Jan. 16, 2014
2014 Schedule | UTTIX.com
The start of the 2014 Tennessee baseball season is just 29 days away!
In January and February, UTSports.com will count down the days remaining until the start of the Vols' 2014 campaign (Feb. 14) with looks back at the many players who donned jersey numbers 30-1.
The 2014 baseball season in Knoxville kicks off with the Tennessee Baseball Leadoff BBQ at Thompson-Boling Arena tonight at 6 p.m., where the Vols will officially induct former UT standout and Major Leaguer Chris Burke as the 19th member of the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame.
On the diamond, the Vols open play on Feb. 14 when they host the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at Lindsey Nelson Stadium at 4 p.m. With one of the youngest teams in the country in 2013, head coach Dave Serrano and company have the foundation in place on Rocky Top.
The 2014 slate is highlighted by 33 games in Knoxville, including nonconference matchups against Purdue (Feb. 15-16) and UNLV (Feb. 21-23). The Vols open with a 13-game homestand, starting things off with three straight days of doubleheader action.
In total, 20 Vols have worn No. 29, and junior college transfer Bret Marks will be the 21st this season. Including in that mix is one of the best to ever play in Rocky Top, Sam Ewing (1968-70).
#29 SAM EWING
1968-70 | OF | 6-3 | 205 lbs. | Nashville, Tenn.
Sam Ewing was one of the best to ever play the game at Tennessee. After wearing No. 12 and No. 17 in 1968 and 1969, Ewing settled on No. 29 for his final campaign in 1970. The rest is history. Ewing's 1970 season saw him post an incredible .464 batting average, which still ranks second all-time in the SEC single-season record books an is the top mark in the Tennessee annals. The talented outfielder drove in 25 runs on 45 hits that season, while adding eight homer and 33 runs scores. He was a first-team All-America selection by both The Sporting News and the ABCA.
In addition to the single-season record, Ewing still holds the Tennessee career batting average record of .411. On the single-season charts, the two-time All-SEC honoree ranks second in triples (7) in 1969 and second in slugging percentage (.824) in 1970. He also led the SEC in batting average in back to back seasons.
Following the 1970 season, three Vols wound up being selected in the first round of the 1971 January regular and secondary phases of the major league draft. Pitcher Steve Raines, outfielder Sam Ewing and infielder Phil Garner all signed professional contracts. Also, outfielder Sam Ewing earned a spot on the Coaches All-America squad after batting .464, a school record. Ewing was selected by the Chicago White Sox with the fifth overall pick. Ewing also played professionally for the Toronto Blue Jays. He played four total seasons in the pros, hitting .255 and racking up 92 hits, four home runs and 47 RBI over 167 games.
Ewing was inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 and was named to the Volunteers' 26-man All-Century Team in 2009.
MORE NOTES ON EWING
- Played professionally in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters
- Former Player-Manager of the Iowa Oaks (Class Triple-A)
- Attended John Overton High School in Nashville