Today, the University of California, Berkeley announced the reinstatement of its baseball program. According to press reports, $9 million was has been raised and the $10 million target will most likely be reached with ongoing fundraising. Thanks to Stu Gordon (former Cal pitcher, and the leader of a Cal Athletic fundraising program, Bear Backers) for heading up the fundraising efforts.
As background, faced with budget cuts last September, the university was planning to cut four sports programs—baseball, men’s gymnastics, women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse, with rugby being pushed into an intramural category. So far, only men’s gymnastics has failed to raise enough money to be reinstated.
I wasn’t expecting this to happen. With the constant talk about cuts in the UC system, it seemed like these sports were more of an afterthought for students. At a college where football is the main talk of the campus, it’s refreshing to see community members find resources to continue fielding these teams.
And as mentioned by Rory Paap, the Bears’ baseball tradition since 1892 and its development of many major leaguers are now preserved for the time being.
The team comes back to Evans Diamond on April 19, facing the UC Davis Aggies. And yes, the rivalry with the Cardinal will continue.