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Davidson v. Goliath Again, or a Cinderella Story Re-Cap of Memorable Mentions

Once upon a time, there was a small, residential, nationally-ranked liberal arts school near Charlotte, known far and wide across the land for its many fine attributes.

Add baseball to the list.

"Davidson College has played baseball for 115 years, generally with little success," the Associated Press reported at the beginning of our tale. "The Wildcats made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time this year, and they made a memorable debut Friday."

Two even more memorable days later, the Wildcats had claimed the next brass ring on their journey.

CBS Sports' Dayn Terry rhapsodized over the now-ubiquitous picture of the Wildcats celebrating their (second) upset victory over UNC at the regionals in Chapel Hill: "Pictured above? Substantial and wholly justifiable Baseball Exuberance. Also pictured above? A team that's advancing to the super regionals for the first time in school history. Circling back to RPI for a moment, UNC coming into the tourney ranked second – i.e., 124 spots ahead of Davidson."

SB Nation agreed:

"Let's take a moment to GO FULL CAPS IN SUPPORT OF THE DAVIDSON WILDCATS, WHO WON THREE STRAIGHT GAMES, INCLUDING TWO OVER HOST AND NO. 2 OVERALL SEED NORTH CAROLINA TO ADVANCE TO THIS YEAR'S SUPER REGIONAL ROUND. Glad we got that out of our system." Read the article.

Alumni got in the game, with John D. Burns '92 adding:

"Davidson v. Texas A&M in baseball this weekend. Davidson – 1,930 students. Texas A&M – 66,425 students. There are more current students at Texas A&M than Davidson has living alumni."

Those stats are the latest in a recurring Davidson v. Goliath theme through Davidson sports history, from the 1960s glory days of Lefty Driesell's hoopsters to the 1992 Soccer Championship to 2008's Elite Eight run featuring Steph Curry.

And so now, let the smack talk begin.

Pittsburgher and political commentator Lenny McAllister '92 and his fellow media maven Texas A&M alum Roland S. Martin, of TV One, cross-pollinated Twitter and Facebook with good-natured taunts. McAllister: "Looks like @dcbaseball_ is gaining a bandwagon!" Martin: "We'll handle Davidson. #GigEm."

As the June 9 date for the next contest approaches, Wildcat fans are scouring shoeboxes for pictures taken on film to scan digitally for Throwback Thursday.

One such image, of the 1997 baseball team on the same Wilson Field where the current team returned in victory on Monday afternoon, inspired the closing comment for this chapter in the story of Davidson and Goliaths.

Brian Penny '97 wrote:

"Revisiting this picture in light of the recent Regional Championship victory Davidson earned. I remember the day my Dad took this picture. It's not the whole team, but its representative of the great guys I spent 4 years of my life with. One of the coolest things is not who we were, but who these people are today. In this picture are doctors, lawyers, executives, business owners, the Head Coach of the Duke baseball team, the VP of Professional Scouting for the Red Sox, and others... that's Davidson College."

 

For complete coverage of the Wildcats' run, check out our Storify.


John Syme
josyme@davidson.edu
704-894-2523