1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hall, Browning, Dearing, Smith, Gordon, Hamilton, Horhn, Frazier, Nunnelee

Senate Concurrent Resolution 584

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


WHEREAS, Ron Polk is the modern day icon and coaching guru of Southeastern Conference baseball; and

WHEREAS, Mississippi State's Ambassador for Baseball was born on January 12, 1944, in Boston, reared in Phoenix, Arizona, and played second base at Grand Canyon College in Arizona where he graduated in 1965; and

WHEREAS, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant on the staff of the legendary Frank Sancet at the University of Arizona, assisting the Wildcats in their drive to the 1966 NCAA College World Series; and

WHEREAS, after serving a brief tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, he accepted a graduate assistant position at the University of New Mexico in 1968; and

WHEREAS, in 1969, Polk accepted his first full-time coaching post as assistant under Charlie Greene at Miami Dade-South Community College, where he served until being named head coach at Georgia Southern College at Statesboro, Georgia, in 1971, winning his first National Coach of the Year Award in 1973; and

WHEREAS, Ron was invited to come to Mississippi State to replace Jimmy Bragan, former Southern League Commissioner, in November 1975, and was named the Bulldogs' thirteenth head baseball coach; and

WHEREAS, at Mississippi State and Georgia Southern, Ron Polk's teams compiled a phenomenal record of 1,043 wins and 486 losses, making Polk the 16th all-time winningest Division One baseball coach; and

WHEREAS, he has guided six teams to the NCAA College World Series and 17 squads to the NCAA regional tournament; and

WHEREAS, wearing the familiar number "1" baseball jersey on the field, Polk is legendary among Mississippi State fans, players, alumni and coaches; his Bulldog teams racked up an impressive 888 wins and only 422 losses, making him the winningest coach in Mississippi State and SEC history; and

WHEREAS, since his arrival at State, MSU teams have advanced to the NCAA College World Series five times, in 1979, 1981, 1985, 1990, and 1997, competed in 15 NCAA regional tournaments, and captured four SEC titles in 1979, 1985, 1987 and 1989; and

WHEREAS, Polk's 1979 team established new SEC marks for wins (48) and winning percentage in the SEC, and captured the first SEC title for the school in any sport since the 1971 SEC baseball crown; and

WHEREAS, his most celebrated team was the 1985 Diamond Bulldogs, featuring future major league stars Jeff Brantley, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Thigpen; the '85 team finished with a 50-15 record and a third place tie in the NCAA College World Series at Omaha, and Polk was awarded his second National Coach of the Year honor, being singled out by the major league scouting directors as the nation's top collegiate coach; and

WHEREAS, Polk's 1989 team posted the second of the school's three 50-win campaigns with a 51-14 record, winning MSU's tenth SEC title in baseball; and

WHEREAS, Ron was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1979, 1985, 1987 and 1989, and was rated ninth on the Baseball America list of the top ten power brokers in all of amateur and collegiate baseball; and

WHEREAS, he has served as President of the 5,000-member American Baseball Coaches Association and was honored by his peers as the recipient of the association's top honor, the Lefty Gomez Award; he was inducted into the ACBA's Hall of Fame in 1995; and

WHEREAS, on March 20, 1994, he notched his 900th career coaching victory against rival Ole Miss, and became only the 16th coach in college baseball history to reach the 1,000-win pinnacle on February 2, 1997, as his Bulldogs defeated Delta State 11-4 at Dudy Noble Field; and

WHEREAS, Polk has coached 18 All Americans and 101 players who have signed to play professional baseball; there are 16 college head coaches, 10 college assistants and 15 high school coaches around the nation who have either played for or coached under Ron at Mississippi State or Georgia Southern; and

WHEREAS, he has served five times (1977, 1987, 1988, 1995 and 1996) on the USA Baseball coaching staff for the USA Baseball teams that have played in the Summer Olympic Games, and managed 1991 Team USA to a bronze medal in the Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba, which qualified the team for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain; and

WHEREAS, he also served on the staff of the gold medal winning U.S. team in Seoul, Korea, in 1988, and was an assistant for both the U.S. entry in the 1987 Intercontinental Cup Tourney in Cuba and the American squad in the 1977 World Cup in Nicaragua; and

WHEREAS, Ron is the author of The Baseball Playbook, the leading textbook for baseball coaching classes, placing him in great demand at baseball coaching clinics across America; and

WHEREAS, his greatest legacy at Mississippi State may have been the undeniable influence his program had on the rest of the SEC, the best baseball conference in America; since he was named head coach, every team in the SEC has either upgraded their facilities or built new baseball stadiums; and

WHEREAS, at the April 19, 1997, MSU-Alabama game, the State baseball facility was officially named Dudy Noble Field, Polk-DeMent Stadium, in honor of Ron and the late Gordon DeMent, a long-time MSU baseball fan; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to recognize the accomplishments of the outstanding citizens of this state, especially one who has devoted so much of his career to the molding of our youth:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Ron Polk for his achievements and outstanding career in baseball, and congratulate him upon the occasion of his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be furnished to Ron Polk.