My final thoughts on the Big Ten Tournament

Shawn Roof and me

Let me first say I had a fantastic time. This was my second Big Ten Tournament and the first time I’ve traveled to see the Illini baseball team play.

Every Illinois fan wishes they could have won the tournament but all things considered, I thought they played well. They were able to defeat a tough Iowa team in the first round and stay around for that much longer (hey, longer than #1 seed Michigan).

It was good to finally meet Brian DeCaussin in person. He and I have been in contact all year via email and phone. I’ve already said enough good things about his web site Big Ten Hardball so I won’t belabor the point. Just check it out.

It was definitely a highlight to meet so many parents of the Illini players. I was honored when some of them knew of The Baseball Zealot and enjoy the postings and pictures. Lars Davis’ mom says that between Big Ten Hardball and The Baseball Zealot, it’s the only way she gets news about her son because, “Lars doesn’t tell me anything.”

Well, he doesn’t tell me anything either but I try to get some good pictures of him in action when I can.

All in all, it was good to be around good baseball. The one thing I like about college baseball is the intimacy of the ballparks. I don’t see a game from the nosebleed section. Rather, I can see it from up close and I can hear it. Sometimes I can even smell it. Note: The Ohio State Buckeyes wore their unwashed jerseys on Sunday, perhaps for luck. I’m sure I could have smelled it then.

Anyway, I’m sold. When the Illini make the tournament in 2008, I’ll be there.

By the way, thanks to Shawn for taking the time to pose in the picture with me. It was 20 minutes after their loss and they were all headed out on the bus. I’m sure he had other things to do and other things (like the loss) on his mind but he took the time. It meant a lot.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment