The Arizona State Sun Devils opened up their 2016 baseball season on Friday night with a 5-2 season-opening win over Xavier, but the real show came before the game when they honored the jerseys of Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier.
Ethier was an All-American at Arizona State, as well as a two-time First Team All-Pac-10 performer. He finished his collegiate career with a .371 batting average. As such, he was immortalized by the university and had his number hung on the outfield wall for all to see.
From the official Arizona State Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) Twitter account:
Those #'s look good up there… pic.twitter.com/It3FH7MTNS
— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) February 20, 2016
Ethier is an Arizona native and went to Arizona State for two years after one season at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. In his two years at Arizona State, the outfielder put up a slash line of .371/.476/.559 and hit 14 home runs, drove in 118 runs, and collected 164 hits.
Arizona State now has 17 current jerseys that are being honored and only two jerseys that are retired. The big names who have also had their jerseys honored by the university are Paul Lo Duca, Eddie Bane, Rick Monday, Reggie Jackson, and Barry Bonds. Ethier and Pedroia now join them.
In 2003, Ethier was named to the Tempe Regional All-Tournament team, and he was also honored as the team’s Outstanding Defensive Player. He also ended his Arizona State career with a dazzling 23-game hitting streak, which is the eighth-longest in ASU’s history.
Remember: don't miss the chance to pick up these commemorative posters tonight at #PHXMuni
Arrive early, stay late pic.twitter.com/eE1JdxPz1o
— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) February 19, 2016
Fans who were in attendance at the game also were able to receive commemorative posters that documented the achievements of both Ethier and Pedroia throughout their illustrious collegiate careers.
This was an awesome honor for Ethier to receive, and it’s one that he justly and rightly deserved. While neither guy won a National Championship while with Arizona State, their imprint on the university was still vast and inspiring. It was fantastic to see them both honored, and especially Ethier.