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Totally Serious Opponent Report - Diamond Classic

These facts about Eastern Illinois and Michigan State baseball are definitely not made up****.

Michigan State Baseball Twitter | @statebaseball

During football season we typically run a post series at the site called the Totally Serious Opponent Report. This post, created by the great robnoladog, gives us an opportunity to preview opponents from the lighter side of things. Last fall, James Carskadon picked up rob's torch and carried on with the previews, giving us Wikipedia facts about every opponent we saw for football season. But what if I took that idea and instead gave you facts about BASEBALL opponents that I just completely made up on the spot? Yeah let's do that.

Eastern Illinois

  • Their program was founded in the early 1920s when two Chicago gangsters decided to take a break from the city one weekend and play baseball using their tommy guns as bats. No one from the first team lived long enough to graduate.
  • Their mascot, the Panthers, was originally the Sex Panthers until early 2004 when a legal battle with Brian Fantana's cologne line forced them to change the name.
  • Eastern Illinois' most famous baseball alumni is former major leaguer Manny Ramires (not the famous one).
  • Eastern Illinois baseball has just as many World Series rings as the Chicago Cubs since 1908
  • Ron Zook applied to be an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois before he realized that it was not a Wachovia Bank.
  • Their school record for wins in a season is listed as "quite a few"
  • All Eastern Illinois games are played in an abandoned indoor stadium that used to house Michael Jordan's shoe collection.
  • In the 1980s, the US Government used the Eastern Illinois baseball program to stash away nuclear missiles from the Soviets. No one noticed.
  • There have been 42 players named Stan in Eastern Illinois baseball history.

Michigan State

  • Michigan State baseball's most famous alumnus was the third guy from the left of Gerard Butler in 300.
  • Michigan State's all-time leading batter, Mateen Cleaves, refused to wear socks in any of his games and once hit a triple with a live parrot on his shoulder.
  • In 1975, Michigan State All-American pitcher Stan Spartan had his perfect season forfeited when it was found out that he was actually the mascot, and on steroids.
  • No Tom Emanski instructional video participant ever went on to play at Michigan State.
  • Michigan State holds three national championships in baseball which they received in the deal that sent Nick Saban to LSU.
  • In 1965, three Michigan State players - Larry Berry, Curly Thompson, and Moe Baker - died in a tragic pileup at third base.
  • Michigan State's catcher once threw out Prince Fielder at second in a spring training scrimmage.
  • Michigan State's record attendance was set on the day that a 15-car pileup on the highway rerouted traffic to the local road by their field.
  • The Christmas after Mississippi State hired John Cohen, Ron Polk wrote all his Christmas cards to former Michigan State players instead as a formal protest.