The jerseys belonging to baseball legends Chuck Finley and Ben Sheets will be retired in a private ceremony Saturday, Nov. 3 from 2 - 3 p.m. at the Anna Gray Noe Alumni Center on the ULM campus. President James Cofer and the ULM Alumni Association will host the reception.
Of the upcoming celebration, ULM President James Cofer said, “The retirement of an athlete's uniform number is one of the most prestigious honors a student-athlete can receive. The university is proud to honor two outstanding members of our baseball program Chuck Finley and Ben Sheets. Their performances at both the collegiate and professional level have been exemplary."
The only other baseball jersey retired at ULM was #24, which belonged to Coach Lou St. Amant. He coached at ULM from 1976-1993. St. Amant, who will join the university in celebrating the careers of Sheets and Finley, coached Finley from 1984-1985.
Finley, #31, who played for the California Angels, and Sheets, #15, who recently finished his seventh season with the Milwaukee Brewers, will also be honored during halftime of the football game against Middle Tennessee, which begins at 6 p.m. in Malone Stadium.
Sheets, who played at ULM from 1997-1999, and Finley have represented ULM well over the last several years, said baseball head coach Jeff Schexnaider. "Every time Sheets and Finley have pitched on national television they have represented ULM incredibly well. Our university's name has been printed on millions of their baseball cards. When they played here, those were some of the best years in the athletic history of the university. We just want to give them something back and let them know how much we appreciate them."
More about Finley:
A 1996 inductee into the ULM Hall of Fame, Finley was a two-year
letterwinner at then NLU, helping his teams to a combined 60-38 record in
1984 and 1985.
Finley was named Most Valuable Player of the Pelican Cup
Series in 1984 before being drafted with the No. 4 pick overall in the 1985
Major League Baseball Draft.
A three-time American League All-Star on the
mound, Finley holds the career records for the California Angels for
victories and strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher.
More about Sheets:
A 2007 inductee into the ULM Hall of Fame, Sheets was a First Team
All-American and the 10th overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft
Sheets was named a freshman All-American in 1997, and he set the
ULM pitching record for single season victories after posting a 14-1 record
in '99. Setting the school record with 20 strikeouts against Louisiana
Tech, Sheets finished the season with 158 strikeouts, the most at ULM at
the time. In his three-year career with ULM, Sheets was named Southland
Conference Player and Pitcher of the Year in 1999.
In 2000 he pitched Team
USA to an Olympic Gold Medal. Sheets just finished his seventh season as
the ace of the Milwaukee Brewers. On six occasions Sheets has finished a
major league season with 10 or more victories. He has 73 career victories
and 1,048 career strikeouts.