The last two weeks we have started to see news start to leak out about a couple of Cal Baseball players starting to make their transfer plans for the spring semester. The biggest news was that Eric Jaffe is expected to become a member of the UCLA baseball team at the end of the semester break after being a 19th round selection by the Oakland A’s in the 2010 MLB Draft. (Link)
I thought this was an interesting decision as I have seen throughout the years many players stay true to the school until the end of the program.
We were able to talk with Mike Scott who was a redshirt sophomore when Providence College decided to cut their baseball program back in 1999. Scott ended up being named Big East Rookie of the Year and All-Big East First Team while picking up several All-American awards. He ended up being named to the All-Big East team twice more after transferring to UConn for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
He stated the following about his decision to stay:
I felt that I owed it to my teammates and the coaching staff to play the last season out. The night our program was cut we made a decision as a team that the only way to get back at our administration was to win as many games as possible. My teammates were my best friends at the school, and I thought that I would be letting them down by jumping ship mid – year. I had also committed to playing for Coach Hickey and the rest of his staff, and wanted to honor my commitment to play for them – they had taken a chance on me out of high school and it was not their fault that the program was eliminated. We truly felt that we had a team that was built to compete with anybody going into the season (the 1998 team fell just short of the Big East title game: we returned the core from that team and felt that the new faces on the roster in 1999 were upgrades at almost every position), and the fact that we would be playing with our backs against the walls gave us extra motivation. Staying for the 99 season was one that I certainly don’t regret; in fact it was the best decision that I could have made.