Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    196

    In honor of back-to-back CWS appearances, I offer a Ron Polk story from 1983.

    I worked as a proctor in the athletic dorm, McArthur Hall, in the early 1980s. I lived on the third floor which was for football players. Baseball players were on the top floor. The five dorm proctors rotated the late night shift so every fifth night, I walked the all the hallways in the dorm. The baseball players were far and away the most entertaining which led to a couple of meetings with Coach Polk to explain what I had observed from the baseball players. I would be as vague as possible, Polk would sit quietly, rarely ask questions, and then dismiss me with a grunt. For someone who was so incredibly disciplined, he ran a pretty loose ship with the players.

    McArthur Hall had a large room with a huge TV on the first floor. I was on duty during the opening weekend of the College World Series in 1983. There were practically no athletes in the dorm that weekend so I didn't have much to do. As I wondered around the dorm, I noticed that the TV was on and someone was sitting on one of the giant couches directly in front of the TV. Seeing that it was the CWS on and assuming it was some player, I walked down and plopped down on the couch next to the one that someone was sitting on. I looked over and realized that it was Coach Polk. He had an unlit cigar in his mouth and a couple of notebooks opened laying by him on the couch. Being a 20 year old dumbass, I asked him how the game was going. He grunted "fine" and went back to writing notes in one of the notebooks. I sat there quietly for a while watching the game, feeling awkward as hell. Upping my dumbass game, at some point I asked him if one team should bunt or not. He ignored me for a minute or so and then turned and looked at me and said "I'm working right now." I finally figured out that the man was pissed about his team not being in the CWS and was not interested in chatting with some clown. About an inning later, I eased out of the room as quietly as possible. Two nights later, I saw him being interviewed in Omaha. I ran into him in lobby of the dorm about a month later as a baseball camp was about to start. I simply nodded my head and was going to walk by. Coach Polk stopped me and said something along the lines of, "No, you don't bunt in that situation. They had their best two hitters coming up and it was only the sixth inning. Play for the big inning." I thanked him and he went on about his business. I think about that story every year at this time.
    Last edited by OldFatDog; 06-14-2019 at 02:59 PM. Reason: spelling


    18 out of 18 sixpackers like this post
    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatDog View Post
    I worked as a proctor in the athletic dorm, McArthur Hall, in the early 1980s. I lived on the third floor which was for football players. Baseball players were on the top floor. The five dorm proctors rotated the late night shift so every fifth night, I walked the all the hallways in the dorm. The baseball players were far and away the most entertaining which led to a couple of meetings with Coach Polk to explain what I had observed from the baseball players. I would be as vague as possible, Polk would sit quietly, rarely ask questions, and then dismiss me with a grunt. For someone who was so incredibly disciplined, he ran a pretty loose ship with the players.

    McArthur Hall had a large room with a huge TV on the first floor. I was on duty during the opening weekend of the College World Series in 1983. There were practically no athletes in the dorm that weekend so I didn't have much to do. As I wondered around the dorm, I noticed that the TV was on and someone was sitting on one of the giant couches directly in front of the TV. Seeing that it was the CWS on and assuming it was some player, I walked down and plopped down on the couch next to the one that someone was sitting on. I looked over and realized that it was Coach Polk. He had an unlit cigar in his mouth and a couple of notebooks opened laying by him on the couch. Being a 20 year old dumbass, I asked him how the game was going. He grunted "fine" and went back to writing notes in one of the notebooks. I sat there quietly for a while watching the game, feeling awkward as hell. Upping my dumbass game, at some point I asked him if one team should bunt or not. He ignored me for a minute or so and then turned and looked at me and said "I'm working right now." I finally figured out that the man was pissed about his team not being in the CWS and was not interested in chatting with some clown. About an inning later, I eased out of the room as quietly as possible. Two nights later, I saw him being interviewed in Omaha. I ran into him in lobby of the dorm about a month later as a baseball camp was about to start. I simply nodded my head and was going to walk by. Coach Polk stopped me and said something along the lines of, "No, you don't bunt in that situation. They had there best two hitters coming up and it was only the sixth inning. Play for the big inning." I thanked him and he went on about his business. I think about that story every year at this time.
    Pretty amazing that with the program Polk had at MSU he never went to back to back CWS. Guess he can get some partial credit that the 1998 team went following up the 1997 team where Polk was the 1997 HC and McMahon became the HC in 1998. Actually seemed the program got reenergized for a while when Polk got McMahon to come back to MSU as the "coach in waiting". So I actually give more credit to McMahon during that era than I do Polk.


    1 out of 1 sixpackers like this post
    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatDog View Post
    I worked as a proctor in the athletic dorm, McArthur Hall, in the early 1980s. I lived on the third floor which was for football players. Baseball players were on the top floor. The five dorm proctors rotated the late night shift so every fifth night, I walked the all the hallways in the dorm. The baseball players were far and away the most entertaining which led to a couple of meetings with Coach Polk to explain what I had observed from the baseball players. I would be as vague as possible, Polk would sit quietly, rarely ask questions, and then dismiss me with a grunt. For someone who was so incredibly disciplined, he ran a pretty loose ship with the players.

    McArthur Hall had a large room with a huge TV on the first floor. I was on duty during the opening weekend of the College World Series in 1983. There were practically no athletes in the dorm that weekend so I didn't have much to do. As I wondered around the dorm, I noticed that the TV was on and someone was sitting on one of the giant couches directly in front of the TV. Seeing that it was the CWS on and assuming it was some player, I walked down and plopped down on the couch next to the one that someone was sitting on. I looked over and realized that it was Coach Polk. He had an unlit cigar in his mouth and a couple of notebooks opened laying by him on the couch. Being a 20 year old dumbass, I asked him how the game was going. He grunted "fine" and went back to writing notes in one of the notebooks. I sat there quietly for a while watching the game, feeling awkward as hell. Upping my dumbass game, at some point I asked him if one team should bunt or not. He ignored me for a minute or so and then turned and looked at me and said "I'm working right now." I finally figured out that the man was pissed about his team not being in the CWS and was not interested in chatting with some clown. About an inning later, I eased out of the room as quietly as possible. Two nights later, I saw him being interviewed in Omaha. I ran into him in lobby of the dorm about a month later as a baseball camp was about to start. I simply nodded my head and was going to walk by. Coach Polk stopped me and said something along the lines of, "No, you don't bunt in that situation. They had there best two hitters coming up and it was only the sixth inning. Play for the big inning." I thanked him and he went on about his business. I think about that story every year at this time.
    1981 - Tony Gage is picked off 3rd on a failed suicide squeeze after a leadoff triple.

    Your conversation with coach Polk is entirely different but for that single play.

    He was scarred for life.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  4. #4
    Coach Mac helped us improve our recruiting of pitchers. He played a huge role.


    1 out of 1 sixpackers like this post
    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  5. #5
    But that is one big reason why bunting is rarely the right call. Thereís always a significant risk the bunt will fail.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  6. #6
    Yeah. We wouldnít have been anywhere near Omaha in 97 or 98 if Mac hadnít come back.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by maroonmania View Post
    Pretty amazing that with the program Polk had at MSU he never went to back to back CWS. Guess he can get some partial credit that the 1998 team went following up the 1997 team where Polk was the 1997 HC and McMahon became the HC in 1998. Actually seemed the program got reenergized for a while when Polk got McMahon to come back to MSU as the "coach in waiting". So I actually give more credit to McMahon during that era than I do Polk.
    Going to Omaha back to back is so huge. If we had gotten there in 1984, I think we probably bring home the trophy in 1985. So yeah, that is likely why Polk never got it done.


    2 out of 2 sixpackers like this post
    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by patdog View Post
    But that is one big reason why bunting is rarely the right call. Thereís always a significant risk the bunt will fail.
    Correct. The rest of the story is that Brad Winkler popped out for the first out just after, so Polk seemed to feel he needed to manufacture the run or lose his opportunity. I remember being 14 and the look on Ronís face after we didnít get that bunt down told me all I needed to know about what decision he would make until this very moment.

    Matter of fact, MSU May have never attempted a bunt with him as the coach again, if I recall. But at 52, my memory isnít all that good.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  9. #9
    The thing that always stuck out to me about Polk’s teams were they couldn’t handle a curve ball pitcher and they couldn’t bunt. Bunting being the most consistent problem.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    Posts
    41
    Polk gave the sign for suicide squeeze. The batter looked at Polk and shook his head. He had no idea what the sign was. Polk called time and went to the batter and told him he wanted him to bunt. The tv announcers said, "Everybody in the stadium knows he just called a suicide squeeze. Surely, he is going to change the call now." He didn't. The pitch-out came and Gage never had a chance.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  11. #11
    Defensive Coordinator Shamoan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10,123
    That is a top shelf story. Thanks for sharing


    1 out of 1 sixpackers like this post
    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Misfit View Post
    Polk gave the sign for suicide squeeze. The batter looked at Polk and shook his head. He had no idea what the sign was. Polk called time and went to the batter and told him he wanted him to bunt. The tv announcers said, "Everybody in the stadium knows he just called a suicide squeeze. Surely, he is going to change the call now." He didn't. The pitch-out came and Gage never had a chance.
    that makes the whole thing even more sickening. I remember being in the backseat of the car and my dad had it on the radio. I guess I was 11 at the time. Can’t believe that I remember that.


    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

  13. #13
    I was waiting for the part where he mails you a typed apology.**


    2 out of 2 sixpackers like this post
    Left Field Lofts | Left Field Dumpster Yes | No

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
SixPack Sponsors







Disclaimer: Neither this message board nor its rules and regulations are associated with Mississippi State University or any other Mississippi State sports website. Neither this message board nor its rules and regulations are associated with Scottish & Newcastle PLC d/b/a Bulldog Strong Ale. The views and opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the post author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by SixPackSpeak.com. The interactive nature of the SixPackSpeak.com Discussion Forums makes it impossible for SixPackSpeak.com to assume responsibility for any of the content, including photographs and/or images, posted by participants. The ideas, suggestions, thoughts, recommendations, opinions, comments, advice, and observations made by participants of the interactive Discussion Forums are not endorsed by SixPackSpeak.com.


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties