John Olerud's credentials for his time at Washington State were already impressive enough but today, they got even better. The Pac-12 Network named the former WSU first-baseman and pitcher the Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Century.
Olerud spent his high school years at Interlake in Bellevue before he traveled east to play for Bobo Brayton on the Palouse. Olerud spent time on the mound, at first base, and as a utility player while he was at Washington State, culminating in an incredible 1988 season which still dots the WSU record book to this day. Among his accomplishments:
Batting Average: .464 (2nd)
Home Runs: 23 (2nd)
RBI: 81 (tied 1st)
Hits: 108 (1st)
Total Bases: 204 (1st)
Slugging Percentage: .876 (1st)
Pitching Wins: 15 (1st)
Strikeouts: 113 (4th)
Innings: 122.2 (1st)
To top it off, Olerud was named an All-American at three positions and the NCAA Player of the Year.
It's hard to find a year by a Pac-12 baseball player that come close to equaling what Olerud did in 1988 which is much of the reason he earned the Player of the Century honors. Olerud would go on to be selected in the 3rd round of the 1989 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He spent 17 years in the big leagues, including time with the Jays, Mets, Mariners, Yankees and Red Sox.
A big congratulations to not only the greatest player to ever come through WSU but the greatest player to ever pick up a bat in the Pac-12.