Former Bear plays in MLB World SeriesNov 6th, 2009 | By msuunder | Category: National Sports, Sports
by Adam Hammons
For most sports lovers across the nation, Missouri State isn’t exactly well known. Besides a couple great showings in the dance in both men’s and women’s basketball, we haven’t really proven ourselves to be a top quality sports school.
MSU alum and Phillies first basemen Ryan Howard, though, may help change that as he plays in the World Series.
Since hitting the big leagues, he’s made a humongous splash when it comes to numbers and recognition. Over the past seven years he went from small town player to basically a household name, and no one is as surprised as Howard.
Howard started out in St. Louis, where he grew up and practiced baseball with his dad. When he got to high school, he was a great prospect for colleges but it seemed that no scouts were looking his way so he ended up at Southwest Missouri State, or MSU as it is now, and started his career.
Howard even had to walk on at first, but he quickly impressed the coaching staff and earned a scholarship and a permanent spot in the lineup. From there on it was a quick few years with a great junior year at MSU, and then finally a draft by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth round of the amateur draft in 2002.
Howard earned the Rookie of the Year in 2005 after replacing all-star Jim Thome. He has been the NL MVP, won the Home Run Derby, been a two-time all-star and is now trying for his second World Series title. Needless to say, Howard is giving himself, and MSU, some recognition.