Highlights of the Exhibition

The following images are only a few highlights of the exhibition. Additional select images are available in the University Archives photograph database.

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Credit information: Unless otherwise indicated, the photographs are from the University Archives Photograph Collection, NCSU Libraries. Individual photographers are credited when that information is available. Agromeck yearbook photos appear courtesy of NC State Student Media.

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Credit: See top of page. (University Archives 023.04.018.0007829.P)

The earliest baseball photograph in the University Archives is this 1899 image of the Agricultural Mechanical College baseball team. "A&M" or "The Techs" would not be known as "The Wolfpack" until the 1920s. Today, the school is known as NC State University.

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Credit: See top of page. (UA023.04.015.0007795.P)

By 1910, baseball had quite a following at NC State, no doubt assisted by the outstanding team that year. Here a game is being played at Riddick Field, where spectators could drive their cars and buggies right up to the fence to catch the action.

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Credit: See top of page. (UA023.04.013.0007701.P)

E. P. Speer, shown in 1910, played second base on the varsity team. The year before, he was shortstop and captain of the freshman baseball team. During the 1910 season, the team only lost one game and outscored opponents 105-33 over the course of 19 games.

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Credit: Photo by John Mattox, and see top of page. (UA023.04.018.0007843.P)

Baseball has been a part of NC State since the early years of the university. Throughout the team?s history, baseball alumni have taken an interest in the actions of the current team. Henry Bonitz, captain and pitcher of the 1901 team, showed a bit of bat-handling to 1956 outfielder Jimmy Hill in this photograph.

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Credit: See top of page. (UA023.04.018.0007865.P)

This picture shows the top three hitters of the 1968 team, from left to right: Chris Cammack (third base), Steve Martin (outfield), and Dave Boyer (outfield). Chris Cammack holds the record for the single season batting average at NC State, with a .429 in 1969. He was voted ACC player of the year in 1969 and was on the first team All-ACC four years in a row from 1968 to 1971.

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Credit: See top of page. (UA023.04.013.0007703.P )

Pitcher Tim Stoddard (1972-1975) won 12 games and only lost 3 during the 1974 season. He also played on the 1974 NCAA champion basketball team. He would go on to play in the majors for the Chicago White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago Cubs, the San Diego Padres, the New York Yankees, and the Cleveland Indians.

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Credit: Photo by Roger Winstead, 1986 Agromeck. Also, see top of page. (UA023.04.015.0007752.P)

Catcher Jim McNamara hit 12 home runs in 1986, a year in which the team won a then-school record of 35 games, won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship, and earned an NCAA bid. McNamara went on to play for the San Francisco Giants in 1992 and 1993.

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Credit: Photo by Mike Gaddy, 1987 Agromeck. Also, see top of page. (UA023.04.015.0007754.P)

Turtle Zahn returns home after hitting a grand slam. First baseman Zahn (1985-1988) became the first player since Roy Dixon in 1978 to top the .400 mark for the season. In 1987 he set school records with 62 runs scored, 80 hits, and 166 total bases.

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Credit: Courtesy of Betty S. Doak.

Coach Charles "Chick" Doak, 1924-1939 (16 seasons). Record: 145 wins, 131 losses, 6 ties.
Coach Doak led his "Doakmen" to the South Atlantic championship only twice, in 1924 and 1928. But his philosophy that "the best defense is a hell of an offense" made for exciting games and avid fans. A former minor league player and coach at Guilford, Carolina, and Trinity (Duke), Doak remained on NC State's physical education faculty through 1955. The baseball field on the eastern side of Reynolds Coliseum (currently the parking deck) was named in his honor, and the name Doak Field was reassigned to the current site in 1966. Both of Doak's sons, Charles W. and Robert R., played ball for NC State.

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Credit: See top of page. (UA023.04.014.0007718.P)

Coach Vic Sorrell, 1946-1966 (21 seasons). Record: 223 wins, 196 losses, 5 ties.
Coach Sorrell tied Sam Esposito for the longest tenure of any coach at NC State. His teams were 96-89 in 13 years in the ACC. Twenty-nine of his State players gained all-Conference honors, with three named all-American. A former Wake Forest Deacon, Sorrell played with the Detroit Tigers for nine years, including the 1934 and 1935 championship teams. Before coming to NC State, he coached minor league baseball. According to class of 1958 player Bob Kennel, he was a "pure baseball man."

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Credit: Photo by Shawn Dorsch, 1984 Agromeck. Also, see top of page. (UA023.04.014.0018791.P)

Coach Sam Esposito, 1967-1987 (21 seasons). Record: 513 wins, 253 losses, 4 ties.
After Coach Esposito took the helm, Wolfpack baseball never again had a single losing season. In 1968 he guided the Wolfpack to the league championship, the NCAA District III title and a third-place finish in the College World Series. Another high point came in 1973-1975, when the Pack captured three consecutive ACC titles. Esposito played major league baseball for ten years and helped the Chicago White Sox reach the 1959 World Series. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1984 and 1986.

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Credit: Courtesy of NC State Department of Athletics.

Coach Ray Tanner, 1988-1996 (9 seasons). Record: 395 wins, 173 losses, 4 ties.
In his first season, Coach Tanner led State to a then-school record 45 wins, second place in the ACC, and a spot in the NCAA tournament. His team again broke the school victory mark in 1990, winning 48 games, and once again in 1993, winning 49, a record that still stands. He played for NC State as an undergraduate and ranks among the Wolfpack's all-time leaders. After graduating in 1980, he served as an assistant to Coach Esposito for seven years and was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1990.

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Credit: Courtesy of NC State Department of Athletics.

Coach Elliott Avent, 1997-present (10th season). Record through 2005: 338 wins, 212 losses.
Coach Avent was already the third winningest coach in school history before entering this, his tenth, season. He has averaged more than 37 wins a year. Named ACC and National Coach of the Year in 2003, when he led the Wolfpack to its first NCAA super regional ever, Avent has taken the Wolfpack to six NCAA regionals. He is the first NC State baseball coach ever to be named National Coach of the Year, and only the third Wolfpack coach in any sport to be so honored.