ORONO – Some of the greatest players and coaches ever to wear a Black Bears baseball uniform will gather in the Bangor area beginning today as part of the University of Maine Baseball Weekend.
The event will feature a Saturday morning ceremony to retire the No. 3 jersey of former UMaine star and major league standout Mike Bordick, but also will include a golf outing at Bangor Municipal Golf Course, a recognition dinner and an alumni game.
University of Maine baseball coach Steve Trimper has organized two days of activities designed to celebrate the program’s storied tradition.
“My brainchild was to do it all in one weekend,” said Trimper, who directed the Bears to the 2006 America East championship and a spot in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional. “It’s been an outstanding response.”
A star-studded lineup of UMaine stars is scheduled to be in town, including Bordick, former coach John Winkin, Jack Leggett, Ed Flaherty, Dale Plummer, Dan Kane, Bobby Whalen and Mike MacDonald.
UMaine baseball also will honor the 1976, 1981 and 1986 College World Series teams, which are celebrating their 30th, 25th and 20th anniversaries, respectively.
“We have such a great thing here because of the tradition,” Trimper said. “The alums and the support staff have built this program.”
The event begins with today’s UMaine baseball golf tournament, the primary fundraiser for the program. Trimper said the annual tourney has raised a record $31,500 to help send Maine on its spring trip.
“The community businesses in the Greater Bangor area blew me away in how much they helped us out here,” he said.
The tournament is followed by a social hour and dinner at the Muddy Rudder restaurant in Brewer that begins at 6 p.m. Bordick, Flaherty, Leggett and Winkin are among those scheduled to speak.
“I can’t wait to sit back and listen,” said Trimper, who explained upwards of 200 people will attend the meal, but that some spots are still available.
On Saturday, Bordick will become only the fourth UMaine baseball player or coach to have his number retired, joining coach Jack Butterfield (21), Billy Swift (No. 8) and Winkin (No. 5).
Bordick played at UMaine from 1984-86 and led the Bears to the CWS in 1984 and ’86. He enjoyed a 14-year major league career during which he was named an all-star in 2000 and played in the World Series in 1990 and 2000.
He owns major league records with 110 consecutive games without an error at shortstop and 543 chances in a row without an error.
Saturday’s 11:45 a.m. ceremony at Mahaney Diamond will precede a noon nine-inning game between the current Bears and more than 30 alumni.
Batting practice begins at 10 a.m.
“This is to give back to these people, having an interest in the guys who have pride that they played baseball for UMaine,” Trimper said.
Cox named UMaine assistant
UMaine women’s basketball coach Ann McInerney has announced the addition of Aliya Cox as an assistant coach.
Cox replaces former Bears guard Kim Corbitt, who has taken a pharmaceutical sales job in Virginia after serving one season on the staff.
Cox has spent the last six seasons as an assistant at UMass Lowell, her alma mater. She was the top assistant the past two seasons under veteran head coach Kathy O’Neil.
“We are thrilled to have Aliya Cox join our staff here at the University of Maine,” McInerney said in a release. “I knew her as a player and an assistant coach from our time in the Northeast-10 Conference. She is a hard worker, great teacher of the game and will compliment our staff very well.”
Cox, a 2000 UMass Lowell graduate with a degree in health education with a concentration in psychology, helped lead the River Hawks to three NE-10 titles and three trips to the NCAA Regionals. She captained the 1999-2000 team.