15 Ways UC Is a Baseball All-Star

In honor of Cincinnati hosting the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, here are 15 things you need to know about the University of Cincinnati and America’s pastime.


UC All-Star Payne and Crosley

A photo of nighttime baseball at Crosley Field in Cincinnati in 1935. Photo/Courtesy of Robert Payne

1. Making Nighttime the Right Time for Baseball

UC alumni helped introduce the world to the concept of night baseball. Earl Payne (Eng, ‘26) helped design professional baseball's first lighting system, and Powel Crosley Jr., who attended UC from 1906-07, was owner of the Reds baseball team when Cincinnati hosted the first ever night game in 1935. 


UC All-Star Sandy Koufax

Photo/UC Archives and Rare Books Department

2. Where Sandy Koufax's Legend Began

This year marks the 50th anniversary of when Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax tossed a perfect game and the fourth no-hitter of his career on Sept. 9, 1965. Koufax played one season for the Bearcats before being drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.


UC All-Star Tom Tsuchiya

At right, UC alumnus Tom Tsuchiya at the unveiling of his Ted Kluszewski statue at Great American Ball Park. Photo/Greg Rust

3. Sculpting Some of Baseball's Best in Bronze

Alumnus sculptor Tom Tsuchiya is the creative talent behind the six statues of Reds greats Johnny Bench, Ted Kluszewski, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Morgan, Joe Nuxhall and Frank Robinson on display at Great American Ball Park. Plans call for Tsuchiya's statue of Tony Perez to be installed later this year.


UC All-Star vision training

At left, UC's Joe Clark oversees enhanced vision training for a UC baseball player. Photo/UC Academic Health Center

4. 'See the Ball, Hit the Ball' Goes High Tech

UC pioneered the use of an enhanced vision training program to improve the baseball team's performance at the plate. Training methods included using a Dynavision D2 light board, an eye-hand coordination device that tests and improves visual motor skills by using small board-mounted target buttons that light up randomly.



UC All-Star Kevin Youkilis

Former UC Bearcat Kevin Youkilis playing first base for the Boston Red Sox. Photo/Phoebe Sexton, Boston Red Sox

5. One Word: Yooooook!

Three-time MLB All-Star Kevin Youkilis became the first baseball player in UC history to have his jersey number retired when the program honored the former No. 36 for the Bearcats during a special celebration this spring. Youkilis played for the Bearcats from 1998-2001 and owns multiple school records. 


UC All-Star Mike Magazine

Image/Lindner College of Business

6. Like 'Moneyball'? Learn from an Analytics Expert

Business analytics professor Mike Magazine teaches game analysis of all sports, including baseball, so students can understand how statistics are used to make coaching decisions and other sports-related choices that are critical to game-time success. 




UC All-Star Ian Happ

Photo/UC Athletics

7. Hot-Hitting Bearcat Drafted in Top 10

Ian Happ became the first Bearcat ever drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when he was chosen No. 9 overall by the Chicago Cubs this June. Known as one of college baseball’s best hitters, Happ also was a first team Academic All-America.




UC All-Star Bearcat mascot

Photo/UC Alumni Association

8. Bearcats at the Ballpark, an Alumni Tradition

The UC Alumni Association hosts an annual Bearcats at the Ballpark night with the Cincinnati Reds. The entire UC family gets discounted tickets, and Bearcats and Reds fans alike enjoy a game at Great American Ball Park.




UC All-Star Josh Harrison

Image/UC Athletics

9. The Ultimate Utility Player

Former Bearcat Josh Harrison, now of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is believed to be the first person in baseball history to make the All-Star Game with no more than 22 starts at a single position, when he was chosen for the 2014 Midsummer Classic. Harrison played for the Bearcats from 2006-08.



UC All-Star James Sherwood

Photo/UC Magazine

10. Keeping Things Safe at the Crack of the Bat

Alumnus James Sherwood (Eng, ’76; D (Eng), ’87) worked with MLB’s Safety and Health Advisory Committee to investigate baseball bat durability and safety concerns regarding broken-bat incidents. He also has worked with the Baseball Hall of Fame in a live broadcast of the physics of baseball.



UC All-Star Billy Johnson


11. The All-Star of the Scoreboard

Alumnus Billy Johnson (Blue, '11) a producer/chyron specialist for the Reds, is part of the production crew behind the player profiles, animations and graphics that appear on the scoreboard during all games at Great American Ball Park - including this year's All-Star Game.



Baseball in Glove

12. This One's Going Way Back ... in History

University Archivist and baseball historian Kevin Grace and UC economics expert Michael Jones contributed original content on UC's baseball background that will be included in Fox's national media coverage of the All-Star Game.



13. Agent Remembers When 'Junior' Was Major

Sports agent and UC alumnus Brian Goldberg once counted Ken Griffey Jr. among his clients when "Junior" was among the brightest stars in all of baseball.



UC All-Stars DAAP

Students from UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning work on a Wiffle ball field/urban farm in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Photo/DAAP

14. Public Art + Urban Planning = Home Run

Students from UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning recently installed a Wiffle ball field/urban farm in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and are installing a baseball-themed public work of art downtown to be revealed during All-Star festivities.



15. Minor League Team Owner a Marketing Maverick

UC alumnus Drew Weber is owner and CEO of a minor league ballclub in the Red Sox organization. The Class-A Lowell (Mass.) Spinners are known for fan-friendly promotional gimmicks such as "Birth Night" for expectant mothers or the time $1,000 was hidden in hot dog wrappers.


For more information, contact Tom Robinette at 513-556-1825 or tom.robinette@uc.edu, or M.B. Reilly at 513-556-1824 or reillymb@ucmail.uc.edu.