USC Hall of Fame Series · Al Spaeter
The Trojan Baseball Alumni Association is committed to preserving the history of USC Baseball. In this video we talked with 91-year-old Al Spaeter. Al played baseball for USC 72 years ago as the second baseman on the 1942, 43 and 46 teams. Al remembers that 1942 was special as they won the conference and that it was also the first year of coaching for Rod Dedeaux. With the passing of teammate Jack Palmer, Al is the oldest known living former Trojan baseball player.
Paul Salata, Trojan Legend and Creator of “Mr. Irrelevant”
Just as Paul Salata was a star in two sports (baseball and football) at USC, he has continued to be engaged in multiple tasks and projects his entire life. Paul is a founding director of the Trojan Baseball Alumni Association (TBAA) as he was for football (TFAC) many years ago.
One of Paul’s most successful and endearing accomplishments has been the creation of Irrelevant Week which honors the final pick in the NFL draft, “Mr. Irrelevant.” Created 38 years ago, it’s still as popular as ever. This video shows Paul at his best promoting the Mr. Irrelevant week.
NY Yankees & USC Trojans – Moments in History
Along with legends Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto, a New York Yankees rookie named Mickey Mantle came to USC in 1951 for an exhibition game pitting the world champions against the Trojans. The legend of Mantle began that day as the 19-year-old slugger hit two 2-run home runs, including a legendary 500-foot shot that landed in the middle of the football team’s huddle on an adjacent field. The Bronx Bombers won, 15-1.
New York Yankees vs. USC Trojans, 65 Years Later
On March 26, 1951, the New York Yankees visited USC to play the Trojans on Bovard Field. Fans came to see stars Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto but it was young Mickey Mantle who had his “coming out” party that day going four for five with a single, a triple, two home runs and seven RBI’s. One of his home runs traveled to the adjacent football field. It is thought to be one of the longest of his career.
Sixty-five years later to the day – before the UCSB vs. USC Baseball game at Dedeaux Field – Morris Eckhouse of Cleveland’s Baseball Heritage Museum interviewed four Trojans who were there that day: Bob Hertel, Dave Rankin, Tom Lovrich and Stan Charnofsky.
1955 Tour of Japan
The year was 1955, Eisenhower was President, we were dancing to “Rock Around the Clock” and in the theaters we were watching “Rebel With out a Cause.” And on Bovard Field, Rod Dedeaux was preparing our baseball team for an experience of a lifetime, the longest road trip in history of college sports.
The historical road trip was 35 days to the Far East and put USC on the international map. Watch this video interview with ace pitcher Vic Lapiner as he recalls his team’s experiences….a great moment in Trojan baseball history.
USC Trojan Baseball Legends · Steve Kemp
Born August 7, 1954, Steve Kemp is still USC’s record holder in career batting average (.397), and was the Trojans’ first-ever designated hitter in 1974. He went on to play 10 Major League seasons with the Tigers, Yankees, Rangers and Pirates.
USC Trojan Baseball Legends · Fred Lynn
Born February 3, 1952, 6’1″ 190 lbs, Fred Lynn became the first player in Major League Baseball to win both the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same season.