Fordham Rams baseball
|Head Coach||Kevin Leighton (3rd year)|
|Home Stadium||Jim Houlihan Park at Jack Coffey Field
The Fordham Rams baseball team of Fordham University in New York City has been existence since its first game played against the now-defunct St. Francis Xavier College in Manhattan, the first collegiate baseball game played with nine-man teams as today.
The team's 4,010 wins as of the 2009 season are the most of any NCAA Division I baseball team. This is mainly because Fordham began playing baseball half a century before many other schools took up the sport. While they have reached five NCAA Tournaments, the last appearance was in 1998. Nonetheless, they heavily stress their status as the winningest program in college baseball history in recruiting.
Founded in the late 1850s, the Fordham Rose Hill Baseball Club of St. John's College (the precursor to Fordham University, and of no connection at all to St. John's University) played against St. Francis Xavier College in the first ever college baseball game under modern nine-man-team rules (Knickerbocker Rules, or "The New York Game") on November 3, 1859.
There have been 56 major leaguers who have played for Fordham, including All-Star pitcher Pete Harnisch and Baseball Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch. Frisch, a star athlete in four different sports at Fordham, was known as the "Fordham Flash". Steve Bellán, a Cuban who attended what was then St. John's College from 1863 to 1868, played in the major leagues, primarily as a third baseman, and was the first Latin American in professional baseball. Gil McDougald, who played for the New York Yankees, was a coach on the team. Announcer Vin Scully, who played outfield at Fordham before achieving greater fame in the broadcast booth, hit one home run in his Fordham career, which included a game against George H.W. Bush who was playing for Yale University. Fordham's most recent Hall of Fame inductee class in 2012 included a member of the baseball team, Bob Cole.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the team's first game, Fordham played Williams College, which was also celebrating its sesquicentennial of baseball play. University President Joseph M. McShane, who had conceived of the anniversary game, threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game. Williams had lost to Amherst College July 1, 1859 and considered the first college baseball game under the now defunct Massachusetts rules, losing 73-32.
The team plays home games at Jim Houlihan Park at Jack Coffey Field. Jack Coffey Field, a multisport facility, is named after Jack Coffey, former athletic director and baseball coach at the University. He amassed 817 wins as a baseball coach. Coffey is the only player to play with both Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth in the same season (1918 Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox). The baseball portion of the field was renamed "Houlihan Park" after renovations completed in 2005.
|Atlantic 10 Conference (2008–present)|
- Curry, Jack. For 150 Years, Fordham Baseball’s Tradition of Winning, The New York Times, April 5, 2009. Accessed April 6, 2009.
- "Baseball Reference: Fordham". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
- "Steve Bellán". Fordham University. Retrieved 1 January 2009.