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1983 Championship Squad Inducted into Hall of Honor

Ashley Valdez, Staff Writer

Sep. 30, 2013

Chap baseball team won national title under coach Larry Hays

1983 baseball squad
A photo of the 1983 national title team and (below) head coach Larry Hays and his wife, Nell, enjoy the reunion honoring his squad.

Thirty years ago, the Lubbock Christian College baseball team did something that had not been done in the history of the school. In the late spring/early summer of 1983, the LCC Chaps won the NAIA World Series for the very first time and last weekend, Lubbock Christian University, hosted a 30-year reunion for the players, coaches and families of the World Series winning team. The entire team was inducted into the LCU Athletic Hall of Honor during a banquet held in their honor.

In the past 56 years, the baseball program at LCU has 1,902 wins and only 969 losses, including two World Series titles, 1983 and 2009.  There were many familiar faces in attendance, including President Tim Perrin, Paul Hise (Athletic Director) and Nathan Blackwood (current LCU Head Baseball Coach) who were all speaking at the event, as well as people like Mary Janice Stone, who has worked in the Registrar's Office for 23 years, and her husband Dale. Janice came out to show support and says she knows several of the players on the team.

Melisa (Tatum) Roberts introduced the Baseball Belles, who were right there beside the World Series team of '83 all the way! As the night progressed, each member of the team was called to the stage individually to receive a plaque with a picture of the team, and the affection that they shared for each other was apparent. The night was full of laughs as coach Larry Hays took the stage and quickly stole the show without even knowing it. He described the team as "talented and competitive," and he also said, "every one of them absolutely loved to play the game and they just needed to realize how great they really were." Coach Hays told story-after-story about how, "despite having a team full of freshman," together they overcame great adversity and injuries to ultimately win big that year.

Coach Hays graduated from LCC in 1964 and was hired shortly after that, in 1969. He holds the sixth-best all-time record for college baseball wins with 1,500 wins under his belt and three appearances in the NAIA world series with the Chaps. Along with his impressive career, the team described their coach as "a great man and Christian example." David Thetford, a speaker/emcee for the progam and Lubbock community supporter, said "Coach Hays is a man of class, character, integrity and, above all, a man of God."

For those that were only a members of the crowd, by the end of the night, it felt as if you knew each member of the team personally. They were a great group of guys and it was honor to be able to witness such an amazing event in their lives. The energy in the room was electrifying and it was both moving and humbling to see everyone on stage that night, the 1983 World Series winning Chaps!

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