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Almost 50 years after he set the record for most runs in a season, Steve Carter, ’06, is leading his Mountaineer teammates once again.
Carter established the EOU baseball program’s first endowed scholarship earlier this year. Now, he’s encouraging fellow alumni to step up to the proverbial plate.
After transferring to EOU in 1970 and scoring a record 33 runs, Carter was drafted to fight in Vietnam, where he flew 76 combat missions as a helicopter door gunner. He returned to EOU for the 1972 season, batting .368 over his two years at EOU and earning all-league, all-district, all-regional tournament, and 2nd team All-West Coast awards. Carter started a career in real estate before finishing his degree.
But when they reunited for Homecoming in 2006, a group of his peers escorted Carter to the Registrar’s Office to complete a final writing requirement. The team was being inducted into the EOU Hall of Fame, and he decided it was time to be a graduate, as well as an alumnus.
The only one out of five siblings who attended college, Carter credits his baseball scholarships with his career success.
“If it hadn’t been for baseball, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “When I was going there, I was church-mouse poor. You get to a point in your life where you reflect a little bit, and I decided I wanted to give back to get baseball rocking and rolling again.”
The scholarship will support baseball recruits, in hopes that their time at EOU becomes the same launchpad it was for Carter. He challenged his teammates to think of their cherished memories, and do their part to create the same opportunities for future Mountaineers. In addition to scholarships, the revitalized program has already begun fundraising for additional support.
“If everybody who played for Coach Howard Fetz gave to that fund, that’s going to make a dent,” he said. “Even if it’s a few hundred dollars, we have strength in numbers.”
To learn more about scholarships and giving to the baseball program, visit eou.edu/foundation/giving or call 541-962-3740 today!
EOU baseball is set to return under Head Coach Mike McInerney, who spent the past eight years as Associate Head Baseball Coach at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
At WOU, McInerney enjoyed great success as a pitching coach. In 2019, the team had four draft picks and one professional signing, the most of any school in NCAA Division II.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to be at EOU and to restart a historic baseball program,” McInerney said. “My family and I are enthused to join this great university and community, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Work began immediately for McInerney, who already started getting his first signings for the program, while adding to his coaching staff as he prepares for the 2021 season.
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After decades of public service, Board Chair David Nelson will retire at the annual Board Retreat on August 10.
The EOU Foundation and the Financial Aid Office coordinated to provide much-needed support.
Classes will be held in flexible, in-person, hybrid and remote-access teaching formats in keeping with Oregon Health Authority and local health authorities’ guidelines.
Eastern Oregon University Foundation
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La Grande, OR 97850-2807