Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: A baseball celebration: Siebert was Chief behind Gophers titles

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 9, 2014 - 6:53 AM

“I was pitching in a tournament that summer, and Siebert just showed up in the stands,” Rantz said. “That was the first time I talked to him about playing baseball at the U.”

Rantz played hockey for John Mariucci and baseball for Siebert at Minnesota. That’s another remarkable contrast from today: the number of two-sport Gophers who were major contributors to the baseball championships.

McCartan was a standout goaltender (and the hero of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medalists) and a slugging third baseman for the ’56 champs. Shorty Cochran and Dean Maas were noted football players.

Rantz and another standout pitcher, Bob Wasko, were hockey players in 1960. Tom Moe was a football player.

Davis, Archie Clark and Al Druskin were all basketball players, as well as important members of the ’64 baseball Gophers.

There were many other all-around athletes leaned on by Siebert. Paul Giel, the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy as a Gophers running back in 1953, signed a bonus-baby contract with the New York Giants as a bullet-throwing pitcher. Ken Yackel was a standout in three sports: football, hockey and baseball.

The 6-7 Davis was well-known for his basketball exploits at Richfield High School. He was a coveted recruit for both basketball coach John Kundla and Siebert.

“Starting in January, I would run over after basketball practice and take some swings in the nets,” Davis said. “I was playing summer ball in the Dakotas, 50 games in the Basin League, so I would actually spend more time on baseball than basketball.”

• • •

The 1963-64 Gophers basketball season ended on March 7. With Siebert, the Gophers made an annual trip to Texas to start the schedule. The first game was on March 23, a loss to Texas. The Gophers went 2-7 over a five-day period, including a pair of losses at Texas A&M.

“That’s what I remember about the season: How terrible we were on the Texas trip, and we wound up winning the national championship,” Davis said.

The ’64 Gophers had to sweep Northwestern and Wisconsin (with the outstanding Rick Reichardt) on the final weekend and get the Big Ten’s single bid to the NCAA tournament.

They defeated Kent State in the Mideast Regional to make it to Omaha, and opened the College World Series against Texas A&M.

“The A&M players mentioned in the newspapers that they wanted us again in Omaha,” said Archie Clark in a phone interview. “And they got us.”

The Gophers beat A&M, Maine and Southern California, lost to Missouri, and then beat Mizzou 5-1 in the decisive title game.

“Joe Pollock won three complete games,” Jerry Cawley said. “I still can’t figure out why he didn’t win the MVP award in Omaha.”

• • •

The 1960 title came in dramatic fashion — centering on three games vs. Southern Cal. The Gophers were down 11-2 to USC after 6½ innings in a winners bracket game, and made the biggest comeback in CWS history for a 12-11, 10-inning victory.

  • related content

  • Chart: The Gophers' three College World Series championship teams

    Monday July 7, 2014

    GOPHERS TITLE TEAMSAll three Gophers NCAA championship baseball teams were coached by Dick Siebert.1956 33-9 (11-2 BIG TEN)Gophers All-Americas:...

  • Baseball at the center of small town's vitality

    Thursday August 7, 2014

    Baseball interest among young and old in Cold Spring goes way, way back and keeps building.

  • Gophers coach Dick Siebert was surrounded by his players after they won the 1960 Big Ten championship. They went on to win the NCAA crown, too.

  • Former Gophers players gathered at Siebert Field: from left, Jerry Thomas (1956), Bill Davis (1964), Jerry Cawley (1964), Jack McCartan (1956), Doug Gillen (1956) and Jim Rantz (1960), with Gophers coach John Anderson at the rear. Anderson played for the Gophers in the 1977 College World Series.

  • Gophers coach Dick Siebert and pitcher Jerry Thomas carried the 1956 NCAA championship banner. The Gophers won the title by beating Arizona 12-1 in the College World Series final.

  • Thomas was an All-America pitcher and the MVP of the College World Series in 1956, pitching a five-hitter in the final game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Detroit «2003100028160
Minnesota0000130206100
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Ryan(2-0) L:C.Fien(5-6) S:J.Soria (18)
HR: DET- T.Hunter (16), M.Cabrera (23) MIN- O.Arcia (18)

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close