Program Pride

In 1990, Diamond Dog ace Bobby Reed won 15 games before being selected in the third round by the Texas Rangers. Before Reed would make the move to the minors, he spent a little time in Omaha, Nebraska as part of one of Mississippi State's greatest teams to play in the College World Series. Reed and Mississippi State have both returned to Omaha this week.

Reed, now a father with baseball players and a cheerleader of his own, understands the anxiety, expectations and amazement of playing for it all on college baseball's biggest stage.

"It is what every player dreams of," said Reed of playing in the College World Series. "Before you go on to try to win the World Series in the big leagues, you usually dream of going to Omaha and winning the college world series.

"It's every kid's dream.

"Having the chance to play in the College World Series is just awesome."

Reed was a member of some great Bulldog squads.

Some college baseball experts have suggested that the 1989 vintage Diamond Dogs were the greatest college baseball team not to make it to Omaha.

Ironically, the 1990 team, in what was considered to be a bit of a rebuilding year, earned a spot in college baseball's elite eight.

"I would probably agree in some degree that the 1989 team probably had more talent," said Reed. "The 1990 team just had more heart.

"I am not saying the 1989 team didn't have heart, but the 1990 team was a close knit bunch of guys that just played well together.

"We didn't have that one player who stood out above the rest.

"We all did our share and contributed and I think that's why we went as far as we did."

Reed was teammates alongside current Bulldog skipper John Cohen.

The All-SEC pitcher reports that Cohen was memorable for several reasons, but the former outfielder's approach to the game made him unique.

"John was a great teammate, great outfielder and great hitter," said Reed. "He was probably the most intense player I have ever played with.

"I was kidding with him about all of that today.

"To see how relaxed and loose his team is right now is a lot different than how he played.

"He told me that it only took him twenty-two years to figure out that the team plays better when they are relaxed.

"Things have really changed for John. He's changed from the Mr. Intensity that I played with to the laid back coach he is today."

Reed reports that seeing the Bulldog baseball program thrive under Cohen's leadership is no surprise, but it is something that the former hurler takes a lot of pride in.

"I am so proud of him and the whole team," said Reed. "To see them play as well as they have and represent Mississippi State and the SEC the way they have makes me really proud.

"I don't think I could be any prouder of John than if one of my own sons went to go play baseball for him.

"That would just be the ultimate."

For now the Bulldogs are chasing the ultimate prize of a NCAA Baseball National Championship.

During his time with the team today, Reed reports that he had the chance to talk with Coach Cohen about his approach to what could be a historic Bulldog baseball weekend.

"I asked John this morning if he remembered that the last time he was here in Omaha that he and I were playing," said Reed. "He said that he hadn't had much of a chance to reflect on that.

"He said that he has been so caught up for preparing the team for another big weekend.

"They have taken the same approach that they have to an SEC weekend in the regular season, the SEC tournament, the regional and the super regional.

"It's another big weekend, but we've had a bunch of big weekends.

"This is just another big weekend."

Having played alongside Coach John Cohen and observing the program's rise in recent years, Reed believes that trips to Omaha will happen with greater regularity.

"We expect a lot of big things out of Mississippi State baseball under John's leadership," said Reed. "He has done a great job with the team.

"They do a great job recruiting and I think they have several guys that have committed and haven't signed and several that have signed that are going to continue to extend the program that John has going.

"It's something that Coach (Ron) Polk started ahead of him, but they're getting a great bunch of guys and some great talent every year now.

"We're real excited about the future and I am glad that I am going to be able to be on campus a lot more in the coming years with kids of my own going off to college."

Bobby Reed played three years of minor league baseball before retiring.

Reed now lives in Tennessee where he works in the home construction and remodeling business.

Reed has three children, two sons who play baseball and an older daughter who will enroll at Mississippi State this fall and be a part of the Bulldog cheer team for both football and basketball.

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