Jan. 18, 2014
2014 Schedule | UTTIX.com
The start of the 2014 Tennessee baseball season is just 27 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 baseball season in Knoxville kicks off on the diamond on Feb. 14 when the Vols 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 early 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, 26 Vols have worn No. 27 and no current Vol dons the jersey. Included in the mix is a current big name Big Leaguer in Chase Headley. The San Diego Padres' third basemen, Headley wore the Orange and White No. 27 from 2004-05.
#27 Chase Headley
2004-05 | 3B | S/R | 6-2 | 200 lbs. | Fountain, Colo.
After excelling on the diamond at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., during his freshman year in 2003, Chase Headley transferred to Tennessee and played two seasons for the Volunteers. A native of Fountain, Colo., Headley started all 54 games at third base for Pacific, batting .330 (including a 16-game hitting streak) with three home runs, 26 RBI and a slugging percentage of .464.
In his first season at Tennessee in 2004, Headley started at five different positions and finished the season with a .295 average, two homers and 23 RBI. The Vols got off to their best start in program history in 2004, starting the campaign 29-5. The squad cooled down the stretch before being eliminated by UNC Wilmington in the NCAA Regionals. That summer, Headley played in the distinguished Cape Cod League for the Cotuit Kettleers. He was named Team MVP after hitting .242 with three doubles, three homers and 17 RBI in just 36 games.
The 2005 season in Knoxville was a special one, not only for the Vols, but for Headley as well. The junior finally settled in at third base and with the help of fellow future big-leaguers Julio Borbon, J.P Arencibia and Luke Hochevar, Headley took the Vols back to the College World Series for the first time since 2001.
Statistically, Headley led the Southeastern Conference in batting average with a .387 clip. He also led the league in runs scored (82) and on-base percentage (.530). He was named a third team ABCA, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball All-American and earned first team ABCA All-Sout Region and All-SEC honors. Headley's name is all over the 2005 single-season record books, setting the walks record with 63 free passes that season. He's also second in on-base percentage (.530), third in runs scored (82), fifth in extra-base hits (41), total bases (164) and games played (67).
Headley also excelled in the classroom. He was named a first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and All-District IV in 2005.
After two seasons with the Vols, Headley was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2005 MLB draft and he's been in their organization ever since. He made his MLB debut on June 15, 2007. In 2012, Headley led the National League in RBI and won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards with the Padres. He finished fifth in the NL MVP race.
He returned to Rocky Top in 2010 as a guest speaker at the team's annual Leadoff Banquet and again after his stellar 2012 season. Headley was named a member of Tennessee's All-Century Team in 2009.
THROWBACK NOTES FROM HIS BIO
- Full name is Chase Jordan Headley
- While off the field, he enjoys skiing, hunting and fishing
- Graduated Valedictorian from Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Fountain, Colo.