OKLAHOMA CITY -- A crowd of approximately 400 people gathered Friday night to kick off the 2006 University of Oklahoma baseball season, while also honoring two of the greats of years past. Former Sooners Rich Hills of the 1994 CWS Championship team and Jeff Bajenaru of the 2005 World Series Champions Chicago White Sox, both received special recognition.
Clarke Stroud, the University of Oklahoma Vice President of Student Affairs, emceed the event, which was held at the Coca-Cola Events Center in Oklahoma City. Stevens Trucking was the title sponsor.
Former Sooners, Damon Minor (1993-96), Ryan Minor (1993-95), Mark Roberts (2001-04), David Purcey (2002-04), Mike Swindell (2003-04) and Tyler Gooch (2004-05) were also recognized.
Later, Hills and Bajenaru participated in a question and answer period with members of the audience. Prior to that session, the former OU greats were honored with framed Sooner jerseys.
OU head coach Sunny Golloway, who was introduced by Athletics Director Joe Castiglione, previewed the 2006 squad before the evening was concluded by a 2005 highlight video (narrated by Chuck Kelly - voice of the Sooners) and autograph session with the special honorees and members of the 2006 Sooner baseball team.
"Celebrating the players from the past and the present was a perfect way for this team to get the season started," said Golloway. "It's an honor to have such former Sooner greats like Rich Hills, Jeff Bajenaru and others come back to celebrate the great tradition of this program. I think everyone is excited for the 2006 season to begin."
Opening day is exactly a week away for Oklahoma. The Sooners will meet Texas State in the UTPA Tournament in Edinburg, Texas., on Feb. 3. The home opener is set for Feb. 10 versus Western Illinois and the Big 12 opener is slated for March 24 against Baylor.
SEASON TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Season tickets for the 2006 OU baseball season are now on sale through the OU Athletics Ticket Office and SoonerSports.com. Click here to learn more about what is offered for the 2006 season.
The Sooners' home opener is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. against Western Illinois. OU will then continue the series against the Leathernecks on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. and conclude the three-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m.
To order your season tickets please call the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-4668 or click here for more information available on SoonerSports.com.