OKLAHOMA CITY -- A crowd of approximately 400 people gathered Friday night to kickoff the 2005 University of Oklahoma baseball season, while also honoring three of the greats of years past. Former Sooners Kyle Denney, Damon Minor and Ryan Minor, all major leaguers, received special recognition.
Chuck Kelly, the new radio voice for Sooner baseball, emceed the event, which was held at the Coca-Cola Events Center in Oklahoma City. Stevens Trucking was the title sponsor.
The keynote address was delivered by Ross Porter, long-time radio voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a native Oklahoman and an OU graduate. Later Denney and both Minors participated in a question and answer period with former Sooner Sports Information Director Mike Treps.
The trio of former OU greats, which make up a small portion of the 45 players that OU head coach Cochell has seen reach the major leagues, was then honored with framed Sooner jerseys.
Cochell concluded the evening by previewing the 2005 squad.
"This is my 39th year as a head coach," Cochell said, "and I am very excited about coaching this team. I really like this team's character. Ability first and character second will get you beat every time. This team has a chance to be successful because it has the character to fight through the challenging times that always come during a season."
Opening day is less than a month away for Oklahoma. The Sooners will meet Gonzaga in the Coca-Cola Spring College Tournament at Surprise, Ariz., on Feb. 11. The home opener is set for Feb. 19 versus Eastern Illinois and the Big 12 opener is slated for March 24 against Texas A&M.