There was good news in college baseball for Mississippi State and Ole Miss this week.
Two first round draft selections in the June Major League Baseball draft have decided to forgo signing pro contracts and will enroll at MSU. J.T. Ginn of Brandon turned down the L.A. Dodgers and their $2 million offer to play for the Bulldogs. Also the Bulldogs landed Florida high school pitcher Carter Stewart, the eighth overall pick in the draft by the Atlanta Braves, as he spurned the Braves and almost $5 million to play in Starkville.
Ole Miss was also fortunate as the 36th pick in the draft Gunner Hoglund told the Pittsburgh Pirates that he was not interested in their $1.9 million offer and is already enrolled in summer school at Ole Miss.
A walk is as good as a double
Taylorsville native Billy Hamilton is hitting only .220 for the Cincinnati Reds, but this past weekend he had a 3-for-3 day against the Chicago Cubs. How valuable is Hamilton to the Reds? Hamilton is one of the top defensive centerfielders in all of baseball.
He also bats ninth in the Reds' lineup and is a threat to score every time he reaches base. Due to his base stealing ability when Hamilton reaches base, he scores at a higher rate than anyone in all of baseball. He scores 51 percent of the time, according to a Cincinnati newspaper. When he reaches base, he puts pressure on the other team, especially the opposing pitcher, and makes his teammates better.
Nathan’s famous hot dog contest
Joey Chestnut did it again for the 11th time as he won the Mustard Belt on July 4th in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Chestnut ate a record 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to claim the crown. This is like eating 38 Big Macs. Chestnut earns about $300,000 a year eating his way around the world. Miki Sudo choked down 37 hot dogs to win the female championship.
Who is the final team?
The College Football Playoff might have only one opening for this year’s playoff.
So often in college football the rich get richer, especially when it comes to a playoff spot. I assume Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson will be in this year’s playoffs, as they have been in the past several years.
Alabama has been in the CFP six times while Florida, LSU and Auburn have been in twice over the last two decades. Georgia made their first appearance last year. So the question will be who is the final CFP team? Many believe it will be Penn State, Georgia, Oklahoma or Miami. Maybe eight playoff teams would be better for everybody.
Odds and ends…
— The athletic financial records of Ole Miss, Mississippi State and USM were reported this week by the Clarion Ledger. Ole Miss made $9 million profit as they took in $117 million — up from last year’s $110. MSU went over the $100 million for the first time in school history -- up from $84 million -- plus they made a $14 million profit. USM dropped by $2 million over the previous year as the Eagles took in $23 million.
— Ole Miss had two offensive players chosen as Sporting News All-Americans in A.J. Brown and Greg Little. Meridian native and Alabama’s Raekwon Davis also made the defensive team.
Dale McKee, a resident of Waynesboro, has covered Mississippi sports for more than 45 years. He writes a weekly sports column. You can contact Dale at email@example.com