April 26, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan baseball teams from the 1961 and 1962 seasons will have a reunion Wednesday through Friday, May 4-6, coinciding with being honored at the Michigan-Minnesota game Friday night (May 6) at 7 p.m.
The 1961 team finished 20-11 and won the Big Ten championship with a 10-2 conference record. Highlights of the season included three-game sweeps at Arizona State and against Michigan State, and hosting the District 4 Regional, going 2-2 in the tournament. Bill Freehan and Mike Joyce earned All-Big Ten first team honors. Freehan hit .446 in 1961, while Dennis McGinn had a team-best 2.18 earned-run average.
Michigan won a national championship in 1962, going 31-15 overall and defeating Santa Clara, 5-4, in 15 innings to take home the title. Jim Bobel drove in the winning run and pitched in the championship-game win, while Ron Tate's two-run home run turned out to be the winning runs in a 3-1 win over Texas in the College World Series opener. One of the highlights of the 1962 season occurred in the NCAA District 4 Regional in Kalamazoo, Mich., when senior John Kerr pitched 19 innings on the same day in wins over Illinois (5-1) and Western Michigan (3-2). The Wolverines went on to defeat Western Michigan, 7-6, the next day to advance to the CWS. Dave Roebuck and Dennis Spalla were named to the All-Big Ten first team, while Harvey Chapman led Michigan with a .313 batting average and Wayne Slusher had a 1.62 ERA. The team featured future Major Leaguers Fritz Fisher and David Campbell. Fisher played for the Detroit Tigers in 1964, while Campbell played in the majors from 1967-74 with four teams and currently works as a color analyst for Major League Baseball on the ESPN family of networks.
Both teams were coached by Don Lund, who mentored the Wolverines from 1959-62. Moby Benedict was an assistant coach on the 1962 team. Both coaches have had their number retired by the University of Michigan.
The weekend starts with a golf outing and dinner on Wednesday, May 4. The reunion continues with a facilities tour and dinner on Thursday, May 5, and concludes with golf, a pre-game meal with the team and the game on Friday, May 6. That game also will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423