There Will Be A "1st" in Rosenblatt's Last Year
6/28/2010 2:57 PM
Little Rock - Razorback fans, remember last year when the Diamond Hogs made it to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series? Remember this year when they were one strike away from winning the 1st game in a 3 game Super Regional against #1 seed Arizona State in their home park in Tempe? What if Arkansas had made it to Omaha this year? Could they have been one of the "1st" in Rosenblatt's last year hosting the NCAA College World Series?
UCLA or South Carolina will win their "1st" NCAA Baseball Championship, in this last year for Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Rosenblatt has been the home of the NCAA College World Series since 1950 and it all comes to an end all too soon.
The CWS will move to a new state of the art stadium next year near Downtown Omaha. TD Ameritrade Park will be the new site of the CWS starting in 2011 and there will be many "1st" next year. "1st" strike out, "1st" base hitt, "1st" Home Run, "1st" team to win. That will be next year and fans will embrace it but they will still remember the last 50 years.
Gone will be the walk to Zesto's for a cheesburger and a shake. Gone will be the atmosphere in the houses along South 13th street. Gone will be the lines that form beyond the bleachers on the side of a hill, where fans line up hours before their teams game, hoping to get a front row seat to cheer them on. Gone will be the ball girls trying to catch a foul ball off the screen behind home plate getting cheered for every catch they make, and booed for every time they miss. Gone will be the view of the Omaha Zoo, and the smell if you are lucky enought to park next to it.
Last year was my first time to attend the College World Series in Omaha. If you were ever lucky enough to get to Rosenblatt Stadium during the CWS, you know how blessed you are.
UCLA has more than 100 NCAA Championship trophies, but not one in baseball. South Carolina had to beat in-state rival Clemson twice to get the chance to play UCLA. One of these two teams will get the last "1st" in Rosenblatt Stadium history.
In Rosneblatt's final year there is still one "1st" and we will all get to watch it unfold together.
Will it be the Bruins of UCLA, or the Gamecocks of South Carolina?
One program will get their "1st" Baseball National Championship.