Anyone who knows me knows I was a big Johnny Oates fan. Have been since long before he became the Rangers manager. Anyway, I ran across this story this afternoon about his former college team handing out the first winner of the “Johnny Oates Memorial Baseball Award”.
Nice to see his name pop up in the news today. Here’s Johnny’s page over at the Virginia Tech Hokies site.
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Shortstop Warren Schaeffer has been named the first winner of Virginia Tech’s Johnny Oates Memorial Baseball Award.
The new award was established by Oates’ Virginia Tech teammates in fond memory of a good friend and loyal teammate, whose enduring faith, devotion to family, character, integrity, competitive nature and perseverance continue to be an inspiration. It will be presented annually to the Virginia Tech baseball player who best exemplifies those traits.
Schaeffer, a junior from Vandergrift, Pa., has started 155 of 157 games during his Tech career and is an outstanding student in history. He has started all 50 games for the Hokies in 2006, batting .289 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 28 runs batted in. He is fielding .968 for the season and has committed just one error in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Oates came to Blacksburg in 1965 and was an outstanding catcher for the Virginia Tech baseball team. He hit .410 in 1966 and .342 in 1967 before signing with the Baltimore Orioles after his junior season. Oates spent 11 seasons in the major leagues as a player, seeing action in two World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and one with the New York Yankees. After retiring as a player in 1981, Oates tried his hand at coaching, and went on to become the major league manager of the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers.
Oates was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 and had his Tech jersey retired in 2002. He died Dec. 24, 2004.