Brief Historical Summary of Team Georgia's
Participation In The Sunbelt Baseball Classic
The Sunbelt Classic originated in 1977 as an all star between the states of Oklahoma and California. The first series was played in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the series alternated between the two states for the first ten years. The founders, Coach John Schwartz and Coach Gordon Morgan of Oklahoma had dreams of the series eventually becoming a national showcase for high school baseball players.
In 1988 Florida joined the series and it became known as the Sunbelt Classic. In 1990 the states of Georgia, Ohio, and Maryland joined the series and for the first time the series was played outside the states of Oklahoma or California. The 1990 series was played in Avon Park, Florida and Team Georgia defeated Ohio in the finals to win the Classic Championship. The finals were televised by the Sunshine Sports Network. Beginning in 1991 the series was moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma and was played on the campus of Oklahoma State University until 1994. Texas joined the series in 1994 and since 1995 the series has been hosted in a great way by the community of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Arizona joined the tournament field in 1997 to round out the eight team classic field in what has been called by Collegiate Baseball the most competitive tournament of it's type in America.
There has been well over 40 major league players who have played in the series since it's inception. Among those are Kevin Bass (Astros), Buddy Biancalana (Astros/Royals), Al Davis (Mariners),Eric Plunk (A's), Randy Johnson (Mariners/Astros), Mike Moore (A's), Phil Stephenson (Cubs), Mickey Tettleton (A's/Orioles), John Russell (Phillies), and Johnny Damon (Royals). Additionally, Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys was a series participant. Team Georgia is very proud to have contributed to the major league listing with former players Shane Monahan (Mariners), J.D. Drew (Cardinals), Tim Drew (Indians) and John Rocker (Braves) as well as having a number right on the brink of making the "show".
Team Georgia has won the classic Senior Championship in 1990, 1991, 1996, and 1997 as well as finishing second in 2001 and third in 1994 and 1995. Since Team Georgia started playing in the Junior Series in 1999 they have won the classic Championship in 2000 and 2001 as well as finishing second in 1999. Among the many outstanding players who have represented Georgia High School baseball in the series are Mike Tarter (Walton/South Carolina), Terry Harvey (Dacula/North Carolina State), Kenny Henderson (Ringgold/Miami), Todd Larocca (Lovett/Stanford), J.J. Thomas (Wheeler/Georgia Tech), Shane Monahan (Wheeler/Clemson/Mariners), Tommy Peterman (Walton/Georgia Southern), Matt Mathews (Parkview/Columbus State), J.D. Drew (Lowndes/Florida State/Cardinals), Brent Schoening (Columbus/Auburn), Hayden Gliemo (Colquitt/Auburn), Dernel Stinson (LaGrange/Red Sox), Doug Roper (Vidalia/Clemson), Adam Everett (Harrison/South Carolina/Red Sox), and Tim Drew (Lowndes/Indians). Mike Tarter, Hayden Gliemo, McCay McBride, and Rip Warren were selected as tournament MVP's.
Of the 180 players who have represented Georgia in the Sunbelt, 80 have gone on to play Division I baseball, 14 have played Division II, 60 have gone the Junior College route and 35 have signed professionally.
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