty football assistant to Don Faurot. In baseball, he coached from 1937 to 1973, posting a record of 481-294-3. His teams won 11 conference championships and the first NCAA title in school history in 1954. In all, he led Missouri to six appearances in the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb. He coached 19 All-Americans, including nine first-team choices, 25 all-district and 37 all-conference players. A former president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, Simmons was inducted into the State of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1977, and is also a member of the ABCA Hall of Fame.

Hubert Pruett • 1921
Class of 1990

A pitcher from Malden, Mo., Pruett lettered just one year at Missouri, in 1921, but made his mark on the Major League Baseball world with his ability to strike out the great Babe Ruth. Pruett compiled a 29-48 record, pitching for the St. Louis Browns, New York Giants, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. Pruett perfected a "screwball" and used it to strike out Ruth 10 of the first 13 times he faced him. In all, he faced Ruth 30 times. The "Babe" got only four hits in those at bats (including one home run off a curveball), struck out 15 times, walked eight times, sacrificed once, and grounded out twice. He retired from baseball in 1932 and Pruett was a doctor in St. Louis for 40 years.

Norm Stewart • 1954-56
Class of 1990

A native of Shelbyville, Mo., Stewart lettered at Missouri in basketball and baseball for three years. He was inducted as an athlete since his induction came during his tenure as Missouri's head basketball coach. He threw a no-hitter and won one game in the 1954 College World Series as the Tigers won the national title. Stewart led the 1955 and 1956 Tigers in victories, innings pitched, strikeouts, appearances, games started and complete games. He also led the 1955 team in earned-run average. Stewart's accomplishments on the basketball floor both as a player and coach at Missouri are legendary. He scored 1,112 points in three seasons and recorded 634 wins at Mizzou as head coach. When he retired after the 1998-99 season, Stewart ranked seventh all-time in the NCAA with 731 career wins.

Don Faurot • 1922-24
Class of 1990

While this name is more recognizable for Faurot's accomplishments on the football field, he was an infielder for the Tigers for three seasons. Faurot left his legacy on the University as football coach and director of athletics. Aside from leading the Tigers out of debt and into football's big time, Faurot's tenure as football coach and director of athletics -- a job he relinquished in 1967 -- left MU athletics with its greatest legacy, the imprint of his integrity. His prime contribution to football was his innovation of the Split-T formation at Mizzou in 1941.

Paul Christman • 1938-39, 41
Class of 1990

The legendary "Pitchin' Paul" Christman lettered three times each in football and baseball. A three-time all-conference quarterback, Christman finished third in the 1939 Heisman Trophy voting.

Chester Brewer • Coach
Class of 1991

In addition to serving as athletic director from 1911-17 and 1924-34, Brewer served as the school's football, basketball, baseball and track and field coach. In seven seasons, he led the Tiger Nine to mark a of 61-32-3.

Norm Wagner • 1931-33
Class of 1991

Wagner lettered at Missouri in basketball and baseball from 1931-33 and led the Tigers to conference titles in 1931 and 1932. He won 27 games in his career -- a record that stood until 1980. He was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals organization after graduation. He also led the 1932-33 Tiger basketball squad in scoring on his way to earning all-conference honors.

Bob Schoonmaker • 1952-54
Class of 1991

A three-sport athlete, Schoonmaker earned eight letters during his time at Missouri. An infielder from Lebanon, Mo., Schoonmaker was an all-conference performer in 1954 as the Tigers won the College World Series. He hit .307 that season with a team-high two triples and committed only one error in 171 chances. He also was on the 1952 national runner-up team, hitting a home run in the championship game. In football, he was a two-time captain and earned three letters on the gridiron. Schoonmaker also lettered on the basketball teams for two years.

Don Boenker • 1951-53
Class of 1993

Missouri's first All-America pitcher in 1952, Boenke led the Tigers to the Big Seven Conference championship, the NCAA District V championship, and a second-place finish at the College World Series. A Tiger co-captain for Coach John "Hi" Simmons in 1953, he later signed with the Cleveland Indians and during his professional career, was coached by Whitey Kurowski, George Steinbrenner and Hub Kittle among others. He twice led MU in victories in addition to tossing a pair of one-hitters against Washington University in 1951 and Kansas State in 1952. He also authored a two-hitter against Iowa State in 1952. A native of St. Louis, Boenker was inducted into the Mizzou QEBH Honorary Society as an undergraduate and holds three degrees from the University of Missouri.

1954 National Champions
Class of 1994

The 1954 squad captured MU's first national title at the College World Series. The Tigers posted a 22-4 record, won the Big Seven Conference title and came back through the losers bracket to capture the national championship. MU had a 12-game win streak during the season.

Lowe `Junior' Wren • 1951-52
Class of 1994

One of several standout two-sport athletes, `Junior' Wren was an All-American outfielder in 1952. He hit a team-high .408 to go with seven stolen bases in 1951 before hitting .359 in the 1952 regular season. Wren also pitched one game in the 1952 College World Series, striking out 11 batters while throwing a two-hitter against Penn State. A member of Missouri's 1952 national runner-up team, Wren also was an all-conference football player in 1951 after leading the team in rushing, total offense and punting.

Thornton Jenkins • 1946
Class of 1995

Jenkins, who also played basketball at Mizzoui, lettered one year on the Missouri diamond. The leading scorer for the 1942-43 Tiger hoopsters, Jenkins lettered four times in basketball.

Dave Silvestri • 1986-88
Class of 1997

In a span of four months in 1988, Silvestri was named an All-American shortstop, chosen in the second round by the Houston Astros in the Major League Baseball First-Year Draft and was a member of the 1988 Summer Olympics gold medal winning United States baseball team. Silvestri hit .406 in 1988 to go with 21 home runs and a school-record 89 runs scored. His marks that season for total bases, slugging percentage and extra-base hits are Missouri records. Called by many to be the greatest Missouri baseball player of the modern era, Silvestri could hit for average and power as well as field his position and run the bases. He was a two-time all-conference, all-district and All-America player. played in the majors with the 1994 New York Yankees. He is still involved with baseball as he was featured in a Sports Illustrated article in 2001 managing the Great Falls Dodgers.

Keith Weber • 1963-64
Class of 1998

Might well be the greatest pitcher in Missouri's long and glorious baseball history. In 1964, he set the MU record for earned run average (0.56), won 11 games and struck out 90 batters as the Tigers went 26-5-1 and advanced to the College World Series. Those 11 wins are still tied for the school single-season record, and the strikeout total stood as the record for 26 years. His ERA contributed to a team figure of 0.65 that still stands as the NCAA record, and in this era of the aluminum bat, will probably never be broken. Weber, from Jefferson City, was All-Big Eight, All-District V and All-America in 1964, and signed with the New York Mets. He also was a quarterback in football, but injuries ended his career before he competed on the varsity level.

Greg Cypret • 1975-78
Class of 1998

One of the most prolific players of the Gene McArtor era in baseball at Ol' Mizzou, Cypret earned All-America honors three times at shortstop. He was a third-team selection in 1975, received honorable mention in 76 and was a first-team selection in 1978. He was the All-Big Eight shortstop in 1976-78. Cypret hit .356 for his career and held the school career marks for hits (253) and runs batted in (181). He signed with the Houston Astros in 1978. After his professional career, Cypret joined former MU assistant coach Bob Todd on the Kent State coaching staff.

Clair `Butch' Houston • 1931-35
Class of 1999

Earned nine letters at Ol' Mizzou -- three each in football, baseball and track. He also played two years of basketball but did not letter. A native of Maywood, Ill., he was the captain of Coach Don Faurot's first team at MU in 1935, and earned honorable mention honors as a fullback. He was also the Tigers' starting fullback in 1932 and '33.

Gene McArtor • 1961-93
Class of 1999

As a player at Missouri, McArtor won all-conference and all-district honors as a first baseman from 1961-63. He played on two Big Eight Conference championship teams and two squads which advanced to the College World Series. He served as team captain as a senior. He returned to MU as assistant baseball coach in 1969 after coaching and teaching at the high school level in his hometown, St. Louis. McArtor served in that role until 1974 when he succeeded John "Hi" Simmons as the Tigers' head coach. During his 21 years at the helm, McArtor compiled a 733-430-3 record and won Big Eight championships in 1976 and 1980. He guided six teams to the NCAA Tournament and coached 13 All-Americans and 41 all-conference players. McArtor served on the NCAA Baseball Committee from 1987-92, including two years as chairman, during a period of unprecedented growth for the CWS. Former president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, McArtor is a member of the ABCA Hall of Fame, the Webster Groves High School Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. Since retiring as baseball coach, he has continued to serve MU as director of project management and was the interim director of athletics for several months in 1998.

Ray Uriarte • 1953, 1957-58
Class of 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 made 18 jumps as a paratrooper in two years. He returned to Mizzou and was elected team captain in 1957. Uriarte led the Tigers to the 1958 Big Seven championship, the District V title and to second place in the College World Series. 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. 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.

Dave Otto • 1983-85
Class of 2000

A native of Elk Grove, Ill., Otto was a standout pitcher and designated hitter from 1983-85. An All-American DH in 1985, Otto earned all-Big Eight and All-District V honors as he hit 16 home runs. He stood fifth on the MU career batting average chart (.366). An imposing figure on the mound, Otto stood third with 195 strikeouts. He shares the school record for games started in a season (14). A freshman All-American at Mizzou in 1983, Otto earned Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 1984 and 1985. He signed with the Oakland Athletics in 1985, and spent time in the major leagues with the A's in 1988-90. Otto was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1990 and was in their starting rotation in 1991 and 1992. He pitched with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1993. He currently works with television broadcasts for the Chicago Cubs.

Sonny Siebert • 1956-58
Class of 2004

An impact player in two sports for Mizzou, the St. Louis, Mo. native lettered in basketball three years (1956-58) and one year in baseball (1958) ... Earned third-team All-American honors in baseball, as a first baseman in 1958 ... Was also an All-District V and All-Big Eight selection that season, as he helped lead MU to the championship game of the College World Series, where MU lost in 12 innings to Southern Cal, 8-7 ... Was named to the all-time College World Series team for the decade of the 1950s ... Tied for the team lead in home runs, with eight in 1958 ... Signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1958, and played at the major league level with several teams as a pitcher.

Ray Thorpe • 1965-67
Class of 2004

A two-sport standout who was recruited to play football at Mizzou, but also later excelled in baseball, while also running indoor track for one season ... The St. Louis, Mo. native was also the first African-American to play baseball for Mizzou ... Earned All-American honors in 1967 in baseball, after leading the Tigers in hits, triples, home runs, stolen bases and walks ... Was named to the Missouri College Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967, and played on the USA's Pan-American baseball squad in 1966 ... Was a game-breaker on the gridiron for Coach Dan Devine, playing a big role on the 1965 MU squad that eventually won the 1966 Sugar Bowl ... Proved instrumental to the team during the year, as he provided numerous big plays, scoring touchdowns that won a game against Oklahoma State and forced a tie against UCLA ... His TD against Oklahoma State was a 42-yard run on a lateral from Gary Kombrink, and accounted for the only score in a 7-0 MU win ... His TD against UCLA was a scintillating 79-yard kick return that got MU back into the game after the Bruins had taken a 14-0 lead - the game ended in a 14-14 tie ... After graduating from Mizzou in 1967, coached high school football in the St. Louis area, and during his teaching and coaching tenure, he was influential in the decision of many students and athletes to attend Mizzou ... Went on to earn two masters degrees from Washington University ... He entered the corporate world as a manager for AT&T and is currently employed with SBC.

Ron Cox • 1960-61
Class of 2005

The first superstar shortstop in Mizzou Baseball history, who earned first-team All-American honors as a sophomore in 1960 after hitting .407 that season (the highest ever at the time by an All-American shortstop) and driving in a then-school record 36 runs ... Became the first-ever sophomore in school history to earn first-team All-American honors, and was featured on the cover of the 1961 Official NCAA Baseball Guide ... Earned First-Team All-Big Eight honors in 1960, as well as First-Team All-District V honors that same year ... An outstanding all-around athlete who also lettered on MU's basketball team in 1960 ... Was a part-time starter who was regarded as one of the better defensive players in the conference ... He was instrumental in holding Nebraska star Hershel Turner below his scoring average in one game which helped lead to a Tiger victory ... Was also offered a scholarship to play quarterback at Mizzou by coaches Frank Broyles and Dan Devine, but declined the offer to focus on baseball ... Later went on to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1962, and played for nine years in the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations ... A native of Columbia, Mo., Cox now lives in the state of Virginia.

Dave Harvey • 1962-64
Class of 2008
Dave Harvey was a highly-decorated and accomplished third basemen during one of the most successful stretches ever put together by Mizzou baseball. He was a first-team All-American as a third baseman in 1964, after being named a second-team All-American at third in 1963. Harvey was a driving force behind Tiger teams which advanced to three consecutive College World Series and won three straight Big Eight Conference championships in 1962, 1963 and 1964. He hit .312 as a senior in 1964 and tied for the team lead in home runs (3), while he led the team in hitting in 1963, at a .359 clip. Mizzou went 26-5-1 in 1964, winning the Big Eight and finishing as national runners-up at the College World Series, a year after going 25-8 in 1963 when they finished fourth at the CWS. The Tigers had a 22-7 record in 1962 and advanced to the CWS. Harvey was an All-Big Eight performer in both 1963 and 1964 while earning All-District honors in both 1962 and 1964.

Ryan Fry • 1995-98
Class of 2009

Among the top offensive players in school history who holds numerous school career and season records ... Named a 2nd-team All-American after his senior season of 1998 ... A prolific offensive weapon who in near the top of MU career records list for hits (265), doubles (56), RBI (222), runs (223), extra base hits (106) and total bases (463), home runs (42) and slugging percentage (.589) ... His career batting average of .337 falls just shy of the MU career top-10 list. Hit .377 as a senior in 1998, with an MU-record 27 home runs, and drove in a career-high 78 runs ... Holds MU single-season records in hits (92 in 1996) and home runs (27 in 1998) ... Hit .387 as a sophomore, when he set the MU single-season record with 92 hits in 1996. Was named 1st-team All-Big Eight for his efforts, and was one of three outfielders ... A standout in the classroom who twice earned GTE/Co-SIDA Academic All-American honors (1997 & 1998). Was also a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, as well (1996, 1997 & 1998) ... Is younger brother to former MU All-American wrestler, Shaon Fry, who was a 1999 inductee into the MU Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.

1964 Team
Class of 2009

One of the most dominant teams in Mizzou athletics in any sport, finished the year as national runners-up, falling in the national title game to Minnesota ... Finished the year with a 27-5-1 overall record, including a perfect 19-0 record to claim Mizzou's 4th-straight Big Eight Title ... Led the nation in pitching, with a team earned run average of a miniscule 0.65 runs per game. This mark set the NCAA record at the time, and it still stands today as a record that might never be broken ... The Tiger pitching staff was so dominant, it allowed one or zero runs in 21-of-33 games, including nine shutouts. In two games against Minnesota in the College World Series, Minnesota scored a total of two earned runs (MU won the first meeting, 4-1, but lost the championship game, 5-1) ... In the College World Series, beat Arizona State (7-0), lost a one-run game to USC (3-2), then beat Seton Hall (3-1), Minnesota (4-1) and Maine (2-1) before falling to Minnesota in the title game (5-1) ... Two members of the team - Dave Harvey and Keith Weber, were 1st-team All-Americans - both are individual inductees into the MU Hall of Fame ... Nine members of the team were All-Big Eight selections, including four on the first team ... Eleven members of the team went on to sign professional baseball contracts.

 

 

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