Courtesy of Alabama Athletics
Alabama has struggled to rediscover its glorious past on the diamond.

Alabama baseball: Wandering program marks historic anniversary of all-time greats

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at an important anniversary for a reeling baseball program. 

When I was young, I was surrounded by baseball could-have-beens.

I was an Atlanta Braves fan, born into what had been a struggling franchise just before it would reach its potential. In the majors, my childhood baseball watching was defined by one of the greatest pitching staffs in history, despite no memory of a World Series championship.

But in college baseball, Alabama was thriving, living on the long ball and creating more runs than anyone could imagine. Jim Wells led the program to the College World Series final before falling just short to LSU.

Just as the Braves have been stuck in a years-long rebuild, hoping to reach the heights of the 1990s and 2000s, Alabama has been struggling to reach that level. On the 20th anniversary of the bar-setting runner-up run, Ben Jones of The Tuscaloosa News released a two-part, well-crafted oral history of the greatest baseball team in Alabama history. 

ICYMI

Built by Bama

• Alex Avila continues to thrive for the Detroit Tigers. He hit his 11th home run of the season on Wednesday, a solo shot that gave the Tigers half their runs in an 8-2 loss to Kansas City. Could he be headed to the Cubs?

• Justin Thomas will play in the Quicken Loans National this weekend and is clowning Johnny Miller in the meantime. 

Around the Capstone

• Former Crimson Tide volleyball player Krystal Rivers is one of the most remarkable athletes in Alabama history. She has two degrees — one in Spanish — was SEC Player of the Year, holds the school records in kills and points, and, oh yeah, beat cancer. Now, she’s nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year. 

• The men’s tennis team is hosting a program reunion this fall. 

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