20 Years Later: A Look Back at the University of Wyoming Baseball Program
With Wyoming facing an economic downturn, the last thing our state needs now is to allocate more resources to the University's athletic department. However, as a lifelong fan, it sure would be great to see the Pokes baseball program return someday.
It's been 20 years now since Title IX and other budget restraints forced the program to disband in 1996. However, for 58 years, baseball rivaled football and basketball as the most prestigious sports at UW.
The program produced many major leaguers over the years, including longtime player and manager Art Howe and current Colorado Rockies television analyst Jeff Huson.
Wyoming's proudest baseball moment came back in 1956, when coach Bud Daniel led the Pokes to the College World Series. During his 20 seasons at the helm, Daniel's teams won 295 games, including five conference titles. A member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, Daniel was enshrined in the University of Wyoming Hall of Fame in 1996.
In addition to Howe and Huson, other notable baseball alums include Bill Ewing, who set a NCAA single season record with 23 home runs in 1976, and Robert Jingling, who starred for the Pokes in the 1950s before signing with the Detroit Tigers.
Sadly, the chances of resurrecting baseball in Laramie are slim. In 2012, the Wyoming State Legislature removed a study which would have explored reviving both the baseball and softball programs.
Hopefully, one day, there will be enough interest, and money, to bring baseball back to Laramie. Of course, we could always get rid of golf, cross country and swimming.