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UCR Baseball Celebrates 50 Years of Memories

Baseball’s Golden Anniversary Means a Day of Celebration

UC Riverside players, coaches, fans, will gather at the Riverside Sports Complex at 12 noon Saturday, May 24 to share memories of 50 years of Highlander baseball

(May 21, 2008)

Former Head Coach Jack Smitheran takes a swingEnlarge

Former Head Coach Jack Smitheran takes a swing

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- The UC Riverside baseball team is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season with a tailgate party at 12 noon Saturday, May 24, followed by the UCR vs. Cal Poly game at 2 p.m.

The celebration is open to the public and tickets are on sale now for $5.
To purchase tickets, call 951-UCR GOLD (827-4653).

“To all the players I want you to know how much I appreciate your dedication, hard work and sacrifice you gave to the program,” wrote Jack Smitheran, head baseball coach for 31 years, in an online guestbook. “Without you there is no UCR baseball tradition.”

The guestbook can be found at

Former player Jeff White wrote that going to the Division II World Series in Montgomery, Alabama was a highlight for him. Addressing Coach Smitheran, he writes, “Jack, I still remember and use this phrase often..."now boys you have to remember the 5 P's...Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance"... the 5 P's live on!”

Kim Braun Padulo, a UCR alumna and former bat girl for the team, said the lessons she learned from UCR baseball coaches are still with as a professor and the mother of a young baseball player. “Now that I have a 7th grade son playing baseball pretty seriously, I am surprised how often I think back to those memories and use them to (hopefully) be a better baseball mom! Thank you, belatedly, for all of those great examples (former players) and teachable moments (coaches) that made up those memories.”

Former player Steve Glaum recalled wrestling with a difficult decision: whether to go pro in 1976 with the San Diego Padres or stay with UCR for another season.
“After some long dicussions with myself, I decided to go back to Riverside to be with a team that could possibly go a long way, and I wanted to be a part of that. I really wanted to learn from Coach Smitheran, Coach Pentland, and of course Coach Smith the finer points of the game. The rest is history because we did win, winning the first College World Series in the school's history… (it) is by far the greatest memory I have.”
Stephen Penney pitchesEnlarge

Stephen Penney pitches

Highlanders of 1958Enlarge

Highlanders of 1958

UCR retired Troy Percival's jerseyEnlarge

UCR retired Troy Percival's jersey

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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