Not even the man who UCLA's stadium is named after and who has a statue at the stadium could crack this lit via farm1.static.flickr.com
A 15-time postseason participant, two-time College World Series participant and home to 57 All-Americans, UCLA has a rich baseball history. The program has been maligned for a lack of team success, but the number of outstanding players who have gone on to succeed in the majors from Westwood is remarkable. This list does not represent those players who excelled in MLB or are the most famous though. This list is a compilation of the best team UCLA can put together from players throughout their history based solely on their play for the Bruins.
Catcher, Paul Ellis: In 1990, Ellis was a consensus first-team All-American as Baseball America, ABCA, Collegiate Baseball and Sporting News all named him an All-American. In addition, the ABCA named him the Division 1 Player of the Year thanks to a .360 batting average, 29 home runs, which tied for the third most by a Bruin in a single season. and83 RBI, the fifth most in a single UCLA season. In 2008 Ellis was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
First Base, Torey Lovullo: Lovullo was actually a second baseman, but I could not leave him off the list so he's on as a first baseman. A 1987 consensus All-American, Lovullo finished his career with 211 runs, second in UCLA history. His 266 career hits and 188 RBI are each the third most by a Bruin and his 51 homers are fifth most by a Bruin.
Second Base, Chase Utley: Well known for his exploits as a professional, especially after his 2008 World Series title and scintillating 2009 World Series performance, Utley is also one of the best collegiate players ever. Recently, Baseball America named Utley the best collegiate second baseman of the 2000's and for good reason. His 108 hits in 2000 are tied for the second most in a single season by a Bruin and he also hit .382 that season with 22 homers to earn himself three first team All-American honors. He ranks in the top five on the UCLA career list in runs, RBI and home runs.
Third Base, Garrett Atkins: Atkins spent three years in Westwood and was named an All-American in all three. Atkins was able to play both first and third base and his .369 career batting average is the third best in UCLA history. His name litters the UCLA record books, finding himself in the top ten in career hits, runs, RBI, doubles and home runs. He went on to be a fifth round pick by the Rockies.
Shortstop, Troy Glaus: A professional third baseman, Glaus was a collegiate shortstop and holds the UCLA record for both home runs (34) and runs (100) in a single season. Glaus also drove in 91 runs that year, tied for the best in a single season, as he helped lead the Bruins to the 1997 College World Series. His 62 career homers are the second most in school history and his 211 runs is tied for second. Glaus twice played for the USA Baseball National Team (1995, 1996) and in the majors, Glaus has been named an All-Star four times and was the World Series MVP for the Angels in 2002.
Outfield, Eric Byrnes: On a team full of power, Byrnes gives this team some speed with 81 career stolen bases, the fourth most in school history. Byrnes had some pop too with the most hits in UCLA history (326) the second most RBI (203), most doubles (75) and fifth most homers (48). Like Glaus, Byrnes was a member of the 1997 College World Series team and as an added bonus, he named his dog Bruin.
Outfield, Eric Valent: By the numbers, Valent is the Bruins' most prolific power hitter. His 30 home runs in 1998 are the second most a Bruin has hit in a season and his 27 in 1997 are the seventh most. In total, the two-time All-American hit 69 home runs at UCLA, the most by any player to suit up in the blue and gold. His 219 RBI are also tops in UCLA history, his 199 runs are the fourth most and he was a member of the 1997 USA Baseball National Team.
Outfield, Shane Mack: Mack was a 1983 consensus All-American and he is one of only six UCLA players to hit over .400 in a single season, batting .419 in 1983. His .361 career batting average ranks eighth on the UCLA all-time list and he is tied for fourth on the all-time triples list. In 1984, Mack became the first Bruin to play for the USA Baseball National Team
Designated Hitter, Ryan McGuire: McGuire hit from the minute he stepped on campus until the day he left. A Freshman All-American in 1991, he was a third team All-American in 1992 and a consensus first team All-American in 1993 when he set a then school record with 91 RBI. McGuire also earns extra points for amassing a 1.73 ERA as a pitcher that year. His 182 career RBI are the fourth most by a Bruin and his 47 career homers and tied for seventh most.
Starting Pitcher, Tim Leary: Leary was a guy who got it done on the field and in the classroom. A 1979 All-American, leary was also named an Academic All-American that year. His 12 wins that year was a UCLA record at the time and his 10 complete games in 1979 are three more than any Bruin has ever amassed in a single season. He ranks in the top ten on the UCLA career list for starts, innings pitched and strikeouts, while he is the career leader in complete games. His 17 wins in 1988 for the Dodgers earned him Comeback Player of the Year, a year in which he contributed to the Dodgers' World Series title.
Relief Pitcher, Gabe Sollecito: It would probably be best to name one of the Bruins' other outstanding starting pitchers (Alex Sanchez, Jim Parque, Pete Janicki) as the reliever, but let's stick with an actual reliever. Sollecito holds the Bruins' record for saves in a single season with 12 in 1992 and his nine in 1993 is tied for the third best, giving him a UCLA record 21 career saves.