With Major League Baseball spring training opening across Florida and Arizona, the North State Journal is continuing its look at the state of North Carolina’s contribution to MLB.Last week, we looked at home grown players North Carolinians who went on to play in the big leagues. This week, we focus on the state’s long history of college baseball, and how many players at a college or university in North Carolina went on to play Major League Baseball.A total of 356 players went from a college in the state to MLB, or one out of every 52 players in Major League history.Alumni of North Carolina colleges have combined for 79,111 MLB games, 48,159 hits and 2,770 home runs. On the mound, North Carolina collegians have produced 3,791 wins and 1,435 saves.As might be expected, the state’s four ACC teams have supplied the bulk of the players. Duke, NC State, Wake Forest and North Carolina have produced 199 major leaguers. But 31 other college around the state have sent players to the majors. Six non-ACC schools East Carolina (23), Davidson (14), Guilford (12), Western Carolina (12), Elon (11) and Catawba (10) have produced at least 10 MLB players.While 14 North Carolina schools have alumni who played in the big leagues last season, other colleges in the state have had a long wait since their last Major Leaguer. This year will be the 20th season since Davidson’s last MLB player (Robert Eenhoorn). Appalachian State hasn’t had a big leaguer since Mike Ramsey in 1985.Former Tar Heels have dominated at the plate. University of North Carolina players have combined for more MLB games (18,111) than any other in-state school. Duke (12,459) is a distant second. UNC also leads in hits (12,773 to Duke’s 8,614) and home runs (873 to Duke’s 455).On the mound, Campbell is the state’s surprising leader in MLB wins, with 611, led by brothers Gaylord and Jim Perry. Wake Forest is next, with 573 wins. Unlike Campbell, the Demon Deacons don’t have one or two dominant pitchers. Instead, Wake produced Vic Sorrell (92 wins), Erik Hanson (89), Tommy Byrne (85) and Ray Scarborough (80).NC State has the strongest bullpen pipeline to MLB in the state. The Wolfpack have produced 290 MLB saves, led by Dan Plesac (158) and Tim Stoddard (78).Here’s a look at the leaders, by school, in MLB hits, home runs, wins and saves.
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