With the hiring of Marty Lees as the 15th head coach in Washington State baseball history, I thought it'd be appropriate to look back at two Cougar players who found great success in the major leagues. Before you all sound off in the comments, let me make it clear that these are NOT the best Cougar players of all-time but the ones that found the most success once they went pro.
I think there is a general consensus that Ron Cey was the best Cougar baseball player to be successful in the majors, but then again I could be wrong. A stocky third baseman nicknamed "The Penguin" by Bobo Brayton, Cey played two years in Pullman before being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. Cey manned third base at Chavez Ravine for 12 seasons before spending time with the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics. However, he'll always be known as a Dodger. A career .261 hitter, Cey hit 316 home runs in 17 professional seasons and appeared in six consecutive Midsummer Classics and won the World Series MVP in 1981.
Olerud is the just one of three men (Bobo Brayton, Buck Bailey) to have his number retired by the Cougars baseball program and was extremely successful during his 17 year professional career. It's almost a little surprising to read that Olerud hit .295 throughout his career. He was never the flashiest guy or the best guy on the team, but he always got the job done when needed. He won three gold gloves while with the Seattle Mariners and won the batting title in 1993 with the Toronto Blue Jays when he hit .363 and led them to their second straight World Series win.
Are you Team Cey or Team Olerud?
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