Mark Holliman hasn't signed yet, but he will. Count on it.
The lone drafted Rebel from the 2005 team who hasn't inked a pro baseball contract said it's just a matter of time before he and the Cubs get together.
"We're close. We're working things out," he said. "I believe it'll be wrapped up soon."
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander was a third-round pick in June by the National League's team in Chicago. He was also drafted by the Cubs out of high school, but he chose Ole Miss and the college game at that time.
Lately Holliman has been working out and splitting time between his hometown of Germantown, Tenn., and Oxford, an hour away.
Holliman grew up a Cardinals fan. That he has become one of the Cubs drafted players twice now means he will shift his allegiances from red to blue. Ole Miss gave him an opportunity to wear both colors.
In the next few days, look for Holliman to be a full-fledged member of the Chicago Cubs organization as he becomes the last drafted Rebel of eight this summer to sign up to play for pay.
Ole Miss assistant baseball coach Dan McDonnell still hasn't landed a head coaching job this summer, and that fact becomes less news with each passing week. A couple of opportunites have come and gone, and Dan continues to recruit as he has for five years for the Ole Miss Rebels.
He is currently in Atlanta at a tournament with 114 teams involved. Knowing Dan, he will see as many of the top players there as possible to try to get them to come to Ole Miss.
He says that the Rebels' recent success and national attention has made his job easier in some respects.
"Kids recognize us even more now," he said of the Ole Miss baseball program. "We seem to have more of them calling us to find out more about Ole Miss. Kids are just more familiar with us, and that always makes an easier sell if they know who you are and what you are doing as a program."
Dan says that while nationally the Rebels got much good exposure from the Super Regional season, most kids in the immediate area already knew the good things happening with Ole Miss baseball.
"Areas such as Mississippi and Memphis will always be a top priority for us," he said. "There are a lot of great kids in those areas. But we always look around the country and see who is out there as well."
No better example of that than two players signed for this year who have been on the minds of many. RHP Lance Lynn and OF Scott Van Slyke – Lynn drafted in the 6th round by the Mariners and Van Slyke in the 14th round by the Dodgers – are a bit out of the immediate area for Ole Miss but still within reasonable proximity of Oxford.
Lynn is from Brownsburg, Ind., and Van Slyke is from Ladue, Mo. They were the two highest drafted incoming Rebels in the recent June draft. While neither has signed a pro contract and both say they want to attend Ole Miss, it is worth paying attention to their negotiations to see how they progress through the next few weeks before school starts in late August.
It appears the Mariners have recently upped their offer to Lynn, but as of now the big 6-foot-5, 250-pound righty is still intent on coming to Ole Miss.
The new Ole Miss police chief is Jeffrey Van Slyke, and although there had been some speculation, he is not a relative of Scott. However both Jeffrey and Scott's father, former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke, did grow up in the same area of upstate New York.
Jeffrey Van Slyke began his work at Ole Miss in early June just before the Super Regional with the Texas Longhorns. Ironically, Van Slyke was UPD chief at the University of Texas at Austin prior to coming to Ole Miss.
His 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame, much more muscled and defined than it was 10 years ago when he left Ole Miss, relaxed in the big comfortable chair inside his office, which is actually the Texas Rangers' clubhouse underneath the first base side of Ameriquest Field in Arlington. Gone are the days, I suppose, of stools or folding chairs that major leaguers sit on in front of their lockers as they prepare for the daily routine of playing baseball.
"This place is as nice as most living rooms," I mentioned to David Dellucci as I checked out the spacious, even luxurious, digs the Rangers live and work in daily.
David Dellucci has never felt so at home, except for maybe his four years at Ole Miss. He says it actually does feel like college again in some respects.
It's been that way for him for a season and a half now in Texas. It's an organization he believes he can finish his career with.
Now in his seventh season of big-league baseball after a couple of years of minor league action, Dellucci has become a household name for fans of the Rangers, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Baltimore Orioles – the teams with which he has played – as well as other fans who follow major league baseball.
The 31-year-old former Rebel outfielder (1992-95) is on his way to his best season as a big-leaguer in his second season with Texas. He loves his team and his teammates. He likes playing for Buck Showalter. They know each other from their Diamondback days.
David's played in two World Series in his relatively short major league career – one with the ‘Backs (2001) and one with the Yanks (2003). Yet Dellucci remains the same, humble, grounded person he was as a kid playing for the Rebs back in the day.
He talks of family and playing in the South again, of overcoming a wrist injury that almost ended his career in the late 1990s, of being able to hunt and fish and do all the things he loves, in addition to baseball. He looks forward to coming back to Ole Miss again this fall for a football game or two. Dellucci, based out of his hometown of Baton Rouge, might even buy a place in Oxford so he can come "home" more often.
There's more to his story, and when the September magazine of The Ole Miss Spirit arrives in your mailbox, there will be a feature on a great former Ole Miss Rebel having a solid and well-deserved career in the bigs.
Southern Arkansas University head basketball coach Coach Eric Bozeman could hardly contain his excitement that his son Solomon will be a Rebel. It was announced Monday that the 6-foot-1 guard will be signing with Ole Miss in November to begin play after his high school career is over next spring.
"It's what he really wanted to do, to play for Ole Miss, and I'm very happy for him," said Bozeman, who arrived at Ole Miss in the summer of 1998 as a member of Rod Barnes' staff, where he remained until this spring when he took over the SAU program. "Our whole family is excited about it."
Solomon, who played at Oxford High through this past season, will finish his high school hoops career at Magnolia, Ark., High. Then he will return to Oxford, a place his father says is special for their entire family after living here seven years.
"We loved Oxford and miss it," Eric said. "We will look forward to getting back when we can.
"By the way," Coach Bozeman concluded, "how's the football team going to be? You know I have to remain informed about everything at Ole Miss even though I'm gone. That place just gets in your blood. I'm a Rebel over here among Razorbacks."
For more on Solomon Bozeman, check out Yancy's story on him from Monday.
There have been some questions from fans concerning the status of the incoming Lady Rebel hoopsters. As of now it appears 5-10 guard LaCourtney Ratliff of Canton High and Trinity Valley (Texas) CC is finishing up some class work at Holmes CC, while 6-0 guard Juanita Ward of Jackson Callaway High is awaiting results any day from the ACT.
The other two incoming Lady Rebels – 6-2 post Brandi Tipton of Curryville, Mo., and Clopton High, along with 6-3 post Shawn Goff of Tallahassee, Fla., and Leon High – are already enrolled in second semester of summer school at Ole Miss.
For one Lady Rebel coach, it's been an emotional month. Peggie Gillom was married on Sat., July 2. But on a sad note, one of her siblings, Peggie's brother Thomas, died the night before her wedding.
"It's been tough," said Peggie, the former Lady Rebel star player who, along with sister Jennifer, has a building named for her on campus – The Gillom Sports Center.
"We have a large family that sticks together and loves each other and has great faith," Peggie said. "So we have made it through."
On that first Saturday in July, Peggie wed Anthony Granderson. So now what do we call her? Coach Gillom? Coach Granderson?
I told her I think I'll still just call her Peggie.
"The girls (Lady Rebels) said they were just going to call me Coach G," she said. "That way they'd have it all covered."
If you'd like to contact Peggie – Coach G, that is – and congratulate her on the marriage and/or offer condolences on the death of her brother Thomas, her email address is the following:
Associate Media Relations Director and baseball contact the past eight seasons Rick Stupak has resigned and will be moving back to his home state of Oregon.
During Rick's time with Rebel baseball, the program went from struggling to make the NCAA field to national power. Teams he worked with went to the NCAA Tournament five of his eight years – 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Rick worked with football and other sports, but baseball was his main priority.
Best wishes, Rick, as you head back home after eight years in Oxford. When the Rebels finally do get back to Omaha, we'll look for you to meet us out there.
Press Box Notebook (a few summer updates)
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