The University of Virginia baseball team has a semi-storied history since its founding in 1889, with eleven current UVA grads in the majors right now, and a slew of others in the past.
Last weekend, they inducted their first class of Hall-of-Famers, which included, among 15 other names, Danny Hultzen, Brian Buchanan, and the Washington Nationals’ first baseman and closer, respectively, Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle.
Zimmerman, who manned third base from 2003 to 2005 in Charlottesville, hit .355 while a Cavalier, and made it to the all-ACC team twice.
Doolittle, who both pitched and played first from 2005 to 2007, had one season of overlap with Zimmerman, was a three-time All-American and the ACC Player of the Year in 2006.
With the Nationals as the closest major-league team to Virginia, it’s either a funny coincidence or a completely logical development that the Nationals are the most- represented team in the UVA Hall of Fame.
Both Zimmerman and Doolittle were proud of their alma matter when they talked to the local press (NBC-29 Charlottesville).
“[It’s] pretty cool that they finally did something like this. With the amount of guys that the program has produced, and the teams that they’ve had... it’s good to honor the people that have been here in the past,” Zimmerman said.
“I think the fact that there is a Hall of Fame now, I think the fact that there is a Hall of Fame room at the stadium now, I think it kind of speaks to the support the program has gotten,” Sean Doolittle said. “Not only from this university, but also the community itself. To be in the inaugural class is really, really special.”
Doolittle, unsurprisingly, had some witty comments to make on Twitter (in response to which Fordham pastoral studies master’s candidate Eireann Dolan, who is also married to Doolittle, made wittier comments).
I am honored to be inducted into the @UVABaseball Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural class. I owe so much of who I am to the Virginia Baseball program and I am extremely proud to be a part of it. Forever grateful. #Wahoowa pic.twitter.com/9dYk5qi4NW— Obi-Sean Kenobi (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 28, 2018
i am also extremely excited to join chipper, vlad, jim thome and trevor hoffman as people who were selected to some kind of baseball hall of fame of this weekend. thank you.— Obi-Sean Kenobi (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 28, 2018
Sean,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, good job— Live Más Kapital (@EireannDolan) January 28, 2018
look we didn’t meet until 5 1/2 years after I left uva so stop trying to take credit for this.— Obi-Sean Kenobi (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 28, 2018
I noticed you said left and not graduated any particular embarrassing reason for that— Live Más Kapital (@EireannDolan) January 28, 2018
I know you love school and you’re working on your second masters degree and I’m very proud of you but let me have this stop school shaming me— Obi-Sean Kenobi (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 28, 2018
Needless to say, with such a good track record, any UVA prospects should be hoping to be picked by the Nats.