The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 87 of 95

■ PACK PAST Pack Adds Four To Baseball Hall Of Fame ball career ended following a season with the New York Yankees' Double-A team in Trenton, N.J. The sweet-hitting outfielder — who, along J with Terry Harvey, Tracy Woodson and Frank Weedon, is one of the four newest mem- bers of NC State's Baseball Hall of Fame — wasn't sure what he was going to do with his life. He had recently met someone, a dental student who was working part-time for the Baltimore Orioles. She was enrolled in a U.S. Army orthodontics program that paid for her schooling, so he knew she was eventually headed for active duty. He figured he might as well join her. So after he and Diana were married — behind home plate at Orioles Park at Camden Yard — Weber began to consider his career op- tions. His new father-in-law, an ex-Army officer himself, suggested Weber sign up for Officer Training School. Frankly, it was a bigger recruiting push than the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., native ever got for college, when NC State was the only school to offer him a scholarship. And that was only because a coach of Weber's friend knew then-Wolfpack head coach Ray Tanner. Joining the military was something Weber had never considered before. He headed to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga., for his school work and was commissioned as a U.S. Army captain in 2007, assigned as a signal officer. The day after Christmas, with Diana pregnant with the couple's first child, Weber was de- ployed to Afghanistan. He never saw combat action, spending his first seven months in a field headquarters, then spending the next seven months at a forward operating base near the border of Pakistan. "The first six or seven months I was basi- cally a staff officer at a higher headquar- ters," Weber said. "I mostly did Power Points, briefings, data collection, that kind of stuff. My second mission, I was able to meet up with my platoon again. "That was a little different. I kind of liked being away from the flagpole. There was a little more freedom." His time in the field was mostly quiet, practically boring. "It was relatively peaceful," Weber said. "It heated up after I left where I was. I got the opportunity to be with my soldiers. I got to work out a lot." He also had enough free time to do a little 88 ■ THE WOLFPACKER fielder Jake Weber (1995-98) were all members of the ACC's 50-man 50th Anniversary Team. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS From left to right, pitcher Terry Harvey (1992-95), infielder Tracey Woodson (1982-84) and out- on-line school work, even though he didn't always have the greatest Internet connection at his mountain outpost. Weber, a three-time ACC All-Academic selection, returned state- side in February 2009 with a master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Now 35 years old, Weber is assigned to a recruiting battalion, stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where he once spent two seasons playing minor league baseball. In April, he's moving back to Fort Gordon in Augusta, where he will be within an easy driving distance of Raleigh and Doak Field at Dail Park. He plans to come back often, to remember his Hall of Fame career with the Wolfpack. Weber, like the other two former players inducted in this year's class, was a member of the ACC's 50th Anniversary Team. The four-time All-ACC selection still owns the school records for hits (366), runs (288) and RBI (239). Amazingly, for a player who was barely recruited out of high school, Weber never missed a single game during his four-year career, starting an ACC-record 248 consecu- tive games. Weber played more than 800 games in the minors over seven seasons, hitting .282 with 44 home runs, 355 RBI and 63 stolen bases. He played 20 games in Triple-A for the Seattle Mariners' team in Tacoma, but he never quite made it to the show. After hitting .262 with three homers for Trenton of the Eastern League, Weber began looking for the next chapter of his life, which he found in the military. Weber said he will always cherish the op- portunity he had to be a part of the Wolfpack. "Not all players who wear this uniform are highly recruited," he told this year's current team during the induction banquet. "I did not receive many scholarship offers, but loved the opportunity to wear a Wolfpack jersey. "As long as you have the opportunity to wear this jersey, no matter what your role, you have made significant contributions by staying focused and committed to the goals of contributing to our success." Terry Harvey He was recruited in 1991 by former football coach Dick Sheridan to play quarterback for the Wolfpack. In truth, though, Terry Harvey made a more lasting impression in baseball. That's not to take away from his gridiron accomplishments — Harvey finished his ca- reer as the Wolfpack's all-time leading passer, though he was eventually surpassed by Jamie Barnette, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson. He shares a school record with Rivers and Wilson with five touchdown passes in a sin- gle game. He helped the 1994 Wolfpack post a 9-3 record and led his team to a win over Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl. But Harvey needed more than just football. "Playing one sport would have been aw- fully boring," Harvey said. From his very first start — a near no-hitter against Wake Forest during his freshman sea- son, after begging head coach Ray Tanner to give him a chance — Harvey proved to be one of the ACC's most dominant pitchers. BY TIM PEELER ake Weber admits he was a little lost in 2004, when his professional base-

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