Only two former Virginia Tech baseball players, Franklin Stubbs and Brad Clontz, have gone on to win a World Series in the majors.
That is a very select pairing but both of those men were back in town Friday night for a special the sixth annual Baseball Night in Blacksburg.
Stubbs was Tech's first-ever All-American, and the first Hokie drafted in the first round. He played ten seasons in the majors, hit 104 home runs and won the 1988 World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is now a batting coach in the minor leagues.
"I always liked to see young people fulfill their dreams, reach their potential," Stubbs said. "In doing that, I felt like that was the best place for me to try to help somebody, do something, and give back to the game that has given me so much."
Clontz still holds the school records for wins (12) and innings pitched (130) in a season. The Patrick County native played six seasons and earned his ring with the 1995 Atlanta Braves.
"To me it was all about self belief, putting the extra time and effort in, working to be better than the guy beside you because he's competing with you," Clontz explained. "Never have any self doubt. I never thought that I would not make it, so that carried me a long ways."
Virginia Tech opens its season next week. Head coach Pete Hughes appreciated the message these former HOkies delivered to his players.
"These guys give the reality of pro baseball. But they also give the reality that if you're dedicated and focused, along with that talent and your skill set, you can achieve your dreams."