WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-- Over 280 supporters of the program braved steady rain showers Friday evening at Alexander Field to attend Purdue baseball's championship ring ceremony and dinner, which honored the 2012 Boilermakers for winning the Big Ten title.
All 35 members of the 2012 team were on hand for the dinner and ring ceremony, which was the opening event of the program's alumni weekend. An alumni tailgate is planned for Saturday leading up to the opening kickoff of the Purdue-Michigan game at Ross-Ade Stadium. The 2012 Boilermakers will be recognized at halftime of the game.
Purdue's Big Ten championship ring features the Motion P logo in the center of the ring surrounded by 2012 B1G Champions. On the right side of the ring, Purdue Dream Team (as the squad dubbed itself at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year and used as rallying cry throughout the season), NCAA Regional No. 1 seed & host, and the team's 45-14 record are displayed. The left side of the ring is personalized with the individual's last name and also features B1G Tourney Champs and Top 25.
Attendees were given an opportunity to tour the new Alexander Field facilities, including the team's locker room, team room and indoor training area. The pressbox and suite level was also open to fans and many of them congregated there to escape the rain during the on-field ring presentations. The coaching staff - Doug Schreiber, Jeff Duncan, Tristan McIntyre and Payton Bieker - was recognized individually followed by each of the players, who walked out of the home team dugout to a round of applause. Schreiber presented each player with his ring.
The Big Ten Network's Tailgate 48 production crew and hosts were on campus this weekend to film many different facets of a Purdue home football weekend. They spent time with Joe Haase and Kevin Plawecki at the renowned Triple XXX Family Restaurant during breakfast, and caught up with the Big Ten Pitcher and Player of the Year again after the ring ceremony. Haase also pitched to co-host Jason Fisher in the batting cages of the Alexander Field indoor training area. The Tailgate 48 crew filmed portions of the ring ceremony as well. The interviews with Haase and Plawecki, ring ceremony and Alexander Field will be featured in the Wednesday, Oct. 10 telecast of Tailgate 48, scheduled to air at 6 p.m. ET on BTN.
While the 2012 team was focus of the opening night of alumni weekend, Schreiber highlighted the importance of all the program's alumni from the 125-year history of Purdue baseball. During his on-field remarks to the crowd, the 15th-year head and former second baseman thanked the alumni that returned to campus and made it clear that the 2012 team would not have been able to reach the Big Ten mountaintop with the contributions of the many Boilermakers that preceded the Dream Team. He thanks the alumni for laying the groundwork of which the program's success has been built.
Purdue baseball will continue its fall practice season throughout the month of October, preparing for the 2013 season that begins in February. The first regular-season game at Alexander Field is slated for Tuesday, March 19. A formal stadium dedication game is in the works for mid-April.
2012 Purdue Baseball, A Big Ten Championship Season by the Numbers
0 -- Number of runs scored by the opposition while Lance Breedlove was physically on the mound in his 31 innings pitched at Lambert Field in 2012
3 -- Number of walk-off wins at home in the final season at Lambert Field
5 -- Number of consecutive Big Ten Tournament appearances by Purdue, the longest active streak in the league
5 -- Number of players since 1981 to win Big Ten Player/Pitcher of the Year & Tournament MVP in the same season; Kevin Plawecki was the fifth
7 -- Number of Purdue players selected in the 2012 MLB First-Year Draft, a program record
7 -- Number of runs Purdue scored with two outs in the March 3 comeback win vs. Southern Miss
8 -- Number of Purdue players that earned All-Big Ten honors, a program record
8-0 -- Purdue's record against teams from the state of Indiana in 2012
10 -- Number of runs Purdue scored in the ninth inning in the May 6 comeback win at UCLA
11 -- Big Ten Player/Pitcher of the Week honorees, a program record
11-3 -- Purdue's record vs rival Indiana dating back to the 2008 Big Ten Tournament
14 -- Program alumni currently playing professional baseball
14-1 -- Purdue's record through the first 15 games of the season, the best start in program history
15 -- Number of Academic All-Big Ten honorees
15-1 -- Purdue's record in games started by Joe Haase in 2012
17 -- Number of consecutive wins in midweek action dating back to March 2011
20 -- Number of Big Ten games it took to clinch the league title, the earliest a team has clinched since the conference schedule moved from 32 to 24 games in 2009
30 -- Number of hits Purdue had in the March 10 win at Murray State, a program record
39-0 -- Purdue's record when leading or tied after the sixth inning
45 -- Purdue's win total, a program record
.316 & 3.16 -- Purdue's Big Ten-leading team batting average & ERA, respectively
408 -- Career win total for head coach Doug Schreiber after Purdue completed a series sweep of Illinois on April 15, moving him past Dave Alexander as the program's all-time record holder
.665 -- Purdue's winning percentage the last three seasons, the best in the Big Ten
172-110 -- Purdue's record the last five seasons, the best in the Big Ten