Good morning, Coug fans. We begin today on a somber note, talking about the passing of one of the greatest coaches, if not the greatest, in the history of WSU Athletics. By statistics alone, Bobo Brayton is definitely in the conversation. In 33 seasons as head coach, he won 1,162 games, 21 conference titles, and he led his team to two College World Series. My first memory of WSU Baseball is when he very nearly made a third during the Olerud and Sele years.
Born Frederick Charles Brayton, I was curious about how Brayton came to earn his nickname. In this outstanding profile of his life and times, Bobo explains:
Bobo played football, basketball, and baseball his first year. In fact, basketball was where Brayton got his nickname. When the basketball team rode trains to away games, Bobo got motion sickness. Teammate Bob Renick would walk down the train aisle teasing people, Brayton says. "Bob would yell, 'Come see Bobo, the dog-faced boy,' like in the circus. I was too sick to be mad."
The first part of that article talks about how Brayton made his way to WSU, and let's just say it wasn't exactly a leisurely trip down Highway 195. In reading about his life, it's clear that Bobo wasn't exactly Bill Belichick in the personality department, and that's part of what made him so great. He was a true character, and he even helped build the stadium that bears his name, by hand. Can you imagine Nick Saban scrounging around Legion Field for old bleachers and goalposts? That's what Bobo did to help fund and construct Bailey-Brayton.
Brayton also had a tremendous impact on how college baseball determined its champion. From the same article:
Many of those '70s games included arguments with umpire C.J. Mitchell--good-natured, of course. Today Mitchell praises Brayton for his innovations in college baseball playoffs. Brayton worked on that while president of the American Baseball Coaches Association Rules Committee. "Teams couldn't beat the Trojans, for example," Mitchell says, "Bobo made brackets where you get in [the playoffs] different ways. Basketball picked it up from baseball. He won't take credit for it, but I'd give him credit." Former WSU sports media director Dick Fry agrees with Mitchell. "The present playoff system is largely a result of Bobo's preparation and influence," Fry says. "His hand in there is unmistakable."
That's only one small sliver of a tremendous story that was Brayton's incredible life and career. I urge all of you to read up on who he was, and what he meant to WSU. RIP Bobo, you will truly be missed.
Brayton put Cougar baseball on map - Spokesman.com - March 29, 2015
He would cut radio commercials wearing his uniform and stirrup socks, and speed to practice in his wheat farmer’s overalls. Tossed out of a baseball game once, he hid under the stands beneath a blanket and sombrero and continued to flash signals.
Cougars Fall To No. 5 UCLA, 6-1 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State lost a 6-1 decision to No. 5 UCLA at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon.
WSU Football Practice Recap 3/28 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
If WSU holds a spring practice session, but nobody is there to report on it, did it really happen? At least we have video!
The South gets in on the craft beer boom
This paragraph says it all about this area..."Though consumers have warmed to craft beer in the region, breweries face difficulties in continuing to expand. Many states in the region levy greater excise, or "sin," taxes on beer than the national average, said Nick Petrillo, an industry analyst at market research firm IBISWorld."
Lead prosecutor apologizes for role in sending Glenn Ford to death row
Glenn Ford should be completely compensated to every extent possible because of the flaws of a system that effectively destroyed his life. The audacity of the state's effort to deny Mr. Ford any compensation for the horrors he suffered in the name of Louisiana justice is appalling.