Syracuse University Baseball History
The club baseball program was founded in 1979. We competed in the NCBA until 2018 before a 2-season CCBA stint. In 2019 & 2021, we were CCBA NY Western Division Champions & were CCBA Runner Ups and have returned to the NCBA for 2022-23.
Unfortunately, varsity baseball hasn’t returned to the Hill since it was cut in 1972. 50 years later, we’re the only Atlantic Coast Conference institution without a baseball team despite being less than 100 miles from the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s surprising because SU’s discontinued varsity program has a remarkable legacy.
Founded in 1873, SU was nationally competitive & finished over .500 for 93 seasons under Lew Carr, Ted Kleinhans, & Andy Mogish. The Orangemen’s best season was 1961: we finished 3rd in at the College World Series in Omaha behind Oklahoma State & USC. In 1915, SU defeated many prominent programs, including Yale, Columbia, Michigan, and Brown, while finishing with the 2nd best nationwide college record. In 1968, the Orangemen remarkably led NCAA in runs per game & qualified for the NCAA’s.
The Orangemen’s excellence was exemplified by the successful pro baseball careers many alumni had. 26 former Orangemen became MLB players, including 1950 NL MVP Jim Konstanty ’39, 1961 All-American, 1971 WS Champion, & 1973 NL All-Star Dave Giusti ‘61, & longtime NYY pitching coach and player development executive Billy Connors ’61. Many former players, including SU’s last living baseball coach, NewHouse Professor Herm Card ‘68, former NYS Senator John DeFrancisco ‘68, & Stephen Crane ‘1891, who wrote the critically acclaimed Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, are highly respected in their professions. To learn more, check out MP Geiss ‘23’s June 2022 SU Baseball History presentation at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown below.
The team would like to thank Herm Card, John DeFrancisco, Rick Burton, Scott Pitoniak, Wood Woodridge, and SU Athletics’ Information Archives for making the HOF history presentation possible.