June 3, 1989
One story that slipped past the anniversary date at Photos from the Vault this year was the 20th anniversary of Cal Poly’s baseball national championship held in Montgomery, Alabama. Before 2009 is over, imagine it is last June…
Back then Cal Poly was a Division II program coached by Steve McFarland.
Sports writer Peter J. Wallner takes it from here:
In one magical inning all the years of mediocrity disappeared from the Cal Poly baseball team.
In a span of eight batters, the Mustangs went from nervous collegiates representing a college with a meager baseball past to a group of young men — playing a kids game — with stomachs jumping like little boys on Christmas Eve.
Within 15 minutes or so minutes in that inning, Cal Poly scored four runs and transformed itself from just another team to a 9-5 winner over New Haven to become the NCAA Division II College World Series national champion.
“I would hope that people will now recognize us as having a quality program at Cal Poly,” sixth year coach Steve McFarland said by telephone following the game.
“There have been people who doubted us,” he added, “who doubted we could even win the conference. And I know we’ve been close in the past but we’ve faded in the end.
“But you got to give credit to these kids. They’ve been under a tremendous amount of tension and pressure. There’ll be a lot of celebrating but I bet they don’t last as long as they think. They’re tired.”
Cal Poly, a team that had never won the California Collegiate Athletic Association title, never won more than one game in regional competition, and had only dreamed of a spot in the World Series, is now forever changed.
Remember the ’69 Amazin’ Mets?
Welcome to the ’89 Magical Mustangs.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” said outfielder Robert Hale. “When we started out (this year), nobody gave us a chance for this. And we did it.”
And things will never be the same.
Students of newspapering can see how the raw print arrived, transmitted via laserphoto technology by the Associated Press. (MY7) means this is the 7th black and white photo from Montgomery transmitted that day.The red grease pencil marks were a guide for the person making halftones in the composing room. Missing is the paper tag that gave the size percentage, run date, and page information. Prints would spit out of the laserphoto machine every few minutes all day long but the images would fade if exposed to sunlight for a long time.
On the sending side it could take as little as ten minutes or as long as an hour to transmit one photo from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles. A dirty phone signal would force resends until a clean image came through. The machine had a singing ping that would let you know it was doing something but just in case you marked the print with a pencil to see if it was feeding slowly through the machine.
Today’s digital is so much better than yesterday’s analog.
A source close to Josh Scroggin tells me he will post about the championship on his blog as well.