The Wolfpacker

September 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 86 of 95

SEPTEMBER 2018 ■ 87 ■ PACK PAST '73 and '74) with Esposito on the sidelines. The Wolfpack baseball team not only won the program's first ACC title in 1968, it also won the District III championship and quali- fied for the College World Series. When the ACC decided to play an ACC baseball championship, Esposito guided the Wolfpack to the first three tournament titles (1973-75), meaning he was part of five con- ference championships in the two sports in less than three years. One of his recruits, who played for Baratto at East Chicago High, was two-sport star Tim Stoddard, who went on to become one of two players in history to win both an NCAA bas- ketball championship (1974 at NC State) and a World Series title (1983 with the Baltimore Orioles). Esposito actually had a big hand in both of the Wolfpack's basketball national titles. He recruited a skinny young second base- man from Joliet, Ill., for his baseball team. Fortunately for Valvano, Terry Gannon was also a pretty good shooting guard who set an ACC record for three-point percentage dur- ing the Wolfpack's 1983 run to the ACC and NCAA championships. (The NCAA did not adopt the three-point shot until the 1986-87 season, but conferences could experiment with it prior to that.) Among his former players that reached the major leagues was pitcher Mike Caldwell, who finished second in the voting for the 1978 Cy Young Award. "Sam came in and showed the team how to approach the game like a professional," Caldwell recalled. "He kept the workouts simple, and we played the game without a lot of trick plays. "His game-plan was: one, catch the ball; two, throw the ball; three, hit the ball. He was simply a 'no nonsense' guy that had a great athletic life and was willing to share some of it with his players. He will be missed by all that played for him." Reliever Dan Plesac, a three-time All-Star selection who now works for the MLB Net- work, credited Esposito for his success in the sport. • Lush, verdant landscaping • Nationally accredited, locally owned, not-for-profit • Dedicated to independence, security and peace of mind y p LIFESTYLES CREATED ONE PERSON AT A TIME. • A 42-acre urban oasis LIFESTYLES CREATED ONE PERSON AT A TIME. S pringmoor is 1500 Sawmill Road 1500 • Raleigh, NC 27615 C 27615 CALL 919-848-7252 FOR YOUR FREE INFORMATION KIT WP

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