Friday, September 6, 2013

Our VU Class of 1973 Sports Hall of Fame Moments

It's Vanderbilt's Sports Hall of Fame weekend with the newest class including Billy Joe Adcock (men's basketball), Jamie Duncan (football), Josie Earnest (bowling), Dr. Brant Lipscomb (team medical consultant), Carolyn Peck (women's basketball), Jesse Roguski Onheiser (lacrosse) and Jeremy Sowers (baseball).

It's an oustanding group and they join one member of our VU Class of 1973 already in the Vandy Sports Hall of Fame.....

That would be the late Jeff Peeples who 40 years after throwing his last pitch for the Black & Gold still holds several major school records.

It got me to thinking what would be some of the Hall of Fame Sports moments that occurred while we were in school....

In football it was clearly our first home game freshman year, October 1, 1969, when we upset Bear Bryant and his nationally-ranked and undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide 14-10. Don't forget we will be showing a DVD of that game in its entirety at our Friday night Class Party at the newly remodeled Rand Hall on October 4.

Other memorable football moments would be our demolishing Davidson 52-0 later in that 1969 season and clobbering Mississippi State in Starkville 49-19 in 1971. Can you think of others?

In basketball our last home game senior year comes to mind as we destroyed the hated UT Big Orange and their coach Ray Mears. Boy, after all the frustration that sure was sweet!

Here's another great moment from that basketball season, the fans carrying freshman guard Joe Ford off the floor at Memorial Gym after he sank two free throws with time expired to beat the Kentucky Wildcats by one point. UK won the SEC that year, but we topped them twice, home and home....

The 1972-73 team returned Vanderbilt to prominence winning 20 games (20-6) for the first time in several years. It also set the scene for Vandy to win the SEC and the school's second ever NCAA tourney bid the following season. Hats off to our four seniors from that 1972-73 team as seen below: (L) Rod Freeman, Chris Schweer, Ray Maddux and Steve Turner. I hear several of them are coming to Reunion!
Then there's baseball winning the SEC not only our senior year but also the following season 1974. Hats off as well to Class of 1973 member centerfielder Tommy Powell (seen right holding the trophy). He hit a walk-off grand slam home run to beat UT at then McGugin Field our final year.
Think about it. What our Class of 1973 did in sports our senior season set up Vandy to win two SEC titles (basketball and baseball) and even have the football team go 7-3-2 and garner the school's second-ever bowl bid in 1974. Seems to me 40 years later, the VU Class of 1974 owes us!

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