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WSU hitting and pitching legend John Olerud named Pac-12 baseball Player of the Century

WASHINGTON STATE baseball legend John Olerud has been named the Pac-12's Player of the Century, as chosen by a 36-member panel of experts commissioned by the conference as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Adding luster to the remarkable honor is the fact he outdistanced such luminaries as Jackie Robinson, Barry Bonds and Tom Seaver.

The news arrived Monday evening on the Pac-12 Networks.

Olerud, who became an All-Star and Gold Glover in a long Major League career with the Blue Jays, Mets, Mariners, Red Sox and Yankees, shattered the record books when he pitched and played first base for Bob Brayton's Cougars from 1987-89.

He was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and Baseball America's College Athlete of the Year  in 1988 when became the only player in NCAA history to win 15 games and hit 20 home runs. He posted a 15-0 record on the mound and hit 23 HRs with a .464 batting average that season.

Olerud's career batting average with the Cougs was a record .434 and his career pitching record was 26-4 with a 3.17 ERA.

He won the American League batting title with the Blue Jays In 1993 and nearly did it again with the Mets several years later. He won two World Series titles with the Jays and also was a standout on the 2001 Mariners team that won a record 116 regular-season games.

The Pride of Interlake High in Bellevue is a member of the WSU and College Baseball halls of fame. College baseball's annual Two-Way Player of the Year Award is named in his honor.

In a 2011 interview with Washington State Magazine, Brayton recalled how Olerud "led the world in everything" and said on the rare occasions when he needed to make a trip to the mound when Olerud was pitching he would say to his phenom, "Remember you are John Olerud. There's no one better."

Here is the complete Pac-12 All-Century Baseball Team:

CATCHER

AJ Hinch, Stanford, 1992-96

Casey Myers, Arizona State, 1998-01

Todd Zeile, UCLA, 1984-86

FIRST BASE

Mark McGwire, USC, 1982-84 

John G. Olerud, Washington State, 1987-89  

SECOND BASE

Bret Boone, USC, 1988-90   

Xavier Nady, California, 1998-2000

Chase Utley, UCLA, 1998-2000

SHORTSTOP

Dustin Pedroia, Arizona State, 2002-04

Jackie Robinson, UCLA, 1940

THIRD BASE

Troy Glaus, UCLA, 1995-97

Chip Hale, Arizona, 1984-87

Brett Wallace, Arizona State, 2006-08

OUTFIELD

Barry Bonds, Arizona State, 1983-85

Michael Conforto, Oregon State, 2012-2014

Jacoby Ellsbury, Oregon State, 2003-2005

Terry Francona, Arizona, 1978-80

Mike Kelly, Arizona State, 1989-91

Fred Lynn, USC, 1971-73 

Oddibe McDowell, Arizona State, 1983-84

PITCHER

Mark Appel, Stanford, 2009-13

Trevor Bauer, UCLA, 2009-11

David Berg, UCLA, 2012-15

Randy Johnson, USC, 1983-85 

Mike Leake, Arizona State, 2007-09

Tim Lincecum, Washington, 2004-06

Jack McDowell, Stanford, 1983-87

Mike Mussina, Stanford, 1988-90

Mark Prior, USC, 2000-01

Tom Seaver, USC, 1965

COACH OF THE CENTURY

Raoul “Rod” Dedeaux, USC, 1942-86

PITCHER OF THE CENTURY

Mark Prior, USC, 2000-01

PLAYER OF THE CENTURY

John G. Olerud, Washington State, 1987-89  


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